Friday, April 15, 2011

Car, Polls, Books

Thanks for small mercies. Yesterday Matt went to get our car CD player fixed. We thought we were in the middle of another high bill. In the end, it took 5 minutes and cost us nothing. Phew. Apparently CD Ingramsdisc changers are no longer available in Canada – as I told you the other day – so I was planning to ship one from Amazon to the garage in NC which we always went to and to get it repaired in September. One thing we have always regretted about leaving NC was our access to Ingram Autos which was one of the best repair shops we have ever used. Not only that, the owner, Phil, was the most honest man we have ever met.

I mentioned having to vote in advance of the polls because we were working, I didn’t realise at first that the advanced polls are on Easter Weekend, starting Good Friday, that does surprise me. Friday, Saturday and Monday.

I have just finished a book by a new author calledDragons-Path- Daniel Abraham, well new to me at least, the book is called The Dragon’s Path and is the beginning of a series called The Dagger and the Coin. I have no idea how many books will be in this series, but it looks as though it is going to be a pretty popular one. I enjoyed this book although at times I wasn’t too sure. However, now I am awaiting the next book which is called The King’s Blood. The book is full of different versions of the human species all of which were originally designed by the extinct dragon rulers of the world. There is also a religious sect who appear to want to “eat the world” according to an apostate. I am now back to my next Wheel of Time Book, Book 6, Lord of Chaos.

Ever since I started using WebMD to count calories, I have been getting some great recipes from them. There are many who won’t be interested because its lamb, but if I can get hold of some shoulder, it will be in my pot very soon.

Middle Eastern Lamb Stew

WebMD Recipe from

This brothy stew is boldly flavored with a blend of characteristic Middle Eastern spices and finished with fresh spinach and fiber-rich chickpeas. Economical lamb shoulder tenderizes beautifully when leisurely cooked in a slow cooker. If you can’t find boneless shoulder stew meat, do not substitute more-expensive lamb leg—it tends to dry out during slow cooking. Instead, purchase lamb shoulder chops and debone them. Serve over bulgur and accompany with a salad.Middle_Eastern_Lamb_Stew_

Servings: 8

Yield: 8 servings, about 1 cup each

Total Time: 4 1/4-6 3/4 hours

Prep Time: 40 minutes

To Make Ahead: Prepare the stew, omitting the spinach, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Add spinach after the stew is reheated. Prep ahead: Trim lamb and coat with spice mixture. Chop onions. Combine broth, tomatoes and garlic. Refrigerate in separate covered containers for up to 1 day.

Recipe Ingredients:
  1. 1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb stew meat (shoulder cut) or 2 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder chops, deboned, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
  3. 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  4. 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  8. 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  9. 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  10. 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  11. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  12. 1 15- or 19-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  13. 6 ounces baby spinach
Recipe Steps:
  1. Place lamb in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Mix oil, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Coat the lamb with the spice paste and toss to coat well. Top with onion.
  2. Bring tomatoes, broth and garlic to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour over the lamb and onion. Cover and cook until the lamb is very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours on high or 5 1/2 to 6 hours on low.
  3. Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface of the stew. Mash 1/2 cup chickpeas with a fork in a small bowl. Stir the mashed and whole chickpeas into the stew, along with spinach. Cover and cook on high until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

Have a great day



  1. I've not heard of that one, Jo. Nice thoughts on it though. I'll have to look it up.

    I LOVE lamb. Prices for it here are out of sight. Was much more reasonable when I lived in California. We've approached a sheep farmer here and are going to buy one of his lambs so we can have it in the freezer.

    Have a great day and a lovely weekend.

  2. I guess I should look into doing that - there are local sheep farmers although not so many. Lamb prices are prohibitive here too.

    Lovely weekend to you too Sia.