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Aug 25 12 11:00 AM

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I have a terrible hunger for Irish lamb stew today.  Anyone out there holding a secret recipe they care to share?  My dear mother, (RIP), made a dynamite version she inherited from her own mother, but took her secrets to the big kitchen in the sky-- Its the Angles now enjoying her cooking.  I bring this up because food has been in our news almost daily recently.  We have just completed a week of 'Fiesta' in Santa Barbara were we honor our Spanish heritage by dressing up like Zorro, drinking Dos XXX beer and pretending our decent Mexicans are Kings for the week, after which they are expected to disappear.  Thankfully, they have left us a wonderful cuisine.  In fact, without the ubiquitous Taco and Burrito, we Westerns might succumb to a fierce hunger.  Imagine Philly without the steak sandwich. 
Another occasion keeping food in the news: celebrating what would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday--the woman that weaned  America off T.V. Dinners.  She lived down the street from us here in retirement,  and I would occasionally encounter her and another neighbor, Jonathan Winters,  shopping for-- what else?-- food!  I couldn't imagine how funny talk about food could get until I listened in on these two.  LMAO!  My Dawn was in the restaurant business and took some of Julia's classes and purchased most of her books.  Consequently, I have been blessed as a recipient of many of her dishes.  Ooh La La!  But today my thoughts are on Dolly, the lamb, especially one of her legs.  Help, please.

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#1 [url]

Aug 25 12 4:11 PM

YO Kevin, I know Jack Shit about Irish Lamb Stew but,being Armenian,I grew up eating lamb like it was ground beef.Back in the day,it was plentiful and CHEAP !My mom and I would take the 23 Trolley to the South Philly food markets and spend my Dad's hard earned money buying up all quality lamb available.Mom was one hell of a shopper.She bargained like crazy.Embarassed me to death.It would take two Jew's to out hustle my mom.Years later,while working hard to provide for my family,my mom's negotiating skills rubbed off on me.It was my turn to embarass my wife.Today,the tables have been turned. Lamb is so hard to find today,and it is quite expensive.Usually,it is in good supply around Easter and Christmas.Lamb Shish Kebab and Rice Pillaf was a standard meal for our family for years.My wife Fran has continued the tradition for the past 46 years,but the lamb is hard to find today. Being an athlete,I got all my strenght and power by eating lamb.No need to waste time lifting weights and other training techniques. Paul Borian....oh how I yearn for my weekly meal of lamb with anything else.

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#2 [url]

Aug 25 12 8:03 PM

Yo  Bor&Kevin,
                         Both of you, submitted great posts about Lamb which is a delicacy and has a savoriness that  should be appreciated by more Americans. Kevin McKernan has a hunger for Irish Lamb Stew which is quite a treat on Saint Patrick's Day and since Kevin lives not far from Napa Valley, he can have some California Cabernet with The Lamb Stew. Australians are known for their Lamb and since Kevin lives in Santa Barbara, he can hook up with Crocodile Dundee,the actor,and get a good Lamb Recipe and savor The Lamb with some good Malbec from Argentina. Argentina is known for their steak but there is great Lamb emanating from Argentina and especially Patagonia. Grilled Lamb at an Estancia with Malbec is something to die for. Being a single lad, I often go to restaurants with cosmopolitan ladies who order a Rack of lamb and wash it down with a bottle of Cabernet. Bor talked about growing up on Lamb and enjoying Shish Kebab not only from his mother's great cooking but also the succulent Shish Kebab prepared by his devoted wife,Fran. Bor! You knew Bob Nasef of Germantown who was Lebanese-American and I knew his cousin,Al Nasef,South Philly,and like you,they liked Shish Kebab. In the 60's, I would go to Jim Tayoun's Mid-East Restaurant in center-city and I concentrated on my date and The Shish Kebab-not The Belly Dancer since I was a reserved Prepper. Catherine of Australia is blogging on The Forum and Our Mona Lisa surely would knew a good recipe for Lamb. I am a seasoned citizen and I am getting hungry for Lamb. I am also conflicted-Do I go to Dublin for Lamb Irish Stew,Australia for Lamb Chops,or Patagonia for grilled Lamb.
                                                                                                        Bruce Schmitt-Lover of Lamb&Malbrc

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#3 [url]

Aug 25 12 10:19 PM

Damn, Boar, You got me all juiced with your great lamb stories but didn't cough up a decent recipe.  BTW,  I do like your Mom.  Mine didn't travel well and did the Acme special on Friday nights.  Her and Dad filled the icebox each Friday--for the week-- and we emptied it by Sunday.  Remember how each of the stores had their own delivery man who would leave the full, brown paper bags on your porch if no one was home?  I often returned to find a puddle of ice cream.  What a waste.  We did lamb on Sundays, roasted with small browned potatoes often.  Mondays we took cold lamb on white buttered bread with Irish sauce (ketchup) to school in those little paper bags.  Some Eejit's (idiots) thought I would trade my precious for their P&J or tuna sandwich. Duh!!  The remaining bone and any lamb went into the pot for Lamb stew.  I'll add a big ditto to your observation about lamb being plentiful and cheap back in the day.  That's certainly not the case today out here.  What we do get is  New Zealand lamb, good,  but expensive.  The market isn't large (it's considered an ethnic food), but you would think if they dropped the $ more would be attracted to trying it.  Dawn and I rub our leg of lamb with olive oil and seasonings, roast it,  and often serve it with Tabouli or couscous, a splash of Egyptian mint sauce and I'm ready the for reserved guy's belly dancers while I sip the red.
JB, you may appreciate this lamb story, given your experience with those lamb eating, cosmopolitan damsels.  Around the turn of this decade, on the occasion of brother Bernie's wedding to his lovely wife, Phyllis, as best man, he treated Dawn and myself to dinner at the finest Prime Rib House in Baltimore. It was very plush, very expensive and the clientele, in their silk Italian suits, seemed somewhat dubious to me.  When the doorman addressed him by his first name and welcomed him back, I pulled him aside and asked:  Exactly what is it you been doing lately?  He assured me everything was cool and we ordered.  Big prime rib for Dawn and himself, but I broke his heart by ordering a rack of lamb.  Bernie detests lamb.  God did not give him the gift.  I left a neat, clean pile of lamb ribs; they doggy-bagged their half of cow. 
Kevin McKernan 

Kevin Mc Kernan

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#4 [url]

Aug 26 12 6:31 AM

Kevin, What is brother Bernie's problem ? Can't imagine anyone who does not like lamb,especially rib lamb chops.All you need is an appetite,two hands,strong teeth to bite every last bit of meat on the ribs,and start all over again with another rib lamb chop.Unfortunately,rib lamb chops are harder to find than gold. Baby Lamb Borian

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#5 [url]

Aug 26 12 6:57 AM

Schmitty, Knew the Nasife family well,and went to school with Bobby.They are Syrian ,and I'm sure,very upset with the civil war going on in their country. My teamate at Villanova,second baseman Freddy Anthony (R.I.P.)was lebanese whose family were part owners of the Middle East Resturant.Dined there a few times back in the 50's and 60's,and found it hard to concentrate on the food and belly dancers at the same time.BTW,Freddy was a Great baseball player,but only about five feet,six inches tall,weighing about 160 pounds.A few more inches and some pounds,he would have played professional baseball.He could hit and field,and was a student of the game of baseball.Being from 10th and Ellsworth,he was also very fond of the ponies.He always had a Telegraph ( horse racing newsletter)in his possesion at Nova,always handicapping.He was a walk-on on our baseball team,and commuted from South Philly to the Main Line for four years. Bor

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