On Saturday when we were walking around the neighborhood, we were debating dinner, trying to figure out exactly what we’d have that night. Thinking about the vegetables we had left from our CSA pickup (about a pound of cauliflower and a huge amount of dill), it looked as if we’d do something with the last of the cauliflower. Perhaps soup? Perhaps a small gratin? Or maybe something with the dill? We just didn’t know. After about a mile and a half of walking, we thought about making polenta. We love polenta. Then we realized that we had a few limes in the fridge, and the idea of lime polenta was born.
When we were on vacation last month, we planned part of it to allow us to stop in at Hell’s Backbone Grill (HBG) for lunch one day. This isn’t a place you think of 15 minutes or so before you want to eat, because it’s not just around the corner (well, for the people of Boulder, UT, population about 225, it might be, but, for pretty much everyone else, you really have to think about getting there). It’s pretty much out in the middle of nowhere in southern Utah, with only stunning landscapes nearby. We selected it as a stop because, the way they make and source their food is the way we believe everyone should try to do: local, sustainable, seasonably, and with care, thought, and passion. We weren’t disappointed. While waiting for our meal, we noticed HBG has a cookbook coming out, and, the card seemed to indicate that they’d published one prior. When we got home, we checked our library, and, sure enough, the book was in the collection! We checked it out immediately.
We’re getting better at using the green chilies we get in our CSA share each summer. At first, we’d almost always try to trade them for something else, taking them home only when the trading baskets had nothing of interest. At home, we’d sometimes cobble together something or another that would use the chilies, but often they’d end up in the freezer, with us hoping that we’d have some green chili revelation.
We’d seen this recipe in several books over the years, and, while we thought it was interesting enough to keep the recipe, we were never sure that we’d actually try it. We never really have a bunch of lemons all at once. Instead, we tend to buy them one or two at a time as we need them. Plus, we have no idea what these preserved lemons will taste like, so we didn’t want to buy lemons just to try it out. Then, when we had visitors last month, they left us with a bunch of fresh lemons; rather than make lemonade, we made preserved lemons.