Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Green Stuff

So, how was everyone's string of spring holidays?  Are we out of them?  Already?  I think we could always use more holidays, myself - for vacation day purposes, yes, but mostly because of the fact that holidays are themed.  And I LOVE themes!

Traditionally, I will cook something like Irish stew for St. Patrick's Day, but this year I wanted to do something different.  (Plus it was way too warm for stew in my neck of the woods that day).  So I got another brilliant idea from Mr. Gordon Ramsay to make herb-crusted lamb.  His recipe was for a rack of lamb, but all I could get a hold of were lamb loin chops.  No biggie.  Anyway, I thought, "Yeah, it's lamb, and it's coating is green - I've got the St. Patty's Day theme nailed!"

And I did, for the most part, (it wasn't as green as I thought it should've been after I cooked it).  I served it with some golden potato and garlic mash, and it was all very lovely.  But when I started eating it, I came to a very sad conclusion...I just don't like lamb :(

I've put lamb in my stews, I've fried it, baked it, and herb-crusted it, but I can honestly say that even though I'll eat it if I have to, I don't really care for the natural flavor of lamb at all!  I know, I made myself sad.  I know it sounds silly to be sad about not liking something, but I really really wanted to like it!  However, I do LOVE gyro meat!  Mmmmm.  It's probably because the lamb is sometimes mixed with other meats and is always loaded with awesome Mediterranean seasonings.  I don't even care what it is, it's good.  Period.

Even though I was all very distraught at first at the realization that I don't like lamb, I started feeling better about it for a few reasons:

  1. Lamb is EXPENSIVE!!!
  2. It is difficult to find, as opposed to some other meats that I like better.
  3. It is nearly impossible to find off the bone unless it is ground (at least where I am), so if you need lamb for stew, you have to buy it in chops, (paying for the bone weight, mind you) and cut it off the bone.  Which isn't pretty because the meat is so tender that it stretches and you don't even get that much meat per chop.
  4. Did I mention that it is crazy expensive for what little meat you get?
  5. It tastes like it's going bad to me, even when it is fresh.  I just don't care for the flavor, and it doesn't look like it will grow on me any time soon, much to my dismay, so I've decided to accept it.  Even though I'm convinced I should like this meat!
Message to self - It's okay if you don't like it.

Speaking of lamb, does anyone have a traditional Easter meal that they cook?  My family always had baked ham, red-eye gravy (gravy is always an important "side dish"), some sort of veggie like green bean casserole or scalloped corn, dinner rolls, pie, coconut cake, and what is referred to as "Green Stuff."  Apparently, I later learned in my adult years, "Green Stuff" is known to the general public as lime ambrosia.  It looks like this, only it's green...

"Redbud Ambrosia" - p.59 in The University of Oklahoma Cookbook

The ingredients are the same for both, accept for the red one is made with cherry Jell-O and the "Green Stuff" is made with lime.  It's an easy, tasty dessert that is a really great ending to an amazing meal.  Not too heavy, and not too sweet. Well, it IS sweet, but not crazy overboard sweet like some of the richer desserts can be.

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  1. I feel like I'm missing out on the "green stuff," although my family always had a different green dessert called "Heavenly Rice" which uses whipped cream..

    Lamb definitely has a unique flavor and texture, and isn't for everyone, but can be very delicious when done right...by someone else :)

    Additionally - maybe to tempt you - one would think that goat meat would have a similar taste, but when I tried it recently, it tasted even better, and not as gamey. Perhaps it was well-disguised by the spices and gravy of the dish

    1. I would actually be very interested in trying goat meat. I wonder if it would be best baked, fried, roasted, or something else? If you have any recipe suggestions for goat, I'd love to see them! BTW, Heavenly Rice sounds fantastic! Of course, I live by the philosophy that anything with whipped cream in it, on it, or all over it is something that I NEED to have.