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Extended Family

January 12, 2012

Not to brag or anything, but we live in a pretty amazing neighborhood. Our home is surrounded by friendly, helpful, warm, kind, amusing, and smart families. Kids run between houses; adults share conversation and beverages; and good company, borrowed cups of sugar, and babysitters are just a door knock away. In the 5 1/2 years that we’ve lived in our house, it’s as if our family has doubled in size due to the fact that so many of our neighbors feel more like relatives. We’ve celebrated and grieved together while sharing our lives with each other. And while I never fancied myself a person who could handle being just dropped in on while in my pajamas on a Saturday afternoon, I’ve gotten over trying to issue any sort of an apology for the state of either myself or my home and am instead simply happy to welcome my neighbors inside and relish the opportunity to catch up. This weekend we were fortunate to spend time with many of our neighbors, including this little guy (just look at those eyes!). His mom, Missy, stopped over on Saturday under the guise of hearing a scary noise in her house, but I’m pretty sure she just wanted to show off the fact that her babe is now flashing the winningest smile you’ve ever seen when you even so much as glance in his direction. After visiting for a bit she left him with me while she ran a quick errand, and I waited approximately 1 nanosecond before whipping out my camera to take some pictures.

Sunday, my son and husband made plans with Missy’s husband Paul as well as my sister Lisa to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies in one sitting. I kid you not. THREE MEALS were consumed during the course of the movie watching. And a great deal of candy.

While they geeked out in the basement, Missy, the babe, and I hung out upstairs doing crazy things like… interacting with each other as opposed to staring at a television screen for 9 hours (but who’s judging?). One of the things we discussed was how we had been preparing the lamb that Missy’s parents raised and butchered, and we split between our two households.

Splitting this lamb has been a bit of an adventure for me, as my mom prepared lamb exactly zero times while I was growing up. But I ran into Missy outside one afternoon this summer, raving about the lamb chops I’d picked up on a whim at the farmer’s market, and before I knew it I was agreeing to purchase half a lamb from her parents’ farm. We’ve since enjoyed ground lamb and lamb shanks, and I have big plans for the leg and the shoulder that are patiently and deliciously waiting for me in the freezer, but THE CHOPS. Oh, the chops.

The chops render our dinner table silent, save the exclamations of “I LOVE LAMB CHOPS. LAMB CHOPS I LOVE YOU,” (my husband), and, “Seriously. So. Good.” (my eight year old! Who won’t eat hamburgers! Or eggs! Or apples!). Bones are gnawed. Plates are licked. You get the picture.

Every time I come close to preparing the lamb chops in a new and different way, I cave at the last minute and stick with what I know rocks our dinner world. And leaves me wailing, “Why did I never eat these growing up? Everybody should try these and BE AMAZED.” Including you.

Lamb Chops with Crossover Spice

Adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper, which I know I’ve mentioned before and I really think you should go out and buy. After you make these lamb chops.

I know it seems like an ungodly amount of seasoning, but just go with it.

  • 4 lamb chops, the thicker the better
  • Scant Tablespoon cumin
  • Scant 2 Tablespoons coriander
  • Scant 1/2 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Scant Tablespoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

Set the lamb chops out and let warm to room temperature on the counter.

Combine spices, and rub all over chops. Pat remaining seasoning onto top and bottom of chops. The goal here is to thickly coat.

Coat the bottom of a large saute pan or a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Set over medium high heat. When oil is hot, gently lay chops down in the pan. Cook approximately 8 minutes per side. Chops should still be a bit pink inside. Squeeze lemon wedges over meat and serve.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. ljholps permalink
    October 30, 2012 7:12 pm

    It really was delicious, though my pantry supply of cumin was BARELY adequate!


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