Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year's Feast and Moral Dilemma

We’ve been on a pretty strict budget lately, even for our beloved food. So when the Kitchen Genius came home with two racks of lamb last week, I thought the sheepish look he gave me was for blowing the grocery budget.

Uh, no. He was feeling incredibly guilty because he got both racks of lamb for only $9.50. A closer look showed that the lamb was mislabeled as pork and the price was MUCH less per pound than lamb would be. KG fretted that he should have informed the butcher, instead of buying the two wrongly priced packages. (The fact that he searched the whole case to find the second one only added to his mounting guilt.)

Years ago when I was in High School, I worked in a grocery store and the rule was the customer always got the lowest price on an item – even if it was priced wrong or double priced. So I comforted KG that he didn’t need to feel guilty at all. The grocery store would have given him the lower price even if he called their attention to it.

At least the one I worked at would have…back in the early 80’s…But then I got wondering: In today’s world, would he have still gotten the lower price if he pointed out the store’s mistake? Even more troubling, did I justify his behavior because I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into those lamb chops?

So I put the question out to you: Was it wrong to take the lamb and run???

Needless to say, the lamb was the centerpiece for our New Year’s feast. Our usual celebration is to eat homemade pizza and have a family game night for whatever collection of our kids are home.

This year our 15-year-old daughter, Julie, was babysitting, but we had our 4-year-old granddaughter, Skylar, in her place. I made pepperoni pizza for the grandbaby and my 13-year old son, Tommy, and they were happy, happy, happy.

I used some of the pizza dough to make a white pizza with carmelized onions, Kalamata olives and Gorganzola cheese to go along with the lamb.

KG cut the two racks into individual chops and marinated them with a rub olive oil, fresh rosemary and garlic. He would have grilled them, but we got 7 inches of snow on New Year’s Eve and this is what our grill looked like:

So he broiled them instead. They were so tender and tasty that even Tommy, who eats nothing we cook (and can’t be bribed into a haircut even for video games or money), ate five of them.

We tried to entice Skylar into trying a “lamb lollipop” but she resisted our wooing.

“That’s not a lollipop, it’s meat,” she said, turning up her nose and leaving the table. She didn’t know what she was missing…

The Recipes:

Lamb Lollipops

1 rack of lamb, about 6 - 8 individual chops
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Cut lamb between bones into individual chops and place in a Tupperware container. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over the chops and rub well to coat the meat. Cover container and marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Cook chops on grill or under broiler, three minutes per side until medium rare, removing thinner chops early so they don’t overcook.

For a printable recipe click here


vanillasugarblog said...

I'm not much of a lamb fan (that kind of ryhmes), but I wanted to share with you that I was just at Whole Foods and was amazed at how low most of their own brand (365 organic) prices are. Hubby & I are on a food budget, so between whole foods and trader joe's I can find a lot of bargains. Grains, rice, oats, beans I buy in bulk at whole foods as they are so much cheaper than stop & shop. I'm sure you've noticed how expensive stop & shop keeps getting? Make sure to get a coupon circular at the desk above entering whole foods, awesome coupons inside.
As far as the mis-price on the lamb? You know me and I would have totally kept going....

Meg said...

I am not much of a lamb fan, but it looks yummy and so does the pizza!

Michele said...

He would have still been given the marked price at the grocery store that I shop at. Even in this day and age most companies would still do that for you. Your hubby shouldn't have any guilt for getting an awesome deal on rack of lamb. Consider it a New Year's gift from the grocery store where you already spend way too much money

I've never had a lamb dish that I liked, but I'd be all over that pizza with the kalamatas and Gorgonzola.

Anonymous said...

Hey those look great! He would have ben given the lower price. Always. I wouldn't worry about it and I'm glad you were able to enjoy a beautiful meal!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Its funny, I just had the same situation at Safeway with lamb shanks--they were about half the normal price and marked as pork shank. There was a meat guy right there so I felt like I should say something (I don't think I would have gone looking for someone if he was not right there). He told me to take what I wanted and he would re-mark the rest. So I think your hubby shouldn't worry as he should/would have been given the marked price. Being a lamb lover--your chops look great!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

I think it's a lucky find. The lamb looks wonderful and the recipe sounds so tasty. We're having to tighten our belts quite a bit too with our grocery budget. The lamb is a great treat to start a new year!

Laurie said...

Thanks for all your support, my friends, and for easing our guilt!

And thanks for the shopping advice, Dawn! I'm going to have to start heading off Cape to Whole Foods for my shopping. I love Whole Foods.

Noble, I'm so glad I figured out how to let people comment anonymously. Thank you for that tip. I would have never figured it out on my own. Your blog also taught me how to remove those annoying security letters!

The Blonde Duck said...

It may have been wrong, but I bet it tasted soo soo right!

And really, at the end of the day, isn't what matters how tasty things were?

Anonymous said...

The grocery store I usually shop at in FL would have given you the price on the package.
It looks like everyone was greatful for your butcher's error! Those are some nice looking lamb chops!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Gorgeous lamb chops - no wonder he couldn't resist!

Hallowtide said...

I don't eat lamb, but my husband adores it. He RAVED about this recipe. I added a tiny bit of lemon juice to the marinade.