Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I said: "We absolutely are NOT going to cook a whole lamb. On the beach. With 35 people coming for Bastille Day dinner."
He said: "Yes, we are."
I said: "The meat will be burnt in some parts and raw in others. And every dog in Santa Cruz county will be racing down the beach to attack the carcass."
He said: "Relax. I'll handle it."
(In this marriage "relax" means "stop your yammering because my mind is made up.")
The yammering, of course, continued. It accelerated as I fretted over whether UPS would deliver the lamb in time. It veered dangerously close to whining as I helped lug a 40-pound carton from house to car to beach house. And then I gave up and shut up, other than to ask, "WHY do you want to do this?"
"Because it's a challenge," I was told.
Should anyone want to undertake a similar challenge, I'd urge the rental of a professional grill with motorized spit. Do as I say; not as He did. Our lamb roasted on a MacGuyver-like contraption of two pieces of 3/4-inch T-top water pipe driven into the sand with a five-foot length of hollow, square steel rod threaded through the T-tops.
Securing the lamb onto the spit required sewing, balancing and cursing. Turning the spit immediately overwhelmed the wimpy little motor borrowed from our home grill. Instead, someone had to sit by the fire and hand-turn the beastie every five minutes. For five hours.
And the result? Some of the juiciest, tastiest lamb I've ever eaten -- redolent with the rosemary and garlic sewn into the carcass's cavity and steeped in the olive oil and lemon juice marinade.
A triumph, damnit. Murmurings of "a pig next year" already have me biting my tongue; yammering would be futile.