On my blog stats, I’ve noticed several references to “lamb spiedini.”  “Spiedini” is an Italian word that refers to tiny cubes of meat, threaded onto a skewer and then grilled.  I think it’s very interesting to see the combinations of Italian and English words that bring people to this blog.

My memories of lamb spiedini (spiedini d’agnello) are very, very specific.  I don’t normally eat lamb, because my childhood food allergies ensured that strong-tasting lamb was one of the few “safe” meats for me.  When my husband rented a mountain house in the Abruzzo for us and our dear friends, I was not happy to discover that he thought 40 Euros’ worth of lamb chunks was a great dinner purchase.

Boy, was I wrong.  The tiny lamb cubes (maybe 3/4″ square), cooked on a special spiedini grill over charcoal, were succulent and flavorful.  We ate them with bread and salad and wine, not much else.  The kids slurped down peach nectar.  Next day at noon, some of the leftover grilled lamb cubes found their way onto a cool, green salad.  The second day, we made sandwiches with lamb cubes in yogurt sauce (thank you, Penzeys, for your lovely Turkish seasoning blend!).  By the last day, we were piling lamb cubes into sandwiches at a roadside picnic area, next to a river, in some unknown Abruzzese town.  Pure bliss.

Since moving back to the U. S. A., we haven’t made spiedini.  It’s almost painful to pry the food memory away from the trip memory, and I doubt we’ll ever try.

I told a group of near-strangers recently that, to me, cooking is vicarious travel.  I love to re-create travel memories by making the dishes we enjoy at restaurants and in rental cottages.  In the case of lamb spiedini, though, I think I need a mountain house to make the meal complete.