Friday, 6 August 2010

Currently reading...

...The Garden in the Clouds by Anthony Woodward. I got it from the library the second last time I was there. Last time I went,  earlier this week, I discovered that they have 'upgraded' to self-service. Which is a pity, really; I always enjoyed the personal exchanges with a librarian. The system is still not fully bug-free, either. Four of my books wouldn't return via self-service and had to be returned manually. While I waited for that to happen, so I could take out more without my card overflowing, I let someone go ahead of me. Ignoring all on-screen instructions he put his card in for returns, and then nearly left without it. And I can tell already that The Garden in the Clouds won't work as a self-service return, it doesn't have the requisite magnetic insert.
Anyway, it's a delightful book, which will be going on my list of suitable gift books, and taking a place in my favourite gardening-related books along with Amanda Hesser's The Cook and The Gardener, and James Fenton's A Garden from a Hundred Packets of Seed. I was reading his chapter on bee-keeping on the bus on the way home from work today, and I laughed till I had tears in my eyes. It brought back a lot of memories of when we had a hive in the garden - the stickiness that he wrote about when harvesting the honey, the intoxicating smell, bees trying to get into the house...

We had this lamb dish over the Bank Holiday weekend. I don't know where my sister got her recipe, which she calls Jammy Chops. Mine originally came from an Australian Women's Weekly book, Best Ever Slimmers Recipes. I once worked for a very weight-conscious woman, whose kitchen was well furnished with books like that, and Rosemary Conley's Hip and Thigh Diet. I have it titled as Herbed Lamb Chops.

Herbed Lamb Chops
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 loin lamb chops
1 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
1 tblsp chopped fresh mint
pinch of dried or chopped fresh rosemary
1 tblsp mint jelly ( personally, if I didn't always have plenty of homemade mint jelly, I'd use redcurrant any day, rather than a commercial mint one)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp vinegar - I usually use mint sauce for this, as like mint jelly, I always have a jar of homemade mint sauce in the fridge.

Lightly oil a pan, heat and fry the garlic and chops, till chops are cooked as preferred. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Mix all the sauce ingredients together, add to pan and stir till it has come to the boil and thickened. Return chops to pan and stir briefly.
As C likes wet rather than dry dishes, I usually add about half a cup of cold water to the sauce ingredients, so that it's a sauce rather than a glaze.

1 comment :

  1. The sunlight on those flowers is so beautiful. I love it when a book makes you laugh out loud. That's a great credit to the writer. And your lamb chops sound delicious!