Thursday, December 04, 2014

don't silence this lamb

My Wednesday calendar looked like a candidate's speaking schedule.

Rotary meeting.  Tour of police command post.  Introduction to various agencies in county government.  Church board meeting.

It brought back memories of short, group-oriented speeches ending with the tag line: "My name is Steve Cotton.  I would appreciate your vote."

Fortunately, those days are over.  And I may write about a couple of the yesterday's events before long.  But not this day. 

This essay will be about one thing -- a marvelous meal shared with friends on Barra de Navidad's beach.

I believe I have mentioned Marlena's restaurant in the past.  It has long been one of my favored dining spots.  As you might guess from the name, her German dishes are the specialty of the house.

I initially ordered a smoked pork chop with sauerkraut.  When Marlena came out to graciously greet us, she told us she had some rack of lamb left, and wanted to know if any of us wanted to try it.

Wynn and Lou passed.  But asking me if I would like lamb is like asking Bill Clinton if he would mind meeting the prettiest woman at the party.  I immediately switched from pork to lamb.  Such is my mercurial partisanship.

And I am glad I did.  The lamb was French.  Gloriously tender.  The type of tenderness that can bring a joyful tear to the eye of a failed curmudgeon.

The first step in any good meal is high quality ingredients.  But a faulty preparation can ruin the best of meat.  What appeared on my plate was one of the best-prepared lamb dishes I have eaten in a long, long time.

The lamb evoked grassy Spring pastures on the Loire.  Assisted by a reduction sauce that complemented the perfectly-cut chops.

Rounding out the plate were rosemary-roasted potatoes and fresh green beans with almonds.  A classic choice that made a perfect dining experience.

My primary reason for eating out is not the food.  I go to socialize.  And there are few nights better than sharing the sight of the sun setting on the Mexican coast than with my friends Lou and Wynn.

But last night's special aura would not have been there without Marlena's grace and the memorable meal her kitchen served up.

And people ask me why I live in Mexico.


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