Tom: Today we’re featuring Lee, whose birthday meal this is. This is a great meal for a birthday feast. What’s this recipe called again?
Kirstin: “Shoulder of Lamb”… oh, bugger! I got a leg! Oops!
Tom: Well, it was very good. Really tasty and salty. Was it a fiddle to make?
Kirstin: No, it was incredibly easy. And it smelt delicious while it was cooking.
Annika: I liked the succulence. I enjoyed the anchovy.
Tom: Oh, so that’s where the saltiness came from!
Lee: As I walked into the kitchen, the waft… wafted out. The scent. The aroma. Of a kitchen that was warm with garlic and wine. It hit me.
Kirstin: How many glasses of wine have you had?
Lee: I sat down, and I just inhaled the aroma of something… that was to be a surprise for my birthday. C’etait formidable! Incroyable! After one bottle of failed champagne…
Tom: We had a bottle of real champagne, before we tried to fizz our home-made wine in the Sodastream.
Kirstin: Heston did that! He fizzed Blue Nun in a Sodastream. And nobody could tell it wasn’t champagne. But our wine fizzed all over the place.
Lee (still going): …all we needed was a big fireplace for comfort, and warmth, and congeniality. And then came the wine… the wine from your garden! Your chateau! How many people do that? It was good.
Tom: I was surprised that the home-made wine was pretty good. When we opened that second bottle.
Annika: The potatoes were nice and cripsy.
Tom: I also liked the way I had to carve the lamb on a board and then put the slices of meat back into the sauce in the baking tray. It kept the meat warm and stopped it drying out. Yum!
Lee: Did I tell you about the secret ingredients in the lamb? When we tasted it there were secret ingredients. We couldn’t figure them out. Subtle ingredients. Garlic! Olives! Anchovies! Which gave the salt. Which is unusual for lamb! It was a new adventure into lamb.
Annika: I’ve had lamb with anchovies in it before, but because this was cooked in the juice, it was moisterer.
Kirstin: You put the whole anchovies in the pan with the garlic and the wine, and they just dissolve.
Lee (eyeing the leftovers): Are you having that tomorrow?
Kirstin: No. I hate cold lamb.
Lee: I’ll have it then. Wendy’s coming over and we’re going to the opera. Let’s talk about the dessert Annika made!
Annika: It’s Ottolenghi. I’ve made it three times now, and this was the best. I made it with blueberries before.
Lee (now thinking about birthdays): Everybody’s got to have a birthday sometime. So, happy birthday to everybody for 2010-11!