Sunday, May 9, 2010

Eating Babies

Most of you who are reading this know that my wife is pregnant.  Everyday the topic the of the new baby and babies in general comes up at our house.  This is timely because it also happens to be spring time, and spring is baby-time. Seeds are sprouting. The birdhouse on our porch is filling up. Flowers are opening up. Tulips are rising.  The days are getting warmer. I imagine little calves following their cow moms around the fields eating bright green new grass. Spring = babies.

So, when I was thinking about making dinner, and I was trying to think of something seasonal, and I was looking around at the tiny shoes and big-letter books showing up at our house, I couldn't help thinking: Why not make the baby experience complete and stuff them in our mouths!

So, I made dinner with everything baby, or tried to at least. It didn't all work out like I'd hoped.

Originally, I wanted to do this:

  • Individual gratins of baby potatoes with bacon
  • Roast leg of spring lamb with sauted fiddle-heads 
  • Honey and ginger pots de creme.

It was a simple menu heavy on eggs (baby chickens), milk (baby food) and vegetables plucked in their baby-ish prime (fiddleheads being a sort of baby fern).  Plus the deliciously severed and boned leg of a baby sheep.  The youth of the northwest united!

However, the farmer's market was out of fiddle heads.  So I had to substitute baby asparagus.  Then I found that I had saved the baby potatoes a little too long.  Luckily my baby-filled wife had bought a bin of baby spinach at the store, so that made a nice baby salad to start with.  In the end, the menu turned into:

  • Salad of baby spinach with bacon and farmhouse goat cheese  
  • Roast leg of spring lamb rubbed with spiced butter and served with grilled baby asparagus, olives and blue cheese 
  • Honey and Ginger Pots de creme. 

In terms of the local score, I had to make some compromises to get this one done:

Organic baby spinach from Safeway -- absolutely not local.

Bacon from Sweet Briar Farm -- local

Farmhouse goat cheese from Fraga Farms -- Local

Olive oil from  Belle Ragazze -- sorta local.

vinegar from Fred Meyer --  not local.

Spring lamb from SuDan Farms -- Local.

Butter and milk from Noris dairy. -- local

Baby asparagus from the farmer's market -- local

Blue cheese stuffed olives from the farmer's market -- local, mostly.

Eggs from my own chickens -- super local

Honey from the guy that comes to Diane's house -- pretty darn local.

Bagette from New Seasons -- not really local.

Ginger from Fred Meyer -- not local

A bunch of spices -- not local

EXCEPT for the salt, which was homemade.  Alllrighhhht.

Some of the wine was local, some not really.

Overall, I got about 60% - 65% local score.  Not so great.

But overall, a pretty good meal, and a great group to eat it with, which guessed it, one baby Oliver!