Tuesday, February 08, 2005

It ain’t that easy

Zora makes this whole lamb roasting thing sound as easy as a McDonald's drive-thru, but I don’t remember it that way. It's really still a lot of planning and a fair bit of work. Sure, I’m lounging around in my house at 2pm on the day of the lamb roast. I had confidence. But it was hardly angst free.

This is in response to Zora's account of the lamb roast. You can read her account with this link. You should read Zora's account first.

Please note:

1) This lamb roast was *my* idea, not Tamara’s. But I digest.

2) The whole versus cut lamb decision was made in part based on transport issues. It's one thing to carry three bags with 60 pounds of lamb on your bike. No problem, in fact. It's another thing entirely to carry a 60-pound lamb on your bike. What if I clipped some old lady while going home? What if the lamb fell off, creating all kinds of traffic and scavenging chaos in the streets of Astoria? Besides, Tamara insisted that the *further* butcher was better than the *closer* butcher (the one with sawdust and the nice light fixtures). Who knows? But I didn’t want to take a chance.

3) The whole tying-up process. We still don’t have this down pat. You put a greasy hunk of meat on a smooth round shaft add heat and start turning. And what do you know, the thing starts slipping. My strategy was lots of twine straight around and very tight. Karl had some fancy-schmancy idea of diagonal ties, tying one piece to the next. Turns out his ties worked while mine, well, mine gave the lamb a nice squeeze. But I was so certain that Karl’s plan didn’t make sense I wouldn’t even pay attention to what he did. So now we need Karl again for next time, too.

Of course the lamb needed some re-tying during the roasting process. This allowed me a chance to (repeatedly) question Karl’s manhood as he kvetched, “It’s hot!” Take the pain, man! Take the pain. Later, however, we were all silently awed when a real manly-man lit his cigarette straight from the coals… while the coals where still in the fire.

4) The lamb chop problem. We were going to cook them on Tamara’s grill. But her grill is some off-brand piece of shit that has no depth. I realized I couldn’t place the chops 2 inches above the coals, but I couldn’t figure out a good alternative. This is where Naomi saved the day with sidewise cinderblocks *in* the barrel holding the grill cover a perfect height above the glowing coals. We all earn our keep around here.

5) Amazingly, I didn’t turn the lamb one single revolution the whole night. I do feel kind of cheated. But it does make me feel like everything is perfect when I can manage and delegate effectively. Of course, the Super-bowl view (Katie’s idea—did I mention we all earn our keep?) sure didn’t hurt.

6) Somewhere in this process, the simmered lamb tongue was lost. More fodder for the future ghosts of Tamara’s place.

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