Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An Autumnal Feast

Fall has succeeded in sneaking up on us again, marked by the cold, windy days, and the changing leaves.
That means it's time to start eating like it.
Several months ago I purchased a 7 pound leg of lamb. Vacuum packaging can do wonders in a freezer. As the freezer filled up with ribs, chicken, ice cream, and waffles, the 7 pound roast lay dormant. Purchased for half price it was a "cannot pass up" opportunity at only $20 but with no initial direction.

I had great plans for the leg, but they fell by the wayside as the months rolled on. almost 6 months in the freezer and the beast lie waiting. I planned a great birthday feast only to go out for dinner for two. Until finally I had had enough.

Nearby my apartment and on the Hood College campus, there are a triad of chestnut trees. The three gave off chestnuts all of September as squirrels and children collected the bounty. Realizing that this would be an excellent opportunity to: A get free food and B try to roast my own chestnuts; I collected a few every time I walked by, and soon I had a nice collection.

Unsure of their taste, I roasted about 7 in the oven to eat out-of-hand. Delicious. A combination of sweet potato and scallops but not too much of either, the waxy, light flesh of the nuts was quite a surprise and not overpowering.

I set up a date to make the lamb and invited a friend to join.

It was my first time butterflying a leg, but it was easier than I expected. The bone came out clean, the cuts precise. Mashed chestnuts seemed to be a fitting accompaniment for the roast. With only lamb, chestnuts and mint jelly, two of us sat down to a feast.

The leftovers have been delicious.