Sunday, November 14, 2010

WHAT a Nice Weekend!

It was beautifully Novermbery this weekend--very grey and dull gold. The sky was all mottled and sulky, and all over town leaves are turning. A good color scheme for the sort of chic, minimalist, neo-60s interior design I would never have. It would make a very elegant sofa.

Yesterday, Matt shoveled all the remaining crushed granite around the flagstones on the terrace. He does a much better job than I do: somehow, his section is much firmer and stabler than mine. (Matt is generally better than I am at manipulating and arranging physical objects--he just knows how to make them go.) In this case, I think he used water to help pack the granite in and fill in any voids.

Meanwhile, I installed the remaining landscape lights--we replaced the uplights on the Montezuma cypress and 'Purple Robe' black locust with lower wattage lights (the existing lights were a little too... much) and added a few more pathlights.

What this means is: the terrace is done! Huzzah! The entire pond project still has several more phases, but the terrace part: finis.

Our friends Kate & Keith joined us for dinner to celebrate the inauguration of the terrace. Matt's grandfather had given us a whole bunch of frozen venison, including three "doe hams." So we had grilled venison ham with asparagus and mushroom Israeli couscous and spinach-cranberry salad. Keith handled the grilling of the venison while I finished the couscous, which turned out to be a good thing. Venison ham is a weird cut. I think it's actually any of several cuts of meat from the deer's haunches, since the first doe ham, which we marinated and roasted in the oven last week, was a solid chunk, while the one we served the Ks was a sort of long thin chain of meat, shaped kind of like a sirloin flap for fajitas, only lumpier. I knew I was going to have trouble using a meat thermometer with such a thin, irregular piece of meat, and I was afraid of overcooking it. Keith managed it nevertheless, and it turned out very tender and flavorful.

Then we sat around the fire, listened to the fountain, and chatted about this and that.

And then this morning Matt & I biked over to Dos Amigos for some delicioso pork carnitas tacos.

The weather was beautiful all day, so while Matt worked on his greenhouse, I tidied the climbing roses a bit and painted some stones as markers for some of the crinums and tender perennials.

All in all, a very good weekend.

Grilled Venison Ham Recipe
Marinate the venison for 8 hours in ~1/2 c olive oil, ~1/2 c wine (I had white on hand, but red might make more sense), 5-6 sprigs rosemary, 1-1/2 tsp salt, and 1-1/2 tsp ground black pepper.

Using a very sharp knife, lard the ham with chunks or pieces of bacon. (We used bacon chunks that we bought last spring at Dzuik's in Castroville.) Larding involves cutting small (~3/4") deep incisions in the thick part of the meat and then stuffing a piece of bacon into each.

Heat the grill to medium-high. Grill until a thermometer inserted in the thick part of the meat reads 150F (medium).

Let the meat rest for 10 minutes, and then slice thinly.


Anonymous said...

Ah, deer ham/meat. Actually I think that's why we always called it deer meat growing up. Butchering, cutting and packaging all done in dad's chop shop. One never really knew what to call any cut of meat except, well, meat! Everything left over too small to package went into deer burger. It's dad's yearly ritual, send last year's or the year before frozen deer meat to Texas. I feel he secretly thinks the deer in Texas are too small to actually have meat to eat on their poor bones. And it is deer season again in Missouri. So we'll go throught the ritual again next year!

On the other hand, who cares what kind of meat it was with that absolutely wonderful terrace and pond to sit around and enjoy while cooking and eating. Great job! I'm starting to think I want one (terrace and pond, not deer meat)


Katie said...

I took a picture of the fire! I don't think there's any way I can post it directly here, so I'll just link to it:
Thanks for a fun evening!

Related Posts with Thumbnails