Labor Day weekend I was visited by my mom Betsy and her husband David on the tail end of their RV trip cross country. They left Florida back in July, drove across the states and into Canada, over to Alaska, back to Canada and then down through the Pacific Northwest. I have to say that they make the prospect of retirement look somewhat appealing, provided you can share every waking moment with someone in a confined space with zeal, which naturally, I could not. I am instead looking forward to sharing my twilight years in a barn with all the cats and dogs the County will let me legally possess--provided the barn is up to code.
On Monday evening I prepared a somewhat eclectic mixed grill featuring lamb ribs and grilled pouisson. I decided to do a rub on the ribs and because I never remember to write anything down, I just took a photo:
Clockwise from top: nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, tumeric, coriander, chiles and a couple of clove right in the center. I toasted everything just till the coriander started to pop (no idea, really, if this is blasphemous in the world of curries and rubs) and ground down with a good measure of salt, then rubbed them on my lamb ribs and let it all sit for the better part of a day. Later, I put the ribs in a shallow baking pan with about 1/2 cup of water and cooked them, covered tightly, in a 325 oven for 1 1/2 hours. Which was how long I needed to figure out what to do for a glaze. Had there been some pomegranate molasses in the pantry I'm sure I would have tried something, but instead I made a simple sauce of honey, yogurt, lemon juice and, at the last minute, preserved lemons.
I tossed the cooked ribs in this and then finished them on the grill, which, incidentally, was being occupied by my spatchcocked pouissons. The birds had been seasoned with salt in the morning and spent about an hour marinating in black pepper, garam masala, yogurt and some other stuff (this, I did not capture on camera). I also smoked a small eggplant that became a puree with walnuts, cilantro and yogurt (yes, I bought a huge thing of yogurt at the store earlier that day, ok?). I don't remember eating it, but was told that it was good by my mother, who I can recall licking the bowl while making inappropriate noises.
We also had a bi-colored (purple and red) potato and yellow bean salad dressed in a mustard vinaigrette and a simple cucumber and dill salad (cucumber, dill, white vinegar, sugar, salt, yum). Betsy ate everyone's bones, as is customary. We all had a bit too much to drink and the night ended with mom dancing to Pet Sounds and lamenting that she was born to dance, although she had been too much of a nerd to ever listen to Elvis, or the Beach Boys or the Beatles. But now that she's hearing songs like "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" in fitness class, for the first time, perhaps there is some hope.