Lamb Shanks (because I miss fall)

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We've been in a heatwave. Just a little one. A few days of 105 degrees, now high 90s. Total misery for this So Cal transplant. But my fellow Oregonians don't seem to mind it too much, especially if they have air. We currently do not. We thought hey, let's see what a summer in Portland feels like. Well, it feels pretty hot. But 2-3 weeks of heat is better than 5 months, so I'll take it.

In the midst of this heatwave, I was missing fall and hearty meals, sweaters, the rain, and when I came across a couple of good-looking lamb shanks at the grocery store, I went for it. But I wasn't about to spend time by the oven, so I popped these in the CrockPot, and when we got home, they were waiting for us, all tender and delicious.

And here's our little helper, working hard in his boxers, with his belly covered in flour.

Lamb Shanks in Crock
Lots of estimates in this one, because you can't really screw up. Also, I just used what I had in my pantry.

Two shanks
1/2 orange
1-2 cups of red wine
broth or water, I used about 1 cup of chicken
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
1 dried mushroom, because it was there
2 bay leaves
2-4 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme
2-3 cloves, juniper berries and all spice (you can bundle these up if you like)
salt and pepper, lots

Place your shanks in the pot along with all the other ingredients and cook low for about 8 hours.


Maine 2017

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We've been talking about going back to Maine since our trip in 2011. And when our friends moved back to the east coast, we decided to invite ourselves to the glorious Maine house in Biddeford for a mini reunion.

Maine with kids is not as fun as Maine without kids. But it was fun to see Viggo and Baby Miles hit it off and become BFFs. Also, it was fun to eat lobster everyday.

The trip was a nice getaway, but I never want to travel by plane in July again, and I already miss our friends terribly and want them closer. And now, photos.
House views. That's just the Atlantic ocean, no big deal.
Chowder House smiles. 
Viggs and Miles being cute and cuddly.
All the seafood, including lobster bisque. 
Suspicious of beer and/or dad. 
We hiked and collected shells on the beach. Then Viggo refused to take a photo.
Local oysters in Portland.
Lawn games with the crew. Again, that's the ocean right there, just hanging out, being an ocean.
I think we had a lobster roll a day. Because you have to. 
Beach babes.
Steamers and lobsters, and "other" stuff.
This kid ate half of my lobster, sigh. 
Cool kid at a lighthouse.
On our last night, our hosts made a lot of chicken wings and we put the kids to bed and watched Game of Thrones while drinking mead. It was kinda perfect. 
And one final roll for the road.