Thursday Plate Off: Jean

by burrowyestation

Jean started it. I’ve been following her exploits for a while, but she waited until I was in maternity ward to post that steak I just re-blogged.  We love steak-on-a-plate cooking here, but the freezer is a bit hollow at the moment and it’s been a while since experiences like the one Jean just described. I could almost taste the thing.  I am reeling with baby hormones and could quite easily grab the family and jump on a plan to anywhere – Patagonia, Manchester, Fujinomiya City, New York….and Jean’s house for dinner.    Thus emboldened I challenged Jean to a plate off.


But what seems perfectly do-able at 4.00am on hospital check out day can look pretty shaky when you find your husband driving the 100km home at 60kph in his mothers specially requisitioned mercedes 4wd because you are looking “like you need to take things easy”.


Of course, the lamb I was boasting about was in hard lumps in the freezer.  Thank you to our Danny who rescued the body from it’s wire cage at the back of the wood shed, to neighbour Gordon who stored it in his cool room and to Danny again who chopped it up for us.  We love having an ex-slaughterman about the place. The venison was also….I shut the freezer, grabbed the baby and headed for the river. Milk is coming in, feet and legs elephantine, head full of good advice, some kind of toxicity from two days under fluro lights in air con on lino. The river is a pretty private place on a weekday, so I could happily strip down and wade through the autumn leaves, the warm sand and the icy shallows.  We will always remember this season – for our baby’s birth and for the “double spring”. It’s a mind blowing year for grass and so exciting to see the property looking so fine.  But a lot of the plants are confused, dropping leaves and blossoming at the same time.  There is a special Japanese words for this, which reminds me that I must have experienced double spring before. Were there heavy snows that year? Two tapping rocks came to me out of the water and  I followed James advice to stop singing in english, trying to solve the world with word analysis, and to start singing the songs that the country composes.

All this does not necessarily lead to our plate off, but this is what we ate last night:



Slow Shanks with homegrown parsnip and carrots (and those parsnips really did their magic), milky mild garlic potatoes (enough to heal with but not enough to taint the milk), some basil and lettuce from the *bouquet* james bought me to green up the labour ward food. (The hospital food by the way was very good – more about that later).  Lettuce and lamb shanks is not an obvious choice, but we were all too shagged to cook up greens. So how did I get from primal river chanting to this, with office work and a nap to boot?

Should I confess?

Would you enjoy this plate Jean Curtis of France?