I teach art to high school characters. Recently I thought it would be fun to teach them needle felting. Needle felting is an easy craft that almost anyone can do and is extremely satisfying. To needle felt you need two materials: Wool roving and a Felting needle. As I was planning my lesson I thought I should talk to the kids about the properties of wool, where it comes from and how it has been used in the past. When thinking about where wool comes from I was inspired to contact a local farm that would sell us wool directly and it would really show students that we can support local business. So I took an afternoon to visit the farm. Different color wools were strewn around the kitchen, while at least 6 kittens played amongst them. The owner prepared a bottle and took me out to see her lambs and feed the babies. She then showed me around her studio where she prepares the wool for dying and selling. It was one of my best afternoons is such a long time.
While there, the owner mentioned that she sold some of her lamb as meat. I am a realist. I like meat, I think it serves an important role in my diet, and as I am going to eat it I like to know where my meat comes from. The lambs at Cathy’s farm are well taken care of and loved. They have a lovely life. I bought a whole lamb and thanked the lambs for providing me their lives for the continuation of my life and my family.
From “Slow Cooker Revolution,” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen.
• 3 onions, minced
• 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 3 tbsp. sweet paprika
• 8 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tbsp. tomato paste
• 4 tsp. ground cumin
•1/2 tsp. cardamom
• 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
• 1 c. chicken broth, plus extra as needed
• 3 tbsp. Minute tapioca
• 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1 (4-lb.) boneless lamb shoulder roast, trimmed and cut into 11/2 -in. chunks
• Salt and pepper
• 1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro
Microwave onions, oil, paprika, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cardamom and cayenne in a bowl, stirring occasionally until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. (No microwave? Sauté the onions in the oil with the spices and tomato paste.) Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker.
Stir in tomatoes with juice, broth, tapioca, vinegar, bay leaves and sugar. Season lamb with salt and pepper, and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until lamb is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
Let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves. (Adjust stew consistency with additional hot broth as needed.)
Stir in cilantro, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.