Agnus Dei

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” –Caesar Chavez

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a food post. Really, any posts at all. We are at an interesting stage in our life right now, learning how to be a family again, learning how to interact with one another and with those outside our home. I won’t lie; it’s been a challenge.

One day Dear Friend came over to cook with me, to prepare a beautiful meal for our family. I have written before, or at least I intended to, about the healing power of food. My hope was that this would be a soothing balm for our family. The mission: leg of lamb, cooked to perfection.

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The night before, we injected the leg with a cup of gin. Bombay Sapphire, of course. A little G&T sounds mighty nice right about now. Be right back.

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Better. Back to the Agnus Dei.

The next afternoon, Dear Friend expertly cut slits all over the Agnus Dei, about 1.5 inches deep. Maybe less. I’m a poor estimator. I then expertly stuffed chunks of garlic into the slits, followed by a sprig of fresh rosemary. The little lamb went into the oven for heat therapy on a bed of root vegetables for an hour and a half. Maybe it was two. It’s more art than science.

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             Ready to go in the oven                                  Stepford Son doing the honors

At some point in the cooking, near the end (ok, true confessions–the G&T is NOT actually helpful when I’m trying to write), Chartreuse was applied two times. I was absent for this part because–apologies to Dear Friend–my husband had come home and brought me a new book. I left Dear Friend and Dear Husband in the kitchen to finish the lamb and went off with a glass of wine to my bed to read.

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Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. 

Ta-da! The meal was made complete by the addition of a salad with red onion and berries (does my memory serve me right, or is that the gin?) and homemade bread. Dessert: blackberries with shortcake and homemade whipped cream.

The meal was not a talisman that magically made everything better. But it didn’t hurt. Beauty may not heal all at once but does so bit by bit. Thank you, Dear Friend, for your love and all your “not pushing” pushing that helps me bring beauty to my family. Thank you, Dear Husband, for your love and supernatural patience.

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.” – Oscar Wilde

And just for fun: “Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?” –Julia Child

Maybe I’ll add some Julia Child to my reading list. She might make me laugh. Or drink more.

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