Friday, June 15, 2012

Rosemary Scented Lamb Chops and Spring Pea Flans with Fresh Mushroom Medley...for a Father's Day Tribute

Fresh Tomatoes from the Farmer's Market
I do often wonder if my husband knew what he was getting into that fateful day when he asked me to go for our first date on a ride in his 1972 "war bonnet" yellow corvette convertible.

I do wonder what he thought of my rapid-fire decision to take our budding relationship long distance and move all the way from Missouri to ...The Big Apple.

He probably noticed that I "marched to different drum" by the dress of our wedding party.  I was adorned in a dress of  " faint rose blush" pink 

and my bridesmaids were fitted in classic ... "pure white".

(Hey!  It was in a Martha Stewart magazine that particular year!)

Rosemary Scented Lamb Chops with Garlic and Olive Oil

He might have had an inkling of my "wayward ways" when as a birthday surprise one year, I surprised him with a "surprise trip".

We flew from Michigan to San Francisco.  He thought that was "the it".

Then...we flew from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia.

He thought that was "the real it".

Then...we flew from Sydney to the teeny tiny island of Tasmania.

Yep...he was now mightily impressed (shocked, really).

But then (hark!), we drove 4 hours in a rickety car where the driver's seat was wrenched halfway to the side, to a lodge in the middle of Cradle Mountains. (Meaning...the middle of 'nowhere')

...and then backpacked for 5 days.  Yes ma'am.

...and (double hark!) then got caught in a "freak" snowstorm that hit the teeny the summer.

And...the climatic ending!  I got a leech on my foot and screamed like a ninny until he lit a match and burned it off.

Fast forward a few years...

He certainly knew,at this point, that he married a "where is the road less traveled" kind of gal, when he came home and asked if I would like to move to Japan.

Lickety-split...I had our house rented out, supplies packed for a year, school materials lined up, and visa paperwork flying around in a flurry. 

"Move to Japan. No problem.  Let's go.  We went."

Poor guy.  Because then when we landed back in the states and we seemed to be "on the straight and narrow"... there was the ultimate curve-ball decision to declare that we,

..."are going to homeschool our children...honey!"  


CreamyGreen Pea Flans with Sauteed Mushroom Medley

That has been the biggest adventure of all for our seemingly ordinary straight-laced family.

And through it all...there was my calm and bemused husband, P. 

He was "Mr. Mom" for a few years after work while I ran a ballet school in the evenings.  The kids would streak with excitement to him when he walked in the door while waving "good riddance" to me as I walked out the door.

Dinner. Bath.  Bedtime...He had to do it all.

These days as we approach the final stage of our "homeschooling adventure", he finds himself the primary math and science tutor for our kids.

Every day he arrives home from his jungle-like commute through the wilds of Houston's highways.  He then patiently sits down with one child and then the other...

Calculus, then physics...then Algebra...then SAT prep work...

I've never once heard him complain.  Never.

He may walk in the door and I could be face down on the floor lamenting my crazy notion that I can actually homeschool my own children...kicking my feet in the air (well...sometimes...well, sounds dramatic) and wreathing with utter despair and fear of absolute failure.

But...he gives me a shoulder massage and a sweet kiss on the cheek and says, "I think you can do just about anything."

So this meal is a tribute to my surprised-turned-intrepid adventurer, road-less-travelled follower, let's homeschool our own kids turned "homeschool dad"


He's one hell of a guy.  He's one hell of a dad.  He's a one of a kind person...

and I was the luckiest girl in the world when I said,

"Yes, I'll go for a ride in your 1972 'war bonnet' yellow convertible corvette".

Happy Father's Day to the man who has showed me what fatherhood looks like from the infancy of our children to  the blooming of their young adulthood.

Rosemary Scented Lamb Chops
(from Cook and the Butcher Cookbook by Williams Sonoma)

6 single-rib lamb chops, about 2 1/2 oz (75g) each
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary 
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Pat the chops dry and rub all sides with the oil.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Rub a pinch of rosemary on both sides of each chop.  Season both sides of the meaty eye of the chops lightly with salt.

Heat a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat until it is very hot, about 3 minutes.  Add the chops without crowding them in the pan. (I placed sprigs of rosemary under each chop)

Sear without moving them until golden, for 2 minutes.  Season with salt, turn, and sear for 2 minutes more.  They should be golden on both sides.  Transfer the chops to a rack set over a plate and let rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes and then serve.  Enjoy!

Fresh Pea Flan with Wild Mushroom Medley
(Martha Stewart May 2012 edition, p. 63)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups shelled fresh garden peas 
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Mushroom medley:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
10 ounces wild mushrooms, halved and quartered
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest 
Plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 6)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
fine strips of lemon zest, for serving as garnish

Flan:  Preheat oven to 325˚F.  Generously butter 4 6-ounce ramekins, and place in a roasting pan.

Combine cream and milk in a bowl.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon salt and the peas.  Reduce heat, and vigorously simmer until peas are very tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain, and immediately transfer to a food processor.  Add butter, 1 tablespoon cream mixture and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Pureé until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour purée through a coarse sieve.  Measure out 1/2 cup strained purée into a bowl, and whisk in eggs, then remaining cream mixture.  Strain through a fine sieve.  Divide among ramekins.

Bring a kettle of water to a boil.  Place pan in oven, and add enough boiling water to pan to reach halfway up sides of ramekins.  Bake until custards are almost completely set (centers should still wobble just a bit), 25 -30 minutes. 

Using tongs, transfer ramekins to a wire rack, and let cool 30 minutes.  Serve warm, room temperature or cool.  Dip bottoms in hot water, if cooled, to loosen before unmolding.

Mushroom Medley:

Melt butter in a large skillet over high heat until foamy.  Add mushrooms and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper.  Sauté until mushrooms are golden brown and tender, stirring once or twice, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in scallions, and sauté 1 minute more.  Add cream, and cook 1 minute.  Stir in parsley and lemon juice.  

Serve flans with sautéed mushrooms.  Garnish with lemon zest strips.


  1. beautiful pictures and amazing layout. thanks for great post! ^^

  2. He does, indeed, sound like one hell of a guy. But it sounds like he was pretty lucky to find you as well. Love the idea of a pink wedding dress and a surprise trip to Tasmania (minus the leech)- you two must never have a dull moment. I hope you both enjoy this delicious sounding meal!

  3. I love this story...I'm a sucker though for roads less traveled mixed with a good love story! You two sound like a beautiful pair. I would suppose though that he could put up with a few crazy ideas when you feed him like this! :) Gorgeous photos!

  4. OMG what a post. Couldn't be two people more suited to one another and what lucky, lucky children you have.

    I'm just about to leave for a party and this story has left me in the best frame of mind!

    Love the dinner and the photos. made my day this post has!

  5. That looks succulent and darn tasty! excuse me for the honesty!

  6. That tasmanian car? I think I have it now. Gorgeous post,as usual. Happy Fathers Day Mr Thyme!
    Trish xx

  7. What a beautiful post. I went for a ride in my husband's yellow convertible on our second date ;) Very funny. Sounds like your husband is an amazing guy. Mine is also learning what it's like to be with someone a little unconventional, but that's not a bad thing. It's wonderful to grow together with someone through all the ups and downs.

  8. I am delighed with everything - photos,food,climate...

  9. What a wonderful story and that meal looks amazing, I'm sure he will show his gratitude appropriately LOL.

  10. You are a brave girl to homeschool your kids. My 12 year old comes home with homework and I have no clue what she is doing. I totally forgot everything. Luckily my husband remembers it all and really loves helping her. I love hearing them discuss History or complicated algebra. They really get into it and it's amazing to watch.

    This dinner looks fit for a king. I love the pea flan if not for just the looks of it. Beautiful photos as always. You really should put a book together.


  11. Your husband is can do anything. What a romantic relationship you two have, and of course your dinner is incredible, especially that flan!

  12. I don't think it's fair, you know. You have gifts, so many gifts. The gift of food, of presentation, of photography, of description... you do have the ability to do anything.

  13. You win best Father's Day post. What a life the two of you have had! And are still having! Rock solid all the way, doing amazing job of being awesome by the sounds of things. And this dinner is an absolute dream! Every dish, outstanding. A great tribute to a great husband/dad :)

  14. Hi Sarah, I came here from another blog to see who is hiding behind that really nice comment. And here I am enjoying a very beautiful blog and a sweet post. Glad to be here, and will be back! :)

  15. That is SUCH a beautiful story, I'm jealous of all your adventures and wish I was more gutsy to go for what I want to do. Happy Fathers Day! Your photos are so beautiful, as always. :)

  16. How fabulous to share the adventures together. And brave and strong to homeschool your children. A wonderful tribute for Fathers Day and a great meal. GG

  17. This is such a lovely post! You're so lucky to find a caring and understanding hubby. He really deserves your gorgeous meal. ;)

  18. What an amazing tribute to your amazing husband! I love the simplicity of the lamb chops and the uniqueness of the pea flans =)

  19. This post had me sighing. Your life seems like a wonderful adventure. This was one amazing tribute.

  20. Oh, this was such a delight to read. I think you are both extraordinary and delightful. And he gets to eat your cooking! That's icing on the cake! lol....

  21. Yep! he sounds like quite a guy - and I bet he loves every minute of it! (FANTASTIC meal!)
    Mary x

  22. Such a heartwarming post! I thank my lucky stars every day to be married to a man who loves me as I am and supports me in anything I want to do. Seems like you've got that too. : ) The meal you made for this post looks so elegant and delicious!

  23. I think you two are very cute and adorable :D
    A beautiful post with a beautiful recipe too my friend!

    Choc Chip Uru

  24. Picture are splendid !! The first one is simply amazing and I love the mood of the ...5th. Recipes are exactly the kind of recipes I'm looking for

  25. I knew the first time I stopped by here you path was unexpected and adventurous. GREG

  26. Dude, you are the definition of success when it comes to embracing life to the fullest. What a sweet list of accomplishments! Be it Tasmania or dance school, or Japan or homeschooling, wow:) Props to you, and props to your husband, who sounds like an absolute sweetheart!

  27. Beautiful Recipe!!!
    I love the clicks as always... Those mushroom in the bowl..WOnderful!!!

  28. Wonderful to read such a fantastic post full of adventures! Sounds like a great hubby! The lamb chops look delish :)

  29. Oh my dear, i so love getting lost in the beauty of your words and images.... Thank you so very much for your treasured comments on my blog!

  30. What a great way to start the day!

  31. What a wonderful tribute to your husband and what adventures you have had! I love your photos :)

  32. You made me cry. I love you two and I wish you all the best and many adventures.

  33. Yeah, I had tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading this post. Your words and pictures blend together perfectly and this exposition is very powerful. You are an example for me - I want to be like you when I grow up and have kids :)

  34. I just love your rustic photography... so gorgeous:) The chops and flan would be so good together:)

  35. I'm a little late - here - for father's day....but never too late to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post. The story of you being a wild adventurer..and how you fell in love..and have survived and thrived is an inspiration to all of us. And the lamb?? What could be better???

  36. Hi Sarah,

    What a beautiful tribute, I so enjoy reading your words and your gorgeous photography. All of the shots are just stunning! And the recipes, oh my they are incredible. Thanks for sharing:)

  37. I know now - that we're kindred spirits Sarah - without a doubt. The fact that you spent time in Tasmania wants to make me hug you. LOVE Launceston and Hobart :) Many beautiful memories there - especially along the Tasman river.

    What a gorgeous tribute. Very deserving for the love of your life. Here's wishing you many more memories worth writing about, for many years to come!

    The lamb is marvelous and so is the flan. Makes me miss Sydney all over again.

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  38. Rosemary and lamb…perfect together!! Lamb is my favorite…your dish looks and sounds incredible! Gorgeous photos!!

  39. That was beautiful. What a ride you guys have had! Seems like never a dull moment but I can imagine it can be a tough ride at times.
    Love the green pea flan idea. And lamb! I am a lamb girl! Been craving for lamb chops. The only good butcher I trust live on the other end of the town so I need to make the trip soon.
    Hope you are doing great! :)

  40. Hi! Participating in the virtual baby shower and wanted to stop in and say hello. Your photos are amazing!!!!
    Scissors & Spatulas

  41. Everything look so delicious. Mushrooms are my favorite-)))


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