Friday, August 9, 2019

Meeting, Charcoal Steak House, Puma,

I'm excited and I know Lisa is too. She and her husband Geoffrey are coming to Kitchener and we are going to meet up. She and I are both members of a Dragon Fellowship and I will be the third member she has met f2f. I think it's wonderful when you get to meet an internet friend whom you have known for years (6 in this case). They are staying in a local Radisson and we are having supper together across the road at the Charcoal Steakhouse.

We had a great evening with a delicious meal. I had my arm twisted a bit and risked one large glass of wine which is, of course, fine. Three of us had steak and Lisa  had ribs which looked delicious. I had a chocolate cake (flourless) dessert which Matt helped me with. Lisa and Geoffery did the same thing. Turns out Geoffrey is an enthusiastic cook and they have a larger Instant Pot. He is interested in my lamb recipes for it. So, specially for you Geoffrey, here is the link to one recipe for lamb chops and my most recent recipe I am posting again below.

I did have one complaint for the restaurant, their wheelchair spots are a long walk from the from the front door. Before  my blood transfusion I would have had trouble walking it at all and Matt was having a lot of trouble tonight. I asked the waitress to report it to the management. That reminds me, I must admit I was so preoccupied I didn't notice it was taking them forever to serve our meal. In the end the manager came and apologised profusely and said our bottle of wine was on him. Lisa got him to take a pic of all four of us at the table. They will be sending me the pix they took (I didn't even think to take any). I will, obviously pass them on.

Unfortunately our car is doing the same thing it did before which they were supposed to have fixed a week ago. It sounds like it's rubbing something. Anyway, we have arranged that Geoffrey and Lisa will collect us in the morning and we will take it to our garage. We will then head to Mandarin for lunch and with any luck, they might fix it by the time we get back.

One piece of bad news today, ladydog lost her beloved dog Puma. She was getting on for a dog, but nevertheless it is always hurtful to lose a member of one's family like that. I extend my deepest sympathies to you ladydog. Lots of hugs.

I might say Lisa and I never stopped talking. I had trouble reading the menu because we talked so  much. It was absolutely wonderful to meet her and pretty good to meet Geoffrey too. More to follow tomorrow.


2 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
kosher salt
2 Tbs grapeseed oil, plus more as necessary
1 large onion, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
one-inch piece ginger, skin-on, cut into thin slices
1 head garlic, broken into cloves, skin-on
4 -7 whole arbol chiles, to taste
2 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp garam masala (or a combination of both) or 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder (or a combination of both)
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 cups water
steamed rice, for serving
chopped cilantro, for serving

1. Preheat Instant Pot to saute setting.

2. Generously season lamb cubes with salt. Add grapeseed oil to pot and swirl to coat. Add lamb, in batches so as not to overcrowd pot, and sear until golden, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Remove lamb to a large plate as they finish.

3. Drain all but 1 tablespoon oil (or add an additional tablespoon if pan is dry). Add onion, ginger, garlic cloves, and chile de arbol, season with salt, and saute until golden in spots, about 5 minutes. Add lamb back to pan. Create a well in the center, add one additional tablespoon grapeseed oil, and add spices. Stir to coat with oil and toast until fragrant, 30 seconds. Gently fold to incorporate lamb and onions. Sprinkle with cornstarch and sugar, stir to combine, and add water, scraping bottom of pan to deglaze. (You can also do this in a skillet on the stovetop over high heat; cooking time will be reduced. Transfer mixture to Instant Pot and proceed as per recipe.).

4. Cover and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Release the pressure naturally.

5. With a slotted spoon, remove lamb and aromatics to a bowl. Cover to keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid, using a fat separator, if desired. Season cooking liquid and lamb with salt. Return lamb and aromatics to cooking liquid, stir to combine, and serve over rice, garnished with cilantro.

Servings: 4

Source: Food

Have a great day


  1. Sorry about the issues with the restaurant, but great you spent the evening with Lisa and her husband!

    1. Not really a problem Alex, but it was great meeting them last night. They are having lunch with us today and we are taking our "@**!!@: car in this morning.

  2. That is neat you got to meet up with an online friend! Such a great experience I'm sure as I've been privileged to meet a few over the years! That is sad about the lady's dog passing. Always hard to lose a pet; they are part of our family I do believe!


    1. Yes it was great Betty. I too have been lucky enough to meet internet friends over the years.

      Losing a pet is always sad, as you say, they are part of the family.

  3. Free bottle of wine and you got to meet a blogger buddy - how wonderful.

    1. Yup, worked well Diane. Especially as I didn't even notice the food was taking a long time.

  4. We are SOOO happy to have made the trip to Kitchener! Jo and Matt are the perfect hosts, and we loved our dinner together. The car is fixed (keeping fingers crossed!) and we are dining together again tonight. Jo, you are even better in person than on the internet. Thank you so much for meeting up with us and making us feel so welcome... Geoffrey can't wait to get home to try your recipes and for me to tell him how to follow your blog!

    1. We were thrilled to have you visit Lisa and wonderful to meet Geoffrey as well. Thank you both so much for coming to see us. I hope you can make it next spring for the asparagus season.