Jan 01: In like lamb…

I always try to have a restful and relaxing start to a New Year and 2015 was no exception. My crockpot slow cooker is one of my favorite kitchen helpers and today it produced a feast.

It actually started last night when I mixed the last of a bottle of Malbec with beef bouillon and a number of spices. Oh, let’s see..throw in cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, turmeric, ginger and a bit of a seven-spice mix I’ve pre-made for such occasions. Cover, heat it up on “high” and let it warm. Then unplug and go to sleep and let it steep.

New Years morning, I got up and plugged in the crockpot on “low”. I opened a large can of yams and another of diced tomatoes. Drained them (also rinsed the syrup from the yams), dumped them in the crockpot and mixed them with the previous nights mulled, spiced bouillon. Then chopped a medium zucchini and onion and four cloves of smashed garlic. The lamb (which was thawed and in the fridge) was taken out and placed in the crockpot and covered with the liquid and veggies — and turned the crockpot to “high”. I “basted” the lamb about 3-4 times during the four to five hours cooking time.

After getting things started, it was time for the Tournament of Roses parade on television — an annual tradition in this house, enjoyed with Irish Breakfast tea.

The lamb was done in time for lupper (late lunch or early supper). New Years toasts were made with a shot of aquavit followed by a sparkling prosecco chaser. Perfect!

Obviously, there were some real treats involved with this meal. I’m grateful for friends who helped provide the “extras” that aren’t usually on my menus.


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