Well, Louise is starting Cookbook Wednesday back up, and I want to join her in the fun. Hopefully, it will help me get back on track after the disruption (still ongoing, albeit to a much lesser degree now) of our house fire. And so, for this, the first Cookbook Wednesday of 2016, I bring you....
The Red Plaid Cookbook!
AKA The Better Homes New Cookbook
My grandmother had one of these; probably many of your mothers and grandmothers did, too. Mine is a 1990 edition, and I bought one for my oldest daughter about 5 years back when she wanted a good, general cookbook. (My grandmother's is long gone, despite my telling my mother I wanted it.)
Do you write in your cookbooks? I do; sometimes I use pencil, and, when it's a necessary and important notation, I use pen. Case in point: Lamb.
This was the recipe I consulted for my Easter lamb. But look carefully! They give a generalized time frame - cook for 2-1/2 to 4 hours for a 5 to 7 pound leg of lamb? That's a big enough window to drive a truck through. So I went to another reference book looked up the time per pound, and wrote in in - in ballpoint pen.
Now, for the Easter lamb, which I know you want to see:
1 Leg of Lamb (mine was 8 pounds)
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried minced onions
2 tsp salt
Combine all of the spices in a mortar, and grind them together with a pestle. Remove the outer layer of fat from the lamb, and rinse with cold water. Rub the spices all over the lamb, and roast in a 325F oven for 15 to 18 minutes per pound for medium-rare lamb. (Reduce to 12 to 15 minutes per pound if you're using a convection oven.)
To make gravy, remove the fat from the pan drippings, add water and 1 tsp beef base to make 1-1/2 cups of liquid Heat to a boil; whisk together 1/2 cup cold water and 2 tbsp cornstarch; whisk this into the stock and cook until it thickens. Add a tablespoon or 2 of mint jelly, and stir until it melts in. Serve the lamb with mint jelly in a dish at the side of the meat. This is one meal which everyone in the family eagerly anticipates for weeks before Easter.
There was nothing left despite the fact that there were only 7 of us. The lamb smelled splendid while cooking, and required no attention. But if I'd followed the guidelines, and presumed that the 4 hour cook time was meant for the large end of the leg of lamb range, I'd have had a dried out mess.
Still, this is a good, general purpose reference cookbook, and I hope that one of my girls will some day appreciate my "corrections."
Happy Cookbook Wednesday, everyone; I'm linking up with Louise today!