Tag Archives: lamb

queers, five years & saturday’s mistake: the conclusion

posted by:  audra

i was so starving & pissed at this point, & had consumed enough wine that i snapped.  mid-shot, i interrupted his photo-taking & hissed, “excuse me, are you going to be doing that all night?” i did!  i totally hissed!  he then of course apologized profusely & noted that he was taking blurry shots for the website & that i would definitely not be in any other shots.  whatever!  you’re still annoying the fuck out of me!  but he did move, & i didn’t see him for the rest of the night.  good work, audra.  good work.

entrees finally arrive & my thighs start sweating:   i ordered the grilled leg of lamb with green herb yogurt, chick pea fritters & a salad of orange & fennel…sam got the grilled sirloin with shallot butter, roof greens & fries.  we weren’t very impressed about the fries part…couldn’t they come up with something a bit more swank?  at least serve them in a cute little cup like this place does?  whatever!  everything was fairly good; except that sam’s meat was a little overdone.  actually, a lot overdone.   and if sam thinks it’s overdone, it’s way overdone.  my lamb was a little on the cool side, too.  it seems to me that they were leaving entrees out to rest too long before serving them.  again with the under-staffing issue!  anyway, the wine we chose to have with dinner was perfect…and oopsies, i have no idea what it was!  i wasn’t all that impressed with the wine-list either.  this being a wine place, you’d think i would be…but 6 years working in the wine industry, i’m hard to please when it comes to wine lists.  maybe it was just the by-the-glass list i wasn’t impressed with.  hmm.  whatevs.  i’m probably just being a bitch.

we did dessert & paid our check quickly…as oddly enough a really weird guy that we sort of know was seated less than a foot away from me, with his date.  she was really pretty & i have no idea what the fuck she was doing with him.  clearly she’s an idiot!  he spent the whole time texting while she sat & stared at her drink.  we don’t know this guy well, only through a friend of ours, and have only been around him twice.  but he’s a real loser & thinks he’s some big fucking treat.   i’ve witnessed him giving pcp to a friend when said friend thought it was just a regular joint.  anyway!   i can’t stand him.  he’s bad news.  luckily, we hadn’t seen him in a few years so he didn’t recognize us before we split.  so! close!

walking back to the car, i stumbled a few times.  i did.  what the fuck!?  i had four glasses of wine total, over the course of maybe 3 hours.  that’s nothing to me!  that’s just warming up!  whatever… i shrugged it off & got into the passenger seat.

not 3 blocks down the street & i have to ask sam to pull over.  i know i’m not going to be sick or anything gross like that, but i just could not be in the car.  super dizzy, you guys!  seriously!  do i need to remind you i only had 4 glasses of wine?!  so he drops me off in this parking lot, & i literally stumble over to the curb.  i can’t believe i didn’t fall down or scuff my shoes or something!  i was totally fucked up!  whoopsies!

i sat for a couple minutes, looking at my shoes, hoping i wouldn’t be sick on them, wondering why in the world i was so drunk & finally teetered my way back to the car.  it was so horrible!  i don’t think i’ve staggered so much, even in my drunkest drunkenness ever!  once i did make it back into the car, i was totally fine.  my drunkenness seemed to disperse as quickly as it had come on.  weird, right?!  i blame it on the one glass i had at le bar de skeeze earlier!  what else could it have possibly been?!   i just don’t know…but something fucked me up beyond recognition, as i went to bed at 11:00 that night.  eleven o’clock!  not my usual 4am antics, no!  eleven o’clock.  believe it.

i can say that there is something good that came out of my going to bed totally yet accidentally wasted at 11 on a saturday night:  i got up before noon sunday morning.  this never, ever happens & i’m kinda proud of myself!  this allowed us to watch all three of our netflix films in one day!  before dark!  this week’s was a fag themed one:  three of hearts, divine trash & the boys in the band.

three of hearts was kinda…meh.  i was real excited for it; documentary – one gay couple married to a woman, so they have this hot threesome thing going on, even though none of the three are really all that hot.  anyway, the woman gets pregnant at the beginning of the doc & they pretty much ruin it with that.  it’s mostly baby stuff from there on out, so i lost interest.

divine trash.  john waters documentary.   enough said!  get it!  i’m hoping to do some geneology maybe sometime real soon &  find out that john is my uncle.  wouldn’t that be rad?!

the boys in the band is fucking uh-mazing!  i’m super-embarrassed that we hadn’t seen it yet!  it’s super-intense & done in what feels like real time…like you’re there hanging out with them without any missing blocks of time, you know?  it’s like queer as folk & who’s afraid of virginia woolf? had a baby & it’s brilliant.  love, love, love.   in fact, as soon as it was over, i had to pop in virginia woolf because boys had put me in such a tizzy for it.  get the boys in the band right this very second, it will totally change your life!

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audra: on the lamb

oh, heavens…finally(!).  food.  really.  i’m embarrassed to admit that we’ve been eating out & snacking more often than not, & i haven’t been up to much cooking lately.  it breaks my heart.  but…baby jesus was listening to me this weekend when i was praying for snow, and i’m now reconsidering christianity.  or any religion.  maybe.

so we have this freezer full of baby lamb, right?  i found this lovely sounding recipe on food network the other day & it sounded so lovely, i couldn’t possibly wait another second.  turmeric, cumin, cardamom, ginger, garlic, cilantro and lamb? i nearly passed out:

braised lamb stew

recipe adapted from danny boome

for the lamb:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or boneless leg of lamb, 1 1/2-inch cubes

for the stew:

  • 1 onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 carrots, roughly diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves

directions:

in a mixing bowl add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cardamom and salt. mix well until the mixture has turned into a paste, if the paste is too thick add a little more olive oil. add the cubed lamb to the bowl and toss around to coat well. cover and set aside.

heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. add 1/3 of the lamb, and brown well. remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining lamb.

add onions and carrots to the pot and sweat for 5 minutes. stir in the fresh garlic and ginger; continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. stir in the tomato paste and chick peas, then return the lamb to the pot and stir in the lemon zest, chicken stock, apricots, and honey.

bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender. sprinkle the stew with chopped fresh cilantro and serve.

after tasting the spice & oil mixture, it seemed bland…so i added several pinches more of each spice, along with a few extra cloves of garlic & twice the ginger.  the finished product was still a bit lifeless…i would love to try some curry with it next time.  the apricots & honey also made it too sweet for me; even after adding more than enough of the kosher salt & extra ginger & such.  i also deglazed the pan with a good pinot gris before adding the meat back into the vegetables…i couldn’t believe there wasn’t a spot of wine in the recipe!

i would highly recommend this recipe to anyone; it’s a complete no-brainer.  even with having to bone my own lamb shoulder, it was still pretty quick & super easy.  i served it alongside roasted fingerling potatoes just with some olive oil, kosher salt & parsley, and some steamed haricot verts…and of course a lovely oregon pinot noir.  just don’t forget the additional ginger & garlic, along with some salt…otherwise it’s sweet as fuck…unless you like that type of thing.

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Sam: Controversy

I’ve been involved in many conversations with a person (and to protect said person’s identity… we’ll call her Judy) over the years about how “cruel” and “politically incorrect” it was to consume veal.  Yeah, it’s kind of sad to think about hacking into a poor baby animal for your own gastronomical pleasure… but my god, it’s delicious.

Recently, “Judy” was generous enough to give Audra and I about ten pounds worth of locally grown lamb.  Now, I love me some lamb… but ten pounds?!  Jesus.  During the transaction we casually ask where the lamb came from, and if “Judy” happened to know the age of the tasty morsel.  We learned the lamb was raised by a friend of “Judy’s” and “Judy” and her friends had already devoured a significant portion.  We then learned the lamb was roughly a year old, possibly younger.  Yes, friends you heard me correctly.  It is apparently okay to eat a baby lamb, but a baby cow is a big no-no.  Does this make sense to you?  I’m completely baffled about it.  Yeah, it’s a little creepy to think about but in the end the poor thing would have the same fate of ending up on the dinner table… so does it really matter?  Don’t answer that, please.  Honestly, I didn’t even think about it until Audra brought it to my attention later.  At the time I was way more interested in learning the little guy was named, Prince.  Prince!  How perfect.  The Prince song Controversy has been in my head ever since.

I like to think “Judy” just didn’t realize the similarity between young lamb and veal, but one never knows.  Or, maybe she feels it really is okay?  Either way, we still plan on putting on Dirty Mind by Prince and eating some delicious lamb curry!

Dirty Mind

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audra: post-thanksgiving stress disorder

well kittens, i hope everyone had a lovely thanksgiving, filled with giblets, jarred gravy & canned green beans. actually, ours was quite nice & drama free(!). no political/homophobic/racial outbursts from the grandfather. what a failure of tradition that was. i suspect he was ordered not to do so prior to our arrival in town, but it made for a pleasant dining experience nonetheless. the turkey was a bit dry…even what with the pesto & butter jammed under the skin, but it was fine…i’m not that big on turkey anyway. i’m really under distress though; what the fuck happened to my mom’s butternut squash & yukon gold potato thing? it had gruyère & butter & cream…and it’s nowhere to be found anymore. tears… and also, there were placemats. fall-themed placemats. combined with my great-grandmother’s china & some linen napkins my mom bought in provence…well, it just didn’t look right.

another thing that really upset me last night was the gravy. i love gravy, really…but the thin, gluey, brothy stuff just doesn’t do it for me. i want creamy & fatty. when i was about 17, i decided to go vegetarian for awhile. it was lovely, really. i’m not sure i really did it for health reasons…probably more to be difficult & different in a town full of carnivorous hunters. but anyway, on holidays i would do the potatoes & a salad, & just skip the slaughtered bird. easy, right? hmm. in an effort to cram some sort of animal flesh down my throat, my mom would “sneak” giblets into the gravy. i was onto her though…i knew the second i took a whiff of that livery, hearty, lungy goo. you don’t mess around with mineraly gravy…that shit is impossibly to disguise.

the vegetarian thing lasted a little over seven years. really. but you know, sometimes a girl just really needs a bloody steak! by the time i started eating meat again, mum finally stopped trying to sneak organs into my gravy. and over the past several years since i’ve decided to eat anything, you would think now would be the time to pour some giblet sauce on my plate. now she’s all about the “giblet” gravy…sort of tastes giblety without the hassle of giblets…just substitute a leg with dark meat. now that i think about it, she also used to make these stuffed mushrooms with crab meat in them, but neglected to tell me about the crab…and actually telling me all that was in them were bread crumbs, herbs & parmesan. this is when i wasn’t eating seafood either. no animals – land or water. why was she pushing this agenda on me? i don’t get it.

i am a little proud of the old gal though…i think mom may be picking up cooking again. i’ve mentioned before about how she used to make these amazing meals for me growing up, and over the past couple of years it’s just fizzled out. badly. i blame her work “friends”. it’s no longer a french cassoulet when we visit, but “i’m just going to heat up these chicken wings from the deli. i’m sorry you guys…is that okay? i’m sorry…it’s not gourmet. i’m sorry.” enough with the apologizing. seriously. i’ve gotten glared at so many times lately when i’ve mentioned how i had roasted duck, seared some veal or grilled a rack of lamb over the weekend. but i think my gloating has paid off…

last night mom mentioned that she wanted to raise lambs. and she’s also been making her own limoncello. i don’t know what the fuck she’s been doing with the limoncello, but whatever. but back to the lambs – dad’s not so sweet on the idea. we had horses & cows when i was a wee lass, and i think he’s done with the whole raising animals thing. but i think it would be so rad, right?! racks of lamb for everyone! and lamb curry all the time. we’ll see…they have the acreage, it’s just the dad that needs convincing. and could i not get a sweater made out of the lambies as well!? everyone’s happy. and then after the wool is used, i could fashion a new lambskin handbag out of the skins. brilliant! i don’t think dad has any idea what an amazing idea this is. the dog would love it too…something else to bark at. again, brilliant! i have some convincing to do.

…oh my god, is this my first food post?! sort of, right? it’s not what i pictured, but it will have to do. i’m just sad that i complain about thanksgiving every year. publicly, too. this year was definitely a vast improvement though, but it’s always such a headache…especially with the grandfather. it’s just so awkward. and with not being able to talk about politics, race or sexual orientation, what else was there for him to talk about? we just looked around at the table, the walls, my shoes…and his pug snorting & tearing around the house. it didn’t help that my parents didn’t change the music channel; i think it was on 70’s rewind something or other – lots of ac/dc & billy squier. and somehow appropriate for thanksgiving dinner.

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