Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm working. I really am. I have that deadline to complete &, oh, what's that? Did it just get closer? *sigh*

I'm working from home today, which is actually something I really like to do. I can log in while in my underwear, I can do everything I need to do, plus I can run errunds during my lunch break. It's not bad. The other advantage is: no cafeteria food! I managed to squeeze in a quick tuna salad before I had to run off to an appointment.

Working Girl Tuna Salad
1 can tuna in water
1 can tuna in olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped capers
3 cherry tomatoes, seeded & chopped
2 sundried tomatoes, chopped
zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Drain water from tuna, do not drain olive oil from other can of tuna. Mix everything in a bowl, garnish with some thyme & get back to work!

Out to Dinner - PML

I went out to dinner last night at the Print Media Lounge in Heidelberg & had some seriously good asparagus. Until June 24, the feast of St. John the Baptist, aspargus can and will be harvested in Germany. After this time, the plants rest before the next year when asparagus season (Spargelzeit) starts all over again.

Tonight, it was local asparagus, the kind that Obama was served at the last NATO summit in Strasbourg. The area I live in is well known for its asparagus - apparently the climate is good here.

Served with a light olive oil & parmasean on the side, the asparagus last night had a light lemony flavour. I think it was dipped in cold lemon water to stop the cooking. Ingenious! I'll be trying this strategy out before the 24th of June.For desert, it was a berry gratin with a vanilla buttermilk sorbet. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, even a few currants, covered in a custard & baked. Again, citrusy tones from dinner were repeated in the buttermilk sorbet.

I don't really feel like giving a verdict on dinner. I think it should suffice to say that I go to this place whenever I can.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Yesterday was kind of a sucky day. I'm not really sure what it was, but I was on the verge of tears all afternoon. I did what any rational human being with a deadline in 10 days for a project that's not going well would do: I went home early. I used the time well: I went to buy groceries. Balancing everything in my arms, I checked the mail. What's this?

It's from Spain. Why, it's my ham, of course!

A few weeks ago, I entered an omelet contest. Núria from Spanish Recipes held a contest on eggs. I entered my Weekend Fritatta. When I saw this post, I knew I had to enter. I'm a huge fan of the fritatta on the weekend, and I think that Jamon Iberico, the prize, is really what tipped me over the edge to being a foodie.

Let me explain. I convinced a dear friend to visit another dear friend in Barcelona with me. The 2 of them had never met before. I coaxed the one with promises of good sandwiches. The city has so much to offer other than sandwiches, this is just the first thing I thought of. Well, as it would turn out, we didn't really find mind-blowing sandwiches until we got to the airport. After a huge line in check-in, we ran downstairs to our gate, passing by the Pans & Co. (a chain of sandwich shops) along the way. There was a small bar at the gate, as well as the bus, waiting for us, to take us to the plane. Well, I didn't know when I'd be back in Barcelona, so here goes, I'm willing to risk my return flight for a ham sandwich. I anxiously waited my turn to buy the sandwiches - the bartender must have thought that I really needed to pee! He wrapped them up, I grabbed my bag & we ran to the bus. (The bus then continued to wait for other people, so I ran out & got some coke from the vending machine... if I had only known...)

The sandwiches were amazing & we were both happy. But I somehow knew that it wasn't as convincing as it could have been. So, when Christmas rolled around, I bought the friend an entire leg of ham, complete with a ham holder & a knife. I also planned a Christmas brunch of tapas with a Latin American friend and we made patatas bravas. It was good, we ate, drank, were merry. The ham was the centerpiece on the table for a few months, entertaining all kinds of guests with it's appearance & it's taste. A few months ago, I ordered a new ham. Again, a jamon iberico.

You may have had Spanish ham already. You may be familiar with the term Jamon Serrano. Serrano is OK - I think it's better, more flavourful than Parma ham, but that's just personal preference. Jamon Iberico, on the other hand, is better than Jamon Serrrano. There are a few reasons for this:
  1. Jamon Iberico is from a certain kind of pig (an Iberian pig!) and can be identified by it's black foot. It is also called "Pata Negra" - black foot. Jamon Iberico must come from pigs that are 75% Pata Negra
  2. There are different grades of jamon iberico but the best quality is the Extra Belotta, which means, extra acorns. The pigs double their body weight in the last few months of their lives as the forage acorns in the forest
  3. Because the ham is from pigs that have gotten fat on acorns, the fat is mainly oleic acid, which lowers bad cholesterol & increases good cholesterol
  4. Jamon Iberico is cured much longer than Jamon Serrano. Serrano is cured for 8-10 months, Jamon Iberico for 12 - 36 months
This is what awaited me in the package from Núria:

I love the postcard of Barcelona! Reminded me of being in the park last summer! The postcard had instructions on how to eat the ham (at room temperature) and if I am not going to eat it right away, I should store it in the fridge.

The thing that excited me most about the thinly, professionally sliced ham however, was the sight of the white crystals, highlighted in this photo:

These are thyroxine, small white crystals that you get in aged meats & cheeses. I refer to them as flavour crystals, because, even though they are tasteless, they are indicators of products that have been well aged. They are perfectly safe to eat.

A while ago, I posted about the leg of ham on my kitchen table. I have ham. I do not need more ham. But, I know of many people who are not able to come to my apartment to eat my ham. It is these people who will be eating my package of ham , and I am looking forward to sharing this wonderful product with them. Thanks again, Núria!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vitamin Boost for Meetings

I have a slew of meetings scheduled for today. I also have a hangover. Thankfully, I picked up a chunk of watermelon from the Turkish supermarket on the way home last night (perhaps my hangover was premeditated). The plan was to have watermelon juice.

The first time I had watermelon juice, I stole it from a friend in Kuala Lumpur. This friend had been living for a while in Kuala Lumpur and knew what to look for in watermelon juice. Apparently, you do not want them to add sugar syrup. He even makes it at home himself when he can, and gave me detailed instructions on the telephone how he does it; he uses a blender. That's it. Frankly, I've never been a watermelon person (bad memories of bubble gum) but I thought that the watermelon juice was pretty good. Watermelon is supposed to be full of antioxidants, vitamins & it's full of water. In short: it's made for a Tuesday morning hangover.

Watermelon Juice
Place cut chunks of watermelon in blender, discarding rind (I used about 1 Kilo, including rind). Blend. Add lime juice.

It's kind of frothy, most likely better for me than a cappucinno. My hangover was better within minutes and I think the meetings would have been less torerable had I not had the juice.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Shopping in Strasbourg - I

While on a whirlwind shopping tour in Strasbourg this weekend, I managed to swing by the supermarket, and in the 40 minutes before they closed, I got wine, cheese, meat, fish & some veggies. The freezer will be full.

I've eaten baby goat, I've eaten snails, I've had oysters, cockles, lamb, quail, pheasant, ostrich; I'm not afraid of eating animals. Normally the rule is: if I'm not allergic, I'll try it. I know that I'm not allergic to crab; I know that I really like crab meat. As I saw the 3 pre-cooked crabs in the fish section, I selected the one with the least amount of barnacles, with the best colour, in short, the cutest crab available. Tonight, I pulled that crab out of my fridge & prepared to turn him into a seafood quinoa-isotto.

After having done my research on the best way to open a common crab, I set to work. But he looked so darn cute. I like to dive and if I saw this guy underwater, I'd stop for a while and look at him, maybe even have a little chat - he's that cute.Now, I know it's a little silly to be remorseful over the same food I was so excited about while in the supermarket.
  1. crab is dead
  2. if I didn't buy it, someone else would have - on sale!
  3. he's here now and it would be wasteful to not use it
Good. I'll take it apart, make that quinoa-isotto I was planning & be more careful of my purchases in the future.

I took the shell apart, breaking the top off allowing me to get into the inside to pull out the meat & buttery bits. At this point, I realized that I was dealing with a female crab. This is the result of my meticulous meat extraction:

This is the plan for seafood quinoa-isotto:

take 200 g squid & 100g shrimp out of the freezer
sautee 1 onion (chopped) & 2 cloves of garlic (minced) in olive oil over low heat.
Add 1 cup rinsed quinoa & stir around.
Add safron-infused chicken broth (I had some in the fridge) bit by bit, allowing liquid to soak. Maybe about 2 cups.
Throw in cut up squid & allow everything to cook for 30 minutes.
At the last minute add shrimp, & both crab meat & crab red stuff (I think it was roe, but I'm really not sure - I was just squeamish).

The result was decent, my girlfriend came over & said it beat the pants off the salad she was about to make herself.

I still have a bunch of meat (& cheese & wine) from the shopping trip - I'll try to post about that as I slowly extract things from the freezer.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Black Bean Soup

I just got back from Amsterdam (more on that later), today is a holiday, and I think I need to clean my fridge. Sometime last week, before I left, I had the clever idea of soaking black beans. I think I wanted to cook them that night, or maybe even the next day. In spite of the fact that I have been trained to listen & speak in different languages simultaneously, I am not capable of cooking 1 dish & remembering what I want to do with black beans at the same time. I had a black-bean-out. Thankfully, they were packed in water & what appears to be the hermetic seal of a tupperware container and were still good when I got back. I promised to make lunch this afternoon, and this is what I made.

Coconut Black Bean Soup
olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 cup soaked black beans
600ml chicken stock
200 ml coconut milk
mint or coriander to garnish

Sautee garlic & spices in pot. Add soaked beans. Add liquid. Bring to boil, allow to simmer for 45 minutes. Blend. Put in bowl, garnish with coriander or mint, and any extra coconut milk, if you have it.

I used mint as a garnish. Later on in the day, I discovered that I had coriander in the fridge, that is remakably still good. If I had only known...

I will post on Amsterdam later, but frankly, I was a little disappointed. I love The Netherlands but I did not love Amsterdam. I will also get around to sharing more about ham & eggs.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hamstering the Goat

Since I've moved to Germany, I have been made aware of the traits of animals. Raccoons, known to me as "nocturnal garbage eaters", are here viewed as hygienic because they wash their food. They are even literally called "wash bears" (I know - they aren't bears). Hamsters go out, find food and store it for later. The word "hamster" is even a verb in German, referring to the act of hoarding. Stores in North America normally buy a surplus of stock & sell the excess at reduced prices (think Boxing Day, or post-Christmas shopping specials). Stores here do not buy excess inventory - when they're sold out of Christmas decorations by Dec 6th, all the better for them, not extra stock to get rid of. Being the product of classical conditioning that I am, I have learned to buy things when I see them - I have learned to hamster.

I went to the goat farm a few weeks ago & scored huge with the goat ribs. Because baby goat is seasonal, I went back & got more. When it was time to actually cook my goat, I tried to call my mom to ask her how to make a curry. Somehow, whenever I actually need to talk to my mom, I get the machine. At least she's normally home when I just want to talk.

In spite of having watched my mom cook for decades, I haven't really learned all that much from her. I know how to wash meat in lemon, I know that spices should be toasted - I even learned how to grind cumin. I know, in theory, how to cook a curry. I just have no idea how to do it in practice. I do know that thyme is a mysterious part of Carribean cooking, just as cinnamon is a mysterious part of Greek cooking (did I just let the cat out of the bag?). With that knowledge & with a bit of backup spices from Thailand, I set to work.

Kid Goat Curry for the Pseudo- Carribean Kid
600 g kid goat
lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp ghee (clarifed butter)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp corriander
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp Thai curry paste
1/4 red wine
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

Wash goat in lemon water, rub with garlic, salt & pepper. Place in a Zip-loc bag & allow to marinate in the fridge for 2 - 8 hours.

In a large pot, melt ghee, & toast spices, add paste & stir. Add meat, wine, bay & thyme, allow to simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes.

I wanted to call my mom to ask her how to make Roti, but I've seen her do it - it involves a lot of rolling. The time she tried to teach me, I got bored & left. Of course, now I regret having let that lesson of my personal cultural heritage slip away. At the time, I was more concerned about how much my arms hurt. Next time I'm home, I guess. And I'll let my mom make her curry (chicken or shrimp - not beef!) and I'll try to take notes. But I know she cheats too. I saw a jar of Thai chili paste in the fridge last time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Deconstructed Chicken - Thighs

The last time I wrote about chicken, I'd bought some to cure my hypochondria and there were leftovers. I'm glad to report that, through the wonders on medical science (read: a good nap), I now feel fine. There was still chicken leftover in the freezer last night and I thought I'd try to get rid of some. I've been buying a lot of food recently, without any sort of plan. It's time to clear out the stuff I can still use. Those cucumbers, on the other hand - time to send them to cucumber heaven.

My plan was simple: throw frozen thighs in oven, turn oven on, walk away. I think this kind of thing works better with a Crock-Pot. Well, 2 hours later, it still seemed OK. There was a little bit of liquid I needed to reduce, so I am skeptical about any sort of time-saving my plan provided but, at least I was able to do other stuff in the meantime. I could have just as easily done that other stuff while I was defrosting things, but this is something we don't like to speak about.

Miso Frozen Chicken
2 Chicken Thighs, straight from the freezer
2 Tbsp red miso
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 c water

Mix miso paste with garlic & ginger.
Place chicken thighs in a 180° oven, add water. After ca. 1 hour, add miso mix. After a further hour, take chicken out of oven. Reduce sauce on stove. Serve with sauce.

I served everything with some steamed asparagus with soy sauce, and some mashed sweet potatoes, flavoured with sesame oil & scallions. I think that was one of the last "oven dishes" for a while. I'm going to start 1) defrosting things in a timely manner & 2) start using the grill now that the weather is better.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend Fritatta

I love the smell of fritattas in the morning. Smells like... the weekend! My weekends usually start with sleeping in, eggs, and a trip to the weekly farmers market. My fallback weekend breakfast is the fritatta. I've never been able to fold an omlette and they always turn out as "scrambled eggs with stuff in them". The fritatta is much easier - no folding, normally finished off in the oven but for lazy souls like myself, can even be flipped with a plate, and finished on the stove.

I came across the fritatta about 18 months ago, which you can read about here. Since then, I have read 2 very convincing pieces on the benefits of eggs, one from a dermatologist & general expert for beauty magazines, Dr. Graf; the other from what I deemed a more convincing source, the Health section of the NY Times. The 2 sources both had recipes for healthy fritattas, which led me to the dish I look forward to all week, my weekend fritatta - the collection of everything I can find in my fridge.

Weekend Fritatta
1 small potato
1 tsp miced garlic
3 Tbsp prepared kale
3 Tbsp prepared spinach (can be substiuted by fresh baby leaves, if in season)
5 free range or organic eggs
4 seeded, chopped cherry tomatoes
3 sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp capers, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp black olives, roughly chopped.
pecorino cheese
grilled red peppers for garnish

Wash potoato, do not peel it. Chop potato into pieces, place in pan with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, drain. Potatoes should still be hard.
Sautee garlic, as well as prepared kale and spinach. If using fresh spinach, do not sautee - reserve for later.
Mix sauteed ingredients with eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, capers. Pour into frying pan & cook, covered on low heat. If using fresh spinach, add spinach too the top of the egg mixture. After 10-15 minutes, small bubbles should form & the surface should look more solid. Slide fritatta onto plate, flip & continue to cook for a few more minutes, or until fritatta slides around the pan easily.
Grate pecorin cheese on top, garnish with roasted red peppers.

This is my fallback, but I make it on Saturday mornings before I get to the market, using whatever I have around. I often use frozen greens, sometimes I throw in some peas, sometimes some sauteed onions - it's breakfast, not rocket science. And it keeps me going for hours.

I'll be BlOgging this Omelet (see BlOg yOur Omelet). The prize is Iberian Ham, and even though I already have some, you can never have too much ham.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Let Me Tell You About My Ham

It all started on the beach of Castelldefels, outside of Barcelona. I was in one of the restaurant/containers on the promenade & I wanted lunch. When in Spain, one does not eat sandwiches. One eats bocadillos - crispy baguette-like rolls with 1 - 2 fillings (ham or cheese). I saw the bocadillos with Serrano ham, as well as Jamon Iberico. I went for the Jamon Iberico, even though I didn't know what it was; "Iberian Ham" - when in Iberia... It was a 9€ sandwich, and completely worth it. Ever since then, I have scoffed at Jamon Serrano, even though it is much easier to find. Jamon Iberico, the more elusive ham, is a different variety of pig, it is feed a different diet, and is aged longer. In the last 6 months, I have bought 2 hams (one shoulder, one rear leg) and my life seems to revolve around it - making sure it doesn't melt in the morning sun, worrying about it while I'm on vacation - I'm into my ham.

Last night, I needed to cook the monster asparagus I bought from the farm. They were giant stalks, at least 1 1/2 " in diameter. I wasn't all that into making a soup or crepes or anything phenomenally out of the world. I just wanted to use the asparagus as long as it was still good. I opted for a variation of a German classic: boiled asparagus, boiled potatoes and cooked ham, all with Hollandaise sauce. Instead of a hollandaise, I used the wild leek pistou I have kicking around, and tossed the potatoes in that. And instead of cooked ham, I used my Jamon Iberico, which has been drying on my kitchen table for the last 3 weeks.

A little bit of lemon juice for the potatoes and the asparagus - Mucho yummy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Snail-Speed Ahead!

Last year, on a rainy evening, I was walking down a country road. My companion, a city-boy with a softspot for animals, saw something on the side of the road, in the grass. It didn't look like a worm. "What is that?"
"Oh my God, it's a tasty!"
"A tasty?"
"An escargot. A Weinbergschnecke. A snail. Put them in garlicy butter & Mmmm!"

Later on that same walk, we found an abundance of escargots. If we'd had a bag (or a clue) we would have picked up all the snails we saw & eaten them. Later, at home, of course.

We sat down and thought about farming our own snails. There are not too many relevant online resources available, unless you are in Nigeria & want to do it for financial reasons. I am in Germany and I want to do it for gastronomic reasons. Or because I like to have my own little experiments, I'm not sure which.

Until the day that I can harvest my own snails (or at least feel confident enough in my knowledge to cook the snails I find in the springtime on my own) I will make do with the frozen ones I find in the freezer section of the supermarket. They're kind of cute - they come in a little wooden basket & are in the shells.

The only thing that I have of my own which is worth sharing is the pseudo-snail-pan I create out of tin foil to prevent the snails from rolling around while in the oven. I just wrap foil around the shells in a labyrinthine manner to lend them a bit of stability. The garlic butter stays put, and it's all a little treat with a crusty bread, a salad and a bottle of white wine. The sort of special-casual meal that invites you to sit a while, snack & exchange agriculture ideas.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Codes, Rules, Instructions

I finally got around to reading The Code, a set of ethical rules/regulations/recommendations for food bloggers. While I think this is a good idea, it amazes me that there is a necessity for such a code.

The princinples of the code are as follows:
  1. Be accountable
  2. Be nice
  3. Be honest

Aren't there certain things that are just understood? While I am new to blogging, I am not new to writing, and I believe that most bloggers, foodies or otherwise, have been taught to do all of these things. It may have been a lesson in Kindergarten including sharing or something. Maybe it's another one of my overestimations of humanity that will cause me to be crushed and disappointed when I see that this is not the case.

I decided that tonight, I will actually follow a "code". Recipes are models, which you have to be able to read, that is, you have to be able to decipher the code.
While I can come to terms with rules of writing, I still have issues with following instructions. Nonetheless, I tried my best to follow this recipe for Stir-Fried Snow Peas With Soba.

Here is photographic evidence of the fact that I can't follow directions. The gustatory evidence can only be described as: I put in more hot red pepper oil to my taste than suits most other people's taste. I still thought the peanut sauce was awesome, and I have been asked to do it again, just "tone it down a little".

This kind of writing code I can deal with very easily. What I have difficulties dealing with is the code of recipes. OK - it's more like my inability to follow directions. But the code? Being a responsible writer? This is easy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chicken - Dissected

This has nothing to do with the H1N1 virus, I assure you. I'm fairly confident it has nothing to do with my hypochondria either. I either have a leftover of my allergies, or I'm getting a cold. Just to be safe, I am taking my vitamins and eating chicken noodle soup.

The chicken was a completely unnecessary purchase, I admit. I already went back out to the goat farm to get another kilo of baby goat (don't ask me when I plan on eating it - the main thing is that the baby goats will grow up soon so they must stock my freezer now), as well as shrimp, lamb and escargot, ready whenever I am. I do not need chicken. I do not have room for chicken. But I want chicken, and this is the important thing.

At the local supermarket, I planned on buying about 1 pound of meat, making a soup out of half of it and putting the other half in the freezer. The problem with my plan is, if you wait until 15 minutes before the supermarket closes, they often do not have the fresh items you want. The veggie selection looked picked over and the fruit all looked sad. The only chicken I could find was either premarinated & ready to grill (don't ask me what they marinate it in, I don't want to think about it), and whole chickens.

Full of hypochondria, I selected the whole chicken and make my way back home. I imagined that one could cut the bird into breasts, legs, wings & rest. Somehow, thanks to my amazing Zwilling knives and in spite of my skills, I managed to separate the bird into exactly these parts.

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
For the soup, I used the wings & "rest" (back) of chicken.
I heated these parts in a large pot until the fat melted.
I added garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chillies and galagant (all minced), sautéing the spices.
I added about 2 litres of water, 2 lime leaves, put the lid on & walked away for an hour or so.
I took the chicken out of the broth, let it cool for a bit, pulled off them meat, added it back to the soup, discarding the bones.
While cooking 100g of mie noodles, I then added about 1 cup of coconut milk and a bit of fish sauce to the soup.
I then added the noodles, the juice of 1/2 lemon & served with cilantro & bean sprouts.

It's been a while since I've been stuffed on soup. I love light Asian broths that have you slurping and splashing and constantly refilling your bowl. I feel a lot better, less coughing, no stuffy sinuses. The only thing is, I have to figure out what to do with the rest of the chicken.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kid Goat, Taken from Mom

Through a series of unfortuntate events, I tried to escape work early after work before a long weekend, and instead found myself at the local goat farm. All I can say is that Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) was not working well yesterday.

Normally, I visit the goat farm's stand at my local farmer's market, but while I was out in the middle of nowhere, why not pop by the farm itself? As coincidence would have it, I was at the farm exactly 1 year ago for a wine & cheese tasting, where I got a tour of the farm. As a life-long city girl, I never really thought about where my cheese comes from. I know that goat cheese comes from goat milk and that mammals produce milk after children are born. Well, in order to ensure that the milk ends up as my cheese, and not as the food for some young kid, the "excess" kids are slaughtered, usually the males, as the females will produce more milk in later years. It all makes so much sense, and had I ever bothered to think about it, I would have figured if out on my own, I'm sure. Really.

Springtime is the time to get the young male kids. I did not grow up in a household with goat, but I have fond childhood memories involving my mother's excitement upon finding goat dishes in the most unusal places. Against my jeuvenile judgement, I tried the goat, and although I never insisted that my mom make it at home, I wasn't turned off by it. My mom is a picky eater, and if it's good enough for her, then it must be good.

The first thing I did after I bought my 600g rack of goat was call my mom. When I was at the farm, I told Stefanie (the lady of the farm) that my mom would be jealous. My mom wasn't exactly jealous, but she had more ideas then I knew what to do with. Ideally, I'll be buying meat exclusivly from the goat farm for the rest of the season. I never really listened to my mom in the first place, but she did give me some good ideas. And I think the next time she'll visit will be in springtime for goat season. If she cooks, I'll certainly welcome her visit.

Roasted Kid Goat
600g piece of kid goat back (loin with ribs - bone in)
1 lemon
1 Tbsp chopped thyme
1 tsp chopped rosemary
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 c french apple cidre (or substitute water + 1 Tbsp honey)
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme

Grate zest off of lemon & set aside. Clean meat, if necessary. Squeeze lemon & wash meat in juice. Salt & pepper meat. Place meat, along with thyme, rosemary, lemon zest, garlic and2 bay leaves in ziploc bag and allow to marinate overnight, or at least 4 hours.

Put goat in pan, add a splash of cidre, along with 2 bay leaves and 4 spigs of fresh thyme. Roast goat at 220° for 10 minutes, then turn the heat to 180°. Add more cidre. After ca. 45 minutes, turn heat down to 150°, and continue to roast. Baste continually (or whenever you remember). Keep the thing in the oven for a total of 2 hours.

I was thrilled with the tenderness of the meat, as well as the slightly sweet sauce I got out of it. To accompany my springtime treat, I made some simple quinoa, tossed in the wild leek pistou my friend gave me. Right now, I'm so content that I've forgotten about yesterday's traffic troubles. I might even pop by the farm again on the way home from work. And, yes, I'll call my mom to tell her how to cook goat.
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