Saturday, January 1, 2011

At Mom's house for Christmas

This is the back door of my Mom's house (it is the primary entrance).

My mom's kitchen: small and cluttered and perfect.

I was at my Mom's for Christmas. A cozy place on the edge of a small town, full of cooking and talking about what to do with life and eating and reading through cook books and listening to music and more cooking and talking and eating and trying new wines and well, celebrating I guess. My mom is passionate about food and almost every moment that we are together is spent on food: planning, preparation, cooking and eating.

The view from the house to the back yard

The view into the living room from the kitchen.

The all important bowl of clementines nearly lost in the chaos of the kitchen.

This year we found a fresh Ontario rack of lamb on our city grocery shopping trip (it is ridiculously rare to find this in the small town stores). She followed a simple recipe and it was incredible. Rub garlic on the meat, then smear amply with butter and leave garlic pieces on top and place on a rack or directly inside a shallow oven dish or pan. Cover the bone tips with foil. Let it sit like that for an hour or so, preheating the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Then cook for about 25 minutes per pound or until it is cooked to your liking. We served it with mom's garlic mashed potatoes (boil garlic cloves with the potatoes, drain and mash with just milk first and then add butter, salt and pepper and mash some more) and a simple salad of baby spinach with thinly sliced red onion on top with a drizzle of mom's favourite fancy sesame oil and salt and pepper. We were not particularly hungry for this meal since we had enjoyed filet mignon with asparagus for lunch and her favourite breakfast: poached eggs with bacon. It is always a race against time ... how many of our favourite meals can we fit into a limited number of days!?!

The rack of lamb ready to go into the oven.

Mom's gloriously messy kitchen table - Hallelujah!

When I opened my suitcase upon returning to Toronto I found many treats that she had snuck in while my attention was diverted. So sneaky and so generous and good.