A Farmer’s Best Friend is her…Crockpot

Sorry, Vega.

This time of year, I forget to eat.  It’s a pretty good post-winter weight loss strategy, I guess, but I’m often so excited to get out to the farm and dig in that I don’t always plan ahead for something I can “dig into” when I get home.

Two nights ago, when H and I had a long farm day, I picked up a couple of sandwiches from Mr. Smith’s on the way home.  Last night, my dinner was about half a loaf of this freakin’ awesome garlicky roasted potato-studded sourdough loaf from Red Wagon Breads.

I’d ordered it the day before, and when I got in last night, it was sitting there all fresh and tempting on the table, and I couldn’t stop myself from tasting it.  Then I couldn’t stop myself from eating three more thick slices with a glass of wine.

Today, though, I had a plan.  I set some chickpeas to soak last night, and this morning I simmered them until tender, then rinsed and rubbed off their skins.  Then I heated some coconut oil in my Dutch oven, readied a little curry-spiked flour, and started cutting up chunks of Dakota Harvest lamb shoulder to dredge and brown.

I’m guessing you might know where I’m going with this.

The dog can’t really complain about the crockpot taking her place in my affections because I’m often making lamb curry in it, and when I do, she always gets a few raw lamb trimmings.

I’m not sure if you’re supposed to feed raw lamb to a Border Collie (they’re supposed to protect the sheep–not eat them), but I doubt Vega will ever have a serious job involving sheep herding and besides, she’s only part Border Collie.

And she does really love lamb.  One summer, we roasted a lamb out on an island on the river.  When that lamb came out and was unwrapped, we were all ohhing and ahhing over the amazing flavor and aroma while Vega (we later discovered) was lying beneath the table in the sand, lapping up lamb fat while it poured all over the back of her neck.

That shoulder kabob cut is awesome because after a few hours in the crockpot on low, it becomes indescribably tender and delicious.  I throw in some onion and home-canned tomato sauce as well as the chickpeas, plus a few more spices and garlic as well.

It would also be great with cauliflower, I think, but I also think it’d have to be added later so it didn’t turn to mush.

At any rate, I was glad to have that curry all ready in the crockpot after this long and productive day on the farm.  H got some more brush burned and a few more trees pulled, and I got in two kinds of lettuce, bok choy and broccoli raab, and two kinds of turnips, as well as doing more clean-up and prep work.

But as glad as I was to have dinner all ready, really, the crockpot hasn’t taken Vega’s place in my affections.  Though with all the tasty dishes I make in it, it may take my place in hers!


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