Monday, December 23, 2019

Dog Sledding, Movies, Christmas Lunch,

Had a delightful afternoon on Saturday. The woman who comes to clean for us joined us for a drop of bubbly or fizz. Because she was driving, she only had half a glass, but we had fun with her. As she walked in the door I gave her a duster!! She was telling us about her son and his girlfriend who went dog sledding. Showed us pix. I have always wanted to go dog sledding. Not likely to happen now.

Saturday evening I happened to catch Kismet on TCM. It is a 1955 film and the lead singer was Howard Keel who, in his day, was one of the best singers around. Sadly he died in 2004. He was in all the best musicals. I saw the musical in London and the lead was played by Alfred Drake who was another wonderful singer. The omitted some things from the show and put things into the movie. However, to me, it is a wonderful movie with wonderful songs. I was choking up seeing the movie once again. So guess what, I have bought if for myself. It's full of nostalgia for me. Matt used to love Kismet too, but sadly it has no meaning for him any more. Sunday night I caught Going My Way with Bing Crosby which I thoroughly enjoyed. Matt was eventually somewhat interested. He does appreciate music but not musicals.

Today, Monday, is our Christmas lunch at the bowling alley so we have to be there early. I think our other two team members will be there this week too. The family who run the bowling alley have  birthday and anniversary celebrations this month, two this week. No exercise classes until after Christmas. In fact they don't start again til the 30th which means I won't be able to go til next year. Pity, but there it is.

This recipe looks interesting. I have no idea what Pomegranate Molasses is or if one can get it locally. Also, the picture is titled as being over Hashweh - something I am totally unfamiliar with. Having looked it up, sounds good but doesn't look quite the same. Not only that there is an ingredient, barberries, of which I have also never heard! Up to you if you are going to try it.

Spiced Leg of Lamb

Reem Kassis’ mother, Nisreen, would serve leg of lamb to guests because it was “a sign of utmost
respect.” Large cuts of meat were expensive and often reserved for special occasions and celebratory gatherings. Kassis’ secret to making this next-level lamb is to roast it low and slow for several hours until the meat is nearly falling apart and then finish it at a higher temperature until the fat on the outside is candy-crisp.

8 large garlic cloves, divided
3 Tbs pomegranate molasses
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 Tbs ground coriander
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp ground dill seeds
2 tsp sumac
1 tsp Nine-Spice Mix
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (4 1/2- to 5 1/2-pound) bone-in leg of lamb (shank end)
3 fresh bay leaves
1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

1. Mince 4 of the garlic cloves. In a small bowl, whisk minced garlic, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, salt, coriander, cumin, dill, sumac, Nine-Spice Mix, and cayenne until a smooth paste forms.

2. Using a paring knife, cut slits all over lamb. Rub spice mixture over lamb, pressing into slits. Smash remaining 4 garlic cloves. Tuck bay leaves and smashed garlic into 4 of the slits. Transfer lamb to a wire rack set in a large roasting pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Let lamb stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.

3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Roast lamb, uncovered, in preheated oven until spice mixture just begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove lamb from the oven, and reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Add 1/2 cup water to roasting pan, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Return lamb to oven, and roast at 325°F until tender and almost falling apart, about 3 hours, adding more water if necessary. (Water in pan may evaporate too quickly.)

4. Increase oven temperature to 425°F. (Do not remove pan from oven.) Uncover roasting pan, and continue to roast until top is browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer lamb to a cutting board; tent with foil, and let rest 15 minutes. Pull meat into large chunks and serve.

Servings: 8

Author: Reem Kassis

Have a great a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.


  1. I find dog sledding fascinating and have often watched documentaries in awe and wonder.
    Kismet? Not a movie I have heard of, much less seen.
    We can get Pomegranate molasses and barberries (which are quite tart) here.
    Enjoy your Christmas lunch - to the max.

    1. Me too Sue. If you ever get a chance to see Kismet, don't miss it. Pure romance but very enjoyable.

      I wonder if we can get them here? Will do my best to enjoy it.

  2. Hi Jo - dog sledding does sound fun ... but yes like you not something I'll be doing. Pomegranate molasses wonder how different it is ... while barberries - are believe it or not ... berberis by any other name! I wouldn't mind trying it - but won't be ...

    Just enjoy the bowling ... and have a few happy days - and then on into the New Year - cheers Hilary

    1. No Hilary, pity we missed out. Didn't know they were berberis but am unfamiliar with them too.

      Will do my best.

  3. I have had some nutty spam comments I eliminated, and reported as spam, but your spam comment takes the prize for weird.

    1. I didn't read very much of it Denise, just saw something about baby and magic and deleted it straight away.

  4. I hope you aren't wanting to get pregnant. Zoey would be jealous. hahaha.
    I think you can get pomegranate molasses at the Indian store. I can look for it after Christmas.

    1. I would make medical history if I got pregnant Jan. Bit late for Zoey anyway isn't it?

      I need to go to that store and check it out. Sure it's the one I went to once before.