I like to look. At the grocery, that is.
When I'm shopping for food, I'm in no particular hurry. Unless, I'm shopping for a particular menu, I usually don't carry a list. I know what I want when I see it.
This is no problem for me shopping solo, but if I'm marketing with anyone else - my son, my mother, or any other person who isn't as happy in the kitchen as I am - the going can be tough. I hate to be rushed, so if I'm shopping with anyone who sticks to a list and does a cart dash through the market, I'm more than a little annoyed.
The same goes for when I'm cooking. Join me in the kitchen for a glass of wine and a chat, but stay out from under foot and - please - don't second guess my seasonings or method. I won't tell you how to cook in your kitchen and unless I ask, I don't want you telling me how to cook in mine.
Old habits are hard to break.
So when I found myself in front of the butcher's counter at Whole Foods this week, I was doing what I normally do - eying the meat, checking out its color and its texture, making note of its price, basically enjoying the overabundant display. There's a reason excessive and gorgeous displays of food are dubbed 'food porn.'
One of the reasons I like Whole Foods is the staff is attentive and knowledgeable, although, for me, sometimes too much attention is worse than not enough. My boyfriend, the butcher, for instance was quick to ask if I needed assistance - not once but twice in the span of five minutes. The third time he asked, I finally woke up and realized he was flirting.
Please don't flirt with me over the meat counter. I can't think about possible dates over a bloody cut of meat. Too much multi-tasking. Plus, my mother was hovering.
None of this was lost on my mother the matchmaker, who despite marrying me off unsuccessfully one or two times before, would still like to see me linked up with some eligible someone. But I really just wanted a lamb roast. Besides, my mother's matchmaking record is not so great.
Even if my boyfriend the butcher struck out, he gave terrific customer service. I got a lovely boneless roast, hand cut just right for Saturday night dinner. Maybe I ought to reconsider the man behind the meat counter.
Boneless Lamb Roast with Carrots, Parsnips & Brussel Sprouts
2-3 pound boneless lamb roast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh Italian oregano, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 carrots, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
3 parsnips, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
12 brussel sprouts
1. Rub the outside and the center of the roast with the kosher salt and ground pepper.
2. Mix garlic and fresh herbs, then rub the mixture over the roast and in the center.
3. Place the roast in a glass baking dish and pour the olive oil and white balsamic vinegar over the roast. Cover and marinate over night.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Arrange vegetables around the roast and add 1/2 cup of water to the baking dish. Cover and cook 20 minutes per pound for medium rare (140 degrees on the meat thermometer), 25 minutes per pound for medium (160 degrees), and 30 minutes per pound for well done (170 degrees).