Sometimes, introducing someone new to the family can make tensions flare. Since introduction, the flames have tapered down, but haven’t fizzled out yet. So rather than worry about the sparks, we decided to light a candle instead. A birthday candle, that is.
Zoe came to visit about a month ago. Yes, another sweet dog in a sad situation in need of a good home. “Two is a couple, three is a crowd,” Tom said. “Don’t bring another dog home.”
I didn’t listen. A trait that doesn’t always work out well for me.
“She’s not staying,” I assured him. “We are just watching her for a few days.”
Winston was very jealous. He pouted. He hid under the bed.
Ginger was very aloof.
But Zoe wanted to stay forever. She showered Tom and I with kisses and love. So many kisses.
Winston wanted Zoe to go back to from wherever she came. Harrumph.
Zoe tried to win him over with her charm. She rubbed past him and tilted her rump up near his face. Submissively, she rolled over and kicked up her feet in play. She thought he was swell.
Nothing but pouts. His once perky ears, flat as pancakes.
Then one day, Winston decided to play! Soon they were romping and rolling and running around the couch. On every completion of the race course, Winston would stop and keep looking to me for permission to continue; a big sloppy smile with tongue hanging out of his mouth.
There is some barking. We are working on that. There is tension, sometimes; like when Ginger blindly stumbles into Zoe, she attacks. Or when it is time to lick the bones from the lamb chops . . . Everyone is happily licking away; two lamb chops, three dogs, four hands . . . (insert dog fighting noises here) you can imagine those sounds.
What happened? Who knows but two bones went in the trash immediately, one dog skulked off as one was lifted quickly out of harms way. The third dog, Ginger, was clueless, where did everyone go?
Zoe has wiggled her way into our hearts though and Winston, albeit still a bit jealous, has found that it is kind of nice to have a spry gal pal that plays and loves.
Welcome to your forever home Zoe and Happy 9th Birthday!
LAMB CHOPS seared with dijon, garlic & herbs
Here’s the deal: I love lamb. Lamb chops, lamb roast, ground lamb . . . I used to call Buddy “Lamb Chop” sometimes. He was so scrumptious and delectable. We used to kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss! How we miss that kid.
He was also known as “Peanut”, so now that we have Zoe, I think “Pine Nut” seems to be a more appropriate fit for her, since she is half his size.
To make a tasty lamb chop, it can be as simple as sprinkling them with salt, then smothering the little chops in dijon, lemon juice, garlic and herbs. A hot grill or skillet sears each side, leaving the middle cooked as rare as you prefer.
I use a scant 1/2 tsp of salt + 1 chopped garlic clove per pound of lamb. Pepper is free-flowing from the grinder and a dab of Dijon mustard with a small handful of fresh herbs. Mint, thyme, rosemary, tarragon or parsley are all good choices.
Drizzle with olive oil, rub in the seasoning and let sit for an hour, covered at room temp. On a heated grill or a very hot skillet, cook for a few minutes on each side, making sure they are browned nicely before turning them over.
This is wonderful served with al dente cooked green beans, tossed in cooked lentils, tucked over thick, roasted eggplant and a dollop of creme or a good-quality feta cheese.
Alternatively, you can roast a leg of lamb like I did here and serve it tossed in lentils and arugula, as I did here. Still, roast the eggplant on the side and make the following sauce to drizzle over:
This is a super-simple sauce. All it takes is the best yogurt you can get, plus, cumin, coriander, grated parmesan and cucumber. That said, I used a new yogurt that was AMAZEBALLS!!! (called White Mountain Organic Bulgarian Yogurt from Austin, TX).
Mix together the ingredients below:
1/2 cup yogurt (see brand above, or use the best available to you)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground corriander
1 TB finely grated parmesan
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB grated cucumber
Fresh ground pepper to taste
ROAST LAMB, ARUGULA, LENTIL SALAD
So, another way to slice this is by doing a nice salad of arugula and lentils topped with yogurt roasted lamb and roast eggplant. Not so much a recipe a recipe as a way to serve some great things all together as a meal. Improvise!