Aw shucks you guys.
I am starting to realize that I of course have the option to continue on with this blog despite its expiry date; my worry, I think, is whether or not I’ll keep on top of it when I don’t really have to, without the overlying obligation to post every single day. So much of the appeal is that I have to post every night, even when, like right now, Mike is sitting downstairs with the movie cued up and waiting for me to finish to start. That, and the nagging guilt that really if I’m going to spend time at something every day of my life, shouldn’t it be productive either in a financial way or promoting W’s healthy development? But then again people have all sorts of hobbies that they spend time and money on just because it’s fun.
So I had heard, or read, or seen someone roasting sausages with grapes at some point in the past year or so, and made a mental post-it note to try it sometime. Last weekend I was excited to bring a little cardboard basket of Concorde grapes home from the market. (When I got home, the interaction went something like this: Mike: “no way! Concorde grapes!” Me: “How did you remember that these were Concorde grapes?” Mike: “because they are the most awesome fruit in the world” – he earned a few bonus points in those few seconds, let me tell you.)
But they were a little on the sour side; a bit too hard-core for us to make it through half the basket, and when W ate one he blasted it back out like it was poison. (Not as violently, though, as he did the first time he ate a mouthful of olives, mistaking them for grapes. Mommy, those are angry grapes!) So a half basket of dark grapes thinking about going south is a perfect opportunity to put the aforementioned sausage experiment to the test.
It turned out to be one of the simplest things I’ve made, ever, and perfect for company, which we had for lunch. (Confession: this was technically lunch, but since it was consumed mid-afternoon and then we didn’t feel much like eating at dinnertime, save for a small stack of chocolate-covered digestive cookies and a bowl of Raisin Bran for W, and because we hardly ever eat lunches like this, I think it becomes dinner by default.) Twelve people came and went through the afternoon (half of them under 12), and this is as easy to make for 12 as it is for 2. I laid a base of grapes and about half a slivered purple onion in a baking pan and laid 8 big sausages overtop (mild and hot Italian, alternately, although I suspect any kind would do just fine), drizzled with a tad of oil (I don’t think this was necessary, but more an act of habit whenever I roast anything) and at the last minute thought to lay a few sprigs of rosemary on top.
The grapes, of course, gave up their juices along with the sausages, making a tangy sort of sauce to drizzle over them. Next time I’ll add a splash of balsamic, I think, and perhaps cook the sauce down to a stickier consistency after removing the sausages.
To go with, roasted potatoes; since the sausages needed to roast for about 45 minutes at 400F, I just slid a rimmed baking sheet of chunked new potatoes tossed in oil underneath. Next time I’ll make smashed or mashed potatoes – a better vehicle I think for all that meaty sweet-sour sauce. I can’t wait to make this combo when it’s minus 30 outside. Maybe in January.