I know I've been MIA lately. I've been in California visiting my oldest son, Mike, and his family. They live about 20 miles outside of San Francisco.
This Mark Twain quote sums it up perfectly: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
Mike and Kathy's house is at the top of a hill overlooking the bay, a quite magnificent view, but it's windy almost all the time...and the wind is cold. Mike and Kathy and the girls seem to enjoy it, but I'm just a big baby. I was cold every single day, except maybe the first afternoon we spent at a park. The rest of the time, I was dressed in sweaters and turtlenecks. It's California people. Who woulda thought.
In spite of the cold and the fact that I had been sick the entire week before, I had a great time. I made the trip particularly for Zoey's sixth birthday because I made a rag quilt for her, which I named her "Hug Quilt" for the obvious reason that her Grandfather and I live so far away and the quilt wraps around her like a hug from us. She really loved that idea.
Since I had never made a quilt of any kind before this, I used a pattern that I found on Jen's website. The instructions are for a flannel rag quilt, but I already had cotton fabric that I'd purchased a couple of years ago to make bunnies and bunny dresses for Lily and Zoey, so I used that instead. I also bound the edges of the quilt, even though the instructions are for ragging the edges.
I love how the quilt turned out and I've promised Lily a "Hug Quilt" for her birthday in September.
This is Zoey's quilt...
But, as much fun as I had with the girls and visiting with my son and daughter-in-law, I'm basically a stick-in-the-mud and a home-body and I missed Tom and missed being at home.
Anyway, Tom planned a special dinner for the day after I got home - Rack of Lamb with Fig and Port Sauce, Potatoes Gratin and a simple green salad. He started by applying herbs and olive to the rack of lamb, then sealed it in a plastic bag and allowed it to marinate overnight.
Organic Colorado rack of lamb is difficult to find here in Arkansas, so I order the racks online from Summit Creek Lamb. I purchase two - eight-bone racks, cut both of them into four-bone racks, vacuum seal each one and put them in the freezer. If I am planning on having company, I will leave one of the eight-bone racks intact.
Since fresh figs have such a short season and are not readily available, I modified this recipe to use dried mission figs, which are available year round.
by Terri Powers for Terri's Table
- 1 - 4 or 8 rib rack of lamb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 - 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 sprig of fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
- a handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 12 dried mission figs, diced
- 1 cup of port wine
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
PRINT THE RECIPE HERE