Milo and decided to go to Vermont on a whim; he rightly pointed out that we hadn't been there yet this year, and since Mommy was away I had all the dizzying power of an unchecked Unitary Executive. So naturally I abused it. There is still a ton of snow up there, which was fun, but I'm so smitten with Spring fever that it did feel like a great leap backward to have to deal with his snow pants again. He loved it though, and used the same yellow backhoe to dig snow that I used when I was his age. Watching him line up all my ancient matchbox cars caused time to telescope far more alarmingly than the snow pants.
I had thrown a bunch of essentials into a cooler for the trip, since I hate to shop up there, so I made do with what was in the kitchen to embellish the meal. Prior to snow-excavation, I browned some lamb stew meat and onion with most of the non-fossilized spices- which happened to be very lamb-appropriate: cumin, cinnamon, garlic, plus a few dried herbs that smelled less like sawdust than some others. This luxe maillard met its doom in the form of some semi-horrible cheap merlot (if that's not redundant) from the cabinet and we left it to simmer while we completed our spacetime compression by digging a ditch from the driveway all the way to dinner time.
Bootless, breathless, and famished, I threw some cubed turnips into the stew and steamed half a kabocha, then mashed it with a knob of butter. Last a quick sautée of some baby pak choi and we were in business. I've been pulling most of my Australian wine out of the basement there so I can sell it, but I've pretty much decided to keep all my Dead Arm. In an effort to make up my mind, I popped a 2000 and decanted it when I started the stew. Come time to eat, it was an opaque wall of petulant tannins with a tiny hole through which one could catch whiffs and glimpses of gorgeous fruit and naked ladies dancing. Somewhere around the 7 hour mark it finally got interesting, but by then it was midnight so I went to bed. If I were going to drink more of this in less than five or ten years, I would decant it the day before or double-decant it in the morning.