Lavender HIll Farm of Niles, MI

  (Niles, Michigan)
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Family Thanksgiving at the Farm

This Thanksgiving my husband and I are celebrating the 10th anniversary of living on the farm.  Ten years ago we bought the 1850 farmhouse from my parents who had lived here since 1952.  They were ready to downsize and built a smaller house next door on the farm.  We are so thankful to be able to celebrate this anniversary with them still living next door. My dad is 89 now and my mother 87 and we treasure the time we are able to spend with them.  Dad's health has been failing this year, but he still enjoys good food and so we look forward to seeing him relish the special meals we prepare at this season.  Though my seven brothers and sisters are scattered around the country, many will make it "home" this week. Lots of special meals will be shared as we enjoy Thanksgiving week rather than Thanksgiving day as most people know this holiday. 

Roast Leg of Lamb Preparation

One favorite food of our family is leg of lamb. Though the accompaniments can vary, we usually prepare the leg the same way.  Cut slits in the leg and insert slices of fresh garlic. Drizzle olive oil on the leg and rub the outside of the leg with Herbes de Provence, a herb blend that contains lavender, and salt and pepper to taste.  Place the leg in a roasting pan and surround it with an assortment of vegetables like onions, carrots, celery, even diced sweet potatoes.  We often pour about 2 cups of some inexpensive red wine in the roaster as well.  Heat the oven to 450 degrees F and place the roaster on a rack about a third of the way from the bottom of the oven.  After about 15-20  minutes turn the oven temperature down to 375 F.  Roasting time will vary depending on the size of the leg, but doneness is best tested by internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer.  We like our lamb medium rare, slightly pink. For that stage of doneness remove the lamb at an internal temperature of 130 F.  Let it rest on the counter covered with foil for 15 minutes before carving it into thin slices. Be sure to heat your serving platter while the roast is resting so your lamb will stay warm longer. Take some of the vegetables out of the roaster and serve as a side dish. The other vegetables can be pureed with the juices and extra broth (chicken or beef) if necessary for a sauce. 

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