Travel broadens the mind. I learned something returning from Canada: Don't try to bring lamb across the border. Or keep your mouth shut at Customs. I'm not exactly sure which.
Anyway, I surrendered a lamb roast I purchased in the Gulf Islands, the Canadian San Juans, where even the Queen of England requests the local lamb.
Never miss a local story.
"Did you purchase any meat or vegetables or seeds in Canada?" the U.S. Customs guy asked as I approached the ferry bound for Anacortes in Sidney, B.C.
"I've got a lamb roast in the back," I said.
The Customs guy walked into the Customs hut. He returned with a piece of paper that listed all contraband. Lamb, like other ruminants, is banned. Faster than you can say "Mad Cow," I hiked the hatchback and dug into the cooler.
"Give it a good home," I said, handing the frozen lamb roast to the Customs guy.
"We'll incinerate it," said a Customs lady.
"Can't you at least give it to a dog?"
Luckily, I'd cooked and enjoyed two lamb meals before leaving the Gulf Islands. Rack of lamb put a song in my head at dinner. You know how it goes: "…and little lambs eat ivy." For that is what this rack tasted like -- grassy, fresh, slightly musky, slightly sweet and full-on juicy.
For breakfast, ground lamb was the perfect bed for a hillock of Greek-style lima beans (with tomatoes, carrots, celery, garlic and onions) toasted under the broiler.
I chew with my mouth shut. I wish I'd crossed the border the same way. That was a $30 lamb roast – before the looney exchange rate.