Friday, June 14, 2013

When J Cooks (Braised Lamb Shanks)

So, back in January I declared that I wanted to grow an Avocado plant out of J's avocado seed. I want to grow a lot of things, but I'm generally bad at doing so. I do okay with Spider Plants, because they seem to enjoy drying out and then being drowned, which is the natural result of my neglectful gardening habits. I'm less good with herbs and I keep bringing them home and killing them using the same methods over and over again as if I expect things to go differently this time despite identical planticidal methods. Case and point, the other day J said to me, "You know, next time you want to use the chives perhaps you should clip a few longer bits from the side, rather than just giving the entire plant a buzz cut. That probably stresses them out."

Nonetheless, J was on board for growing an avocado and, as per internet directions, we stuck some wooden skewers into the sides of the avocado pit and tripodded it over a bowl full of water. Here's where my black thumb served us well: It didn't sprout. It didn't sprout through January, nor through February. Eventually, we figured that it was probably dead or upside-down, but I suggested we leave it anyway, primarily because I was way too lazy to throw it away and wash the bowl. Late into March it sprouted, and it has been growing strong ever since. Not on my account, but because J loves it more than me. I don't mean J loves it more than I love it. He loves it more than he loves me.

Okay, probably not really. I'm the first thing he talks to in the morning. But avocado plant is definitely the second. He takes much better care of it than I would, and pays attention to when it seems to be happy and sad and so learns things about it. That being said, it turns out that it might like to dry out between waterings, so it may have done okay with me after all. In any case, look how cute it is sitting in the old coffee tin from New Orleans. And yes, that is one giant leaf, not just a perspective illusion.

Avocado Plant
Along with my leggy sage, the Christmas plant D&V sent two
years ago (still alive!), our blackout candles, and a stick I liked.
Okay, plant segue is over. More importantly, look at this fracking delicious lamb that J cooked us. He's always been excellent at certain things (he cooks a mean eggy breakfast), but he hasn't been as adventurous in cooking as I have until recently. Perhaps in part because I was over-zealous when he first moved out here and so I spent a lot of time making him beef wellingtons and ridiculous desserts, basically trying to convince him that uprooting his life and moving across the country for a stab at love was a swell idea. But the other day we were out at the grocery store and these shanks were on sale and J said, "Yum, can we get those??" to which I replied, "I've never cooked lamb shanks. I don't know how and I'm too lazy this week. If we get them, it's all on you." Emboldened by his recent pork tenderloin mastery, he gamely stepped up to the plate with this Jaime Oliver recipe

Wine and Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks

The shanks were fantastic. Basically, I'm never going to cook again. It's all on him now. 

Wine and Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks
Nom nom nom nom nom stick of meat.
Wine and Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks
Rightfully pleased

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