Christine returned from the city, bearing a beautiful enameled cast-iron gratin dish that she got for 13 bucks at the dollar store around the corner from our place. It’s indistinguishable from Le Creuset, and got me inspired, given that I had made a merguez mixture a couple of days ago, figuring to grill it on sticks like before. Milo and I had already picked a beet, carrots, and potatoes earier in the day, as well as both kinds of cucumbers, which made a salad appetizer that- along with some local sweet corn- kept them quiet while I made the rest.
So out came the mandoline, which made short work of the above plus half a zucchini from yesterday and all went into the new pan in layers and into the oven; it’s finally cooled off so this actually wasn’t insane. Kurt from Elijah’s café gave me a bunch of fresh black trumpet mushrooms from undisclosed woods nearby (for free, since he likes our garden) and I sautéed them with the usual mushroom ensemble of garlic, parsley, and wine. The carrots, steamed and tossed with cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, lime juice, parsley, scallion, and oil became a Moroccan dish that echoed the spices in the ground lamb. A little leftover pesto, thinned with olive and truffle oil, worked well as a finishing/unifying sauce, and we had some Château Roquefort Corail to begin and some Pleiades XV I opened yesterday to finish. A worthy homecoming, and but for the wine, salt, pepper, lime, and oil made entirely from homegrown or local ingredients.