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While we didn’t quite welcome it in with a bang, our low-key family celebration was just what we needed. With 4 kids, including one newborn, “going out” on any night is a ton of work. When you add in a holiday and let’s just say that’s not happening in my world. Luckily, we decided that New Year’s Eve was a “stay in” holiday several years ago. Generally we have a fancy supper (prime rib anyone?), and invite friends and family over. This year due to various health issues and the new baby, it was just us. We really didn’t mind.
As usual, I made way too much food. (Wait, is there such a thing as “too much food”–with growing boys in the house I don’t think so!) We had cheese/crackers, fruit, nuts, pizza dip, antipasto kabobs, chips, pretzels. Then for dinner we had glazed ham and cheesy potatoes. And dessert–chocolate strawberry cream cheese strudel. Yum!
The kids really enjoyed playing with some new games including my personal favorite–The Hobbit Scrabble. That’s right–it’s Scrabble with a twist! It was so much fun watching them try to make Hobbit words to get extra points. The New Year managed to sneak right up when we weren’t looking and before we knew it midnight had passed. I have to say a nice quiet ending to the prior year and a quiet beginning to this year suits me just fine!
I try to do something special for New Year’s Eve. Some years we have take out, some years I’ll make a special candy, cookie, or pastry. This year I wanted to make a special meal. Something to linger over and fill the house with delicious scents as we wave goodbye to the past and usher in the coming year.
In preparation, I took a good look in my pantry and freezer. While I wanted to make a nice meal, I didn’t want to break the bank to do so. Deep in the bottom of the freezer we found a leg of lamb that I had gotten on clearance during my last meat shopping binge a couple months ago. An idea was born–wouldn’t it be great to learn to cook something new using a new food item to celebrate the new year?
I have never in my life cooked lamb. I don’t even eat meat all that often. To say I was intimidated would be an understatement. Still, lamb is one of Da Man’s favorite foods and a celebration is the perfect time to serve up a favorite food.
Luckily for me, the blogosphere is full of many talented cooks who are willing to share their recipes and tips with the world. Off on a search I went. After sifting through and discarding a variety of recipes for lamb, I found Farmgirl Fare. Specifically I found this recipe for slow roasted lamb.
I chose her recipe over others because it uses items I keep on hand and it created a one-pot meal. Since Da Man does the clean-up, I wanted to keep the mess to a minimum. I did make some changes to reflect our personal tastes. I made several small slits in the lamb and slid in pieces of sliced garlic. Rosemary was used in addition to the oregano in both the lamb and potatoes. While I did use her idea for adding the chopped lemons to the potatoes, I forgot to drizzle the potatoes with olive oil. Still, this was one of the best celebratory meals I have ever cooked.
The meat was increadibly tender and flavorful (as judged by the soulful moan escaping from Da Man when he took a test taste) and the lemons added some extra zing to the roasted potatoes. I served this with my homemade crockpot applesauce, some fresh tzatziki sauce, simple steamed veggies, and some fresh bread from a grocery.
Later this evening we’ll toast in the New Year with some Blueberry Wine from Leelanau Wine Cellars. Add in a midnight snack of cheese, olives, and bread and we have a perfect celebration!