Sunday, June 11, 2017

ON THE LAM... AND DOING IT IN STYLE...





In these times of constant sorrow it’s difficult to keep one’s head above the mire. Valiantly, we must try to keep our spirits high no matter how challenging a feat that may be; no matter how overwhelmed we feel at times.  We must never be defeated by negativity, hate, violence and ignorance.  Too often, it’s easier said than done...

To be honest, there are times I really do feel like going on the lam; in an effort to escape the harsh realities of life.  I become quite weary of it all.  Frequently I feel drained because of all the stupidity with which we are surrounded.  

My desire is to soar aloft with Harry Styles, ex “One Direction”, as he floats like Jonathan Livingston Seagull high above the mess below on earth.  With not a care in the world I want to blissfully waft like a feather at the fancy of a carefree summer breeze.  

I wonder if Harry will let me hum along as he sings his stirring new song, “Sign of the Times”.   I say “hum”, because then, and only then, he might allow me to join him in song.  Perhaps I could just mouth the words.  I’d have no chance of being allowed sing aloud with him. 

An emphatic “No!” would be his reply. My car even turns up its tyres when I sing while driving along Main Western Road en route to my local supermarket, and back home again. 

If I was a few decades younger and Harry asked me to go on the lam with him, I’d not hesitate.  Dammit! Nowadays I’m even too old to become a cougar! 

So there you have it...if you don’t see me hanging around the IGA car park or lurking in the aisles harassing both the staff and customers, I’ve given up, and finally gone on the lam.

 No!  Not “on a lamb”...on the lam!  I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. They are two completely different things, silly!   

If no one wants to be “Thelma” to my “Louise”, it’ll just have to be me and my two furry, four-legged best mates... that is, of course, if I can entice them to get off “our” bed!  They (they’re cats, not lambs) have it in their head they are the guardians of the bed. I’ve as much chance of getting these two, who believe they rule my world, to take notice of me as I have of grabbing young Harry’s attention. 

It’s a sign of the times.  Maybe I should take up knitting...on second thoughts...maybe I shouldn't take up knitting....

Seeing there is no possibility of Harry letting me glide adrift with him in the great blue yonder the only solution is for me to stay home.  Therefore, if, perchance, you see someone riding along the road atop of a lamb, it won’t be me...different lam; different rider.  

One bright sunny day, in late 1986, when I was manager of the resort on Hinchinbrook Island, I was visiting New Zealand for business reasons.  While driving from Christchurch to Mt. Hutt I did come across a lamb on the road. 

I leapt out of the car...having pulled to a halt first, of course...and scooped up the little fellow in my arms.  The lamb’s concerned mother, knowing not what to do to get her baby back, stood at the paddock fence, staring. You would be, too, if you were a ewe. 
Once I’d deposited the little woolly fellow over the fence, back to the safety of its mother, I felt at peace with the world.  I knew I’d done a good thing.  Mumma Ewe knew I had done a good thing, too.  It was the look in her eye that gave away her feelings...you know the one...

Braised Lamb Shanks: Add enough-virgin olive oil to coat a large Dutch oven; heat over med-high heat. Season 4x300g lamb shanks on both sides; sear until browned on all sides. Place shanks on plate and set aside. Puree 1 large red onion, 3 carrots, 4 garlic cloves and 3 celery stalks in a food processor until a coarse paste. Add 1/2tsp x-virgin olive oil to Dutch oven; add the puree; season; sauté 20mins until browned and aromatic; add 375g tomato paste; stir in 1c hearty red wine, 1c beef stock, 2tbs chopped rosemary leaves, 12 thyme branches tied in a bundle; cook until reduced by half. Add shanks and more stock and 2c water to immerse shanks. Add 4 bay leaves; cover pot; cook in 175C oven, 2-1/2hrs.  Turn shanks halfway though; add 250g whole button mushrooms about 45mins towards end of cooking time. Serve garnished with gremolata (Gremolata (combine zest from 1 orange and 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove, 1/4c  chopped parsley, and 2 tbsp freshly grated horseradish), and with cheesy polenta, if desired .

Lamb Shanks with Chick Peas: Place 2 lamb shanks and 1 quartered onion in pot; add 1/2tsp turmeric and 4c beef stock; bring to boil; reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, skimming if needed, 1-1/2 to 2hr. Add 1 drained can chick peas, 1 can drained cannellini beans, 4 crushed garlic cloves, 1-1/2tbs tomato paste, 1/2c undrained chopped canned tomatoes and 2 potatoes cut into large cubes. Season to taste; cover; simmer 40mins. Serve on creamy mashed potatoes or rice. 

Lemon Lamb Shanks: Season 4 lamb shanks; dust with flour. Heat olive oil in pan; cook shanks over med-high heat until browned. Transfer to oven pot; add 2/3c chicken stock, 4 dill sprigs, 2 sliced garlic cloves, 1 thinly sliced onion and 1 small, seeded, thinly sliced lemon; cover; cook in 175C oven, 2-1/2 to 3hrs. Transfer shanks to small bowls; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; stir in 1tbs chopped dill, 1tbs lemon juice; season; spoon over shanks. Sprinkle with crumbled feta.
 
Mt. Hutt, South Island, New Zealand

34 comments:

  1. I think most of us get ground down by the sadness and nastiness which is so prevalent at the moment. I know I do.
    Do whatever helps you through it, which includes singing (badly) if that raises your spirits.

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    1. Hey there, EC...I've certainly been down in a dark hole lately. I need to get a new set of batteries for my miner's lamp, I think!

      Always nice to see you...thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. It would be nice to float above the world. To see it but have no responsibility for the terrible mess below. Saving the lamb was an investment in the future, that is lamb shanks.

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    1. That it would, Andrew; that it would.

      Thanks for popping in. :)

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  3. I've enjoyed reading this post on'lam' and 'lamb'- words that sound the same but differ in meaning (I'm no native speaker of english, so these things add to my knowledge of the language).
    Well, everyone, at times, will like to be "on the lam". Me, too.

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    1. G'day, Duta...perhaps we should all get together and run off together...somewhere peaceful, friendly and beautiful. I'll pack some sandwiches! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  4. I take it you're a little besotted with Harry? I remember similar feelings, not for Harry though. He's cute, but not my type.
    I'll copy that lamb shanks recipe for my kids, they like lamb shanks. I don't like lamb at all.

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    1. Hi River, As you're aware, I'm sure...I'm somewhat tongue-in-cheek with some of my comments. However, in saying that, I admire beauty whether it's in the young, middle or old; in male and female; in animals and in Nature in its many forms - and in music. I hope I never lose such feelings! :)

      I also like lamb! lol

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  5. I've been trying not to watch TV but still the news creeps in in other locations like the internet. I love lamb but it is so expensive here; I guess most farmers here in the USA raise cows instead of lamb. It's a good feeling to rescue a little one.

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    1. Hey Linda...I'm cutting down in watching the news...too much of it is too distressing - too depressing.

      I'll never forget the look on the face of the lamb's mother that day. She knew exactly what was happening...and her eyes followed me as I drove away...I bet she gave the little fellow a bit of a talking to! L

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  6. You are a good Samaritan:-) There is a little lamb somewhere dreaming of his beautiful rescuer.

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    1. Hi Annie...His mother scolded him for being so adventurous! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. NZ Lamb always nice.

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    1. Hi Mr. Ad-Man - as are New Zealanders. The Kiwis are very fun, hospitable neighbours to have.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. Ewe saved her little darling so it could end up on someone's plate. Good work. I don't care for the taste of sheep...but I do like their fibers.

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    1. Hi Delores...I like lamb/hogget/mutton....staples of Aussie dining tables, I guess, in a way.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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    2. Hogget is near impossible to get these days, only the oldest butchers know what it is, and I haven't seen mutton in decades. It's all lamb, lamb lamb.
      And baby lamb, which shouldn't be allowed in my opinion.

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  9. Too old to be a cougar? i very much doubt it. But if you are right then perhaps you will have to be a nanny goat instead. All young men like to be nannied - even Harry Styles or is that Hairy Styles? Hair Styles?...I wonder if that lamb remembers you sweetie lambkin.

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    1. Are you not-so subtly hinting that perhaps I am a goat, Yorkie? I guess, I can be a bit of a goat at times...silly me!

      Forget the young men, middle-aged men and old men they can all go elsewhere if they are looking for a nanny! I'm definitely not volunteering. I enjoy my own space and privacy far too much. Me, me and me two furry mates will do me! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  10. Well we had a wonderful New Zealand lamb casserole tonight, I just threw in so many lower carb vegetables it was delicious.

    I love the picture of Mt. Hutt, South Island

    All the best Jan

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    1. G'day Jan...your casserole sounds delicious. I think I'll have to make one for myself. Next time I'm at the butcher I'll get myself some lamb!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  11. Good of you to rescue the lamb - just love lamb :)
    Gosh the world in some places seems to be a mess - guess it will get ironed out eventually. I'm glad I live where I live though.

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    1. Hi Margaret...Sadly, and I hate being negative, I doubt the messes will ever be ironed out...not as long as humans roam this earth.

      I'm glad where I live, too.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  12. My daughter thanks you for the braised shanks recipe.

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    1. Aha....that's great, River...thanks. :)

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  13. Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Well I never. A beautiful book. I've lent my copy out so many times. It's always been returned though. Did you read RB's The Bridge Across Forever? I loved it. I never really got into One though.

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    1. Hey, Graham....I gave away many copies of JLS through the years.....I still have a copy of my own. I love that little book that bears a big story. Yes...I have read "Bridge Across Forever"...I still have a copy of it, too. As well as "Illusions" (1 and 2), "A Gift of Wings", "Messiah's Handbook". I was an avid reader of Bach. I did enjoy "One"...and I was so saddened when he and his wife, Leslie Parrish (of "Li'l Abner", the movie) separated and divorced. It proved, to me, no relationship no matter how solid, how loving it appears is secure; and I became somewhat disillusioned with the whole damned thing called "love".

      Back in March, 1976, my ex and I married to Neil Diamond's "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"soundtrack playing in the background during our civil ceremony.

      I still love that album; and I'm still friends with my ex.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  14. I know what you mean. Things could really get draining sometimes. I hope you get to fly with Harry Styles. :)

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    1. Hey Lux...it certainly does become draining...far too often. I've a wild imagination...so I might just go soaring aloft with Harry...answering to no one. :)

      Thanks for coming by. Take good care. :)

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  15. That was so nice of you to get that wee lamb back to safety!

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    1. Hi Lynn...It's mother was very happy about it, too. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  16. Interesting thoughts and perspective. Sometimes life could be overwhelming and one must continue being hopeful daily. Warm greetings and best wishes to you.

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  17. Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!
    Thank for your very good article...!

    Football News

    ReplyDelete
  18. I can't say I've had that much interest in music.

    gclub

    ReplyDelete