meal of the year.....

Roast Lamb at A.C. Gillmore Farm

Dee Gilmore's slow-roasted (Katahdin) lamb shoulder.

Just as with produce, knowing where your meat, eggs and poultry come from helps to bridge the gap that so often exists between producer and consumer. My visit to A.C. Gilmore Farm this past September provided a wonderful opportunity not only to connect with a producer, but also to experience a working farm first hand….. by walking the land with Dee Gilmore and interacting with the animals (chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, horses and a llama named ‘Ben’). As a side bar: Ben had been assigned the very important responsibility of protecting the sheep from predators. Typically these animals are effective at this task (Ben’s own mother had been his predecessor), but he proved to be less than vigilant, even allowing a mangy old coyote into the fold, where Dee found it sleeping soundly on a bed of straw. Ben was fired on the spot and has since been put up for sale. Farm life can be harsh.....

When Dee showed us the lambs she explained that they would soon be butchered and invited us back for a future roast lamb dinner. She was true to her word, and this past December I returned to the farm with my earlier companions, Anne and Arlene. As weekly food columnist for the Richmond Review, Arlene is able to experience a plethora of beautiful food…..yet, as she reflected on all of the incredible meals she had enjoyed during the past year, it was the roast lamb dinner @ Dee’s that she chose as her best dinner of 2008. Click here to read the full article from December 31, 2008.

Like Arlene, it is the meals that I am most moved by that usually become my favourites. Dee put out a beautiful spread that night, to be sure. The lamb was some of the best I’d ever had. But, for me, what really made it special was the fact that it was served and enjoyed in such fine company, as we sat around the candlelit table tucked cozily to the side of the farm kitchen..... dining far from the hectic pace of an overly scheduled December, while, at the same time, so close to where this very lamb had been raised. You can order lamb by contacting Dee at crzhorse@telus.net

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