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.
"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.