This past week, Mark's mom Dee Dee was in town for a little visit. It was her first time seeing the house and she just adored it. She and Mark spent the next several days catching up with old friends and neighbors from when they lived in Mandeville Canyon in the 60's, and then I'd join them after I got off work. The first several nights were spent out on the town, first up dinner at BLD. Then the next night to satisfy a prime rib craving, we all went to Lawry's (perhaps you know their famous seasoning salt) where we indulged in the famous Lawry's spinning salad prepared tableside, thick slabs of beef accompanied by a heaping mound of mashed potatoes, rich, creamed spinach, and Yorkshire pudding. Friday night, although I'd planned to cook for us, after work I was a little frazzled and didn't feel like dealing with food, so we ended up going out for Indian, something Dee Dee never gets up in Santa Maria. Saturday, the plan was for a small dinner party - Mark, myself, Dee Dee and Annie and Pierson. Usually I like to spend several days conceiving the menu, but work has been crazy and I didn't have the time. So upon my return from the gym that morning, I pulled out ol reliable, Sunday Suppers at Lucques.
The thing about Ms. Goin's cookbook, as I've mentioned before, is that the recipes are time consuming, often need to be started the night before and require trips to multiple supermarkets to track down all the ingredients. However, this recipe was sort of unlike many of the others. It require nothing terribly exotic that one can only find at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, it was a bit time consuming (braising for 3 hours) but not terribly so. It was totally something that I could put together that afternoon for dinner that evening. Plus I liked the idea of doing one more slow-cooked, cozy meal before the weather gets too warm.