While I was at Mint Springs with W yesterday afternoon, T went up the road and bought a lamb. Fortunately for me, I've got a cookbook for just such an occasion; it's called "The Whole Beast", and has recipes for the lesser-used cuts of animals, so when you get a whole animal nothing need go to waste.

There were lots of recipes for lamb's brains, but I didn't notice that we got any brains when I was putting the meat in the freezer. We did get the heart, liver, and kidneys, though, so at some point I'll try stuffed lamb's heart, that looked pretty good. They also had a recipe for the kidneys that I'll be able to do if the butcher left the suet on them.

But today I started with something a bit less adventurous-- last night I took out some ground lamb to thaw, figuring that would be a cinch to cook. Indeed, it was. I had enough parsley and mint growing in my garden that I was able to season the lamb with that. I also added onion, black pepper, salt, garlic and chili pepper. I had made lamburger buns last night (in anticipation of today's lunch) from whole-wheat sourdough. And after cooking the burgers we of course had some lusciously ripe heirloom tomatoes to put on the sandwiches. YUM.

I wasn't expecting much from the ground lamb, not being quite sure which cuts were included, but man, was it good. The lamb was mostly grass-fed, but the farmer also feeds his sheep a serving of grain daily since he likes the added flavor that gives the meat. He's certainly right about that. I've got a recipe from cooking school involving grilling the lamb with a honey & mustard marinade of some sort (if I'm remembering correctly) that was great. And although we don't have the grill set up this year (I've been waiting (so far in vain) for a back deck to materialize), I've gotta admit that the George Foreman grill does a pretty good job and is terribly convenient.

I've been making a lot of panini's lately using that. I've got a steady supply of overripe tomatoes to use up daily, and I find that they're less messy when all sealed up with cheese in a toasted, pressed sandwich. I just throw them in with whatever other garden vegetables and/or herbs I need to use that day (squash & peppers, mostly), and have a great, reasonably light and healthy lunch.