The second question you might be asking is...what exactly is real food? And the term conjures up a number of things to me:
- Lovingly made at home just like my mother and her mother before her did and like I see my girls doing too - the memories alone are worth the effort;
- Using the freshest ingredients you can find because the closer you are to the farm, the fresher the flavor - besides, you'll feel better knowing you're supporting local farmers and artisan cheese and bread makers, I know I do;
- Having the pantry and fridge loaded with ingredients you can "throw together" when those unexpected, but always welcome guests show up;
- That said, having a jar of pasta sauce and other ready made things, are perfectly acceptable in my world, as long as you add a little love while you're whipping it up.
This past Saturday I visited the local Farmers Market - nothing unusual about that...I go every chance I get for the freshest eggs, fish, mussels, free range &/or organic chicken, beef and lamb. And what I realized this weekend...I'm slow, so it never dawned on me before...
I'm always ready for the season ahead...way before the season ahead is actually ready to show up! Just like clothes...come hot, muggy August, I'm craving big bulky sweaters and boots and by February, I'm longingly looking at shorts and skirts and sandals....I'm the same with food. By February I'm yearning for fiddleheads and asparagus and by August I'm aching for the day when I'll be able to make some fragrant slow cooking soups, stews and braises.
When we lived in Toronto, the BBQ was just outside the sliding patio doors off the dining room and we used it all year round. True, it didn't quite get as hot as I wanted in the dead of Winter, but we cooked out there anyway.
For the last three years (You've heard the whine before, I know), no BBQ but that will change at the end of July when we move to an apartment with a large balcony. That said, we still have more than a month and a half to go, so we bribed Joanna & Ezra with homemade lamb burgers if we could come over and have Ezra grill them for us.
To many people, when you say burgers, the image conjures up greasy, skinny fast food offerings, but you'll find some awesome recipes here for any number of things you can do with a pound of ground. This time I wanted to bring a little Mediterranean to the table.
In fact, I woke up that morning with lamb burgers on the brain. So without looking at my favorite recipe until after the fact....I made my Greek style Lamb Burgers with fresh ground lamb from my favorite lamb producer Wood 'n Hart and added some wonderful fresh parsley & oregano from from Hutten Family Farm and some fresh mint from Riverview Herbs. I left out the feta (Joanna doesn't mix dairy and meat at home), but everything else is pretty much the same.
Oh, and Boaz (3 1/2 year old) did inform us that he didn't want a LAMB burger, he wanted a HAMburger. Good thing his mother had a batch in the freezer.