Oh. Um. YES.Work has kind of sucked lately, and it’s partly my own doing, but it’s made me really tired. When I left the office on Friday, the digital thermostat showed 31°C (88°F, I shit you not). And I get really cranky in the heat, and my thighs rub together so they get all sweaty and I feel slick all up in places you don’t ordinarily want to feel slick in at work, which is super gross, and I’m only telling you this because I want your pity. There is no air conditioning.

So, in a genius attempt to beat the heat, I’ve been showing up at 6:45 am, so that I can blow that melted popsicle stand by 3:30. Except that I’ve been riding my bike, so I have to leave at 6:00 am, which, I don’t know if you know this, is REALLY GODDAMN EARLY. I’ve been coming home, shotgunning an ice-cold beer, and throwing myself naked into bed for a hearty nap. It’s all that’s kept me going these days. That, and the lamb. I acquired some ground lamb this weekend.

And yesterday we did the izakaya-thing (ten dollar pitchers on Monday!), so today was a day for an easy home-cooked meal. Something on the barbecue, because it’s freaking hot all of a sudden, and my blood is still thick from winter and I cannot bear the idea of the stove right now. And so, LAMBURGERS!

Lamb burgers with feta and spinach

(Serves four.)

  • 1 lb. lean ground lamb (approximately – it may have been more like a pound and a half)
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of most of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix everything together in a bowl. Use your hands. Form into patties – this should make about four patties. I made two patties and then rolled the rest into ten meatballs, which I will freeze and then throw into pasta on a night when I’m feeling meatballish and lazy.

Meat on grill.Grill burgers about ten minutes, or four to five minutes per side. Serve on grilled buns topped with sliced tomato, red onion, and tzatziki. I would have added pine nuts and olives, but Nick doesn’t like those, and my blood is too thick for tiffs. I’ve never cared much for sweating.

Lamb burger with grilled zucchini.These are amazing. I couldn’t finish mine, because seriously – that’s a huge burger. But Nick packed in a burger and a half, and then asked for the meatballs.

Meatballs. And now, fed and still very warm, I think it’s naked couch time. And Rumble in the Bronx time. (It’s always naked/Rumble time.) “You got the guts? Drop the gun!” And, “I hope next time we meet, we are not fighting together. I hope we are drinking tea together.” And … good night.

Broke and full. Success!

It’s the day before payday, which is always bleak. Well, bleak in that we can’t indulge our usual gluttonous passions – no beer, no wine, all out of eggs, and a dwindling supply of vegetables on hand. The fridge is sparse at the moment. But it’s after nine, and I’ve got bread in the oven for tomorrow’s meager breakfast before our bank balances nudge ever so slightly into the positive. And we’re full, most of a pot of soup gone, all of yesterday’s meatload depleted.

Nick said it was the best soup I’d ever made, which put me in a bit of a pout, because I like to think that my specialty, my sumptuous sweet potato and coconut soup with lemongrass and red curry spices, is far better, more interesting, more favourable. Tonight’s soup was hobo soup, essentially. A head of cauliflower that’s been tucked in the back of the fridge for three weeks, maybe a month. An onion, some garlic. The remainders of two cartons of chicken stock, about three cups. The rest of the non-sour milk, maybe a cup and a half. A small round of that delicious Boursin cheese. Salt. Pepper. Cayenne. And that’s that, simmered until the cauliflower softened, then blended with my awesome new hand blender.

Ever notice that a meal of just soup is kind of sad, no matter how good the soup? Me too. I had just enough butter left on hand for a half-batch of baking powder biscuits. Once they came out of the oven, I sliced them, and stuffed them with the remaining meatload  from yesterday, with a sprinkling of cheese.  We are fat and sassy. We are full and content, Star Trek TNG on TV, a loaf of soda bread in the oven smelling our space up real nice.

Tomorrow, I will buy groceries for the next few days, bake brownies for Nick’s bake sale (he’s not 7 … he’s 27), and life will return to normal. We will have beer again, and possibly wine. But for now, we’ve enjoyed a lovely evening. Am pleased. Tra-la-la!