The Circle Of Lamb

Two months ago, I was at my local library borrowing Pam Anderson’s “How to Cook Without A Book” and quickly going through my new stack of post-its to mark the pages. How I got from there to having the amazing trio of Pam, Maggy and Sharon of Three Many Cooks guest post in my blog is still a bit of a mystery to me. But I do know that I’m incredibly fortunate to have gotten to know them, especially Maggy, who already feels like an old friend. Pam and her daughters are just about the warmest, most giving, and absolutely genuine people I’ve never met in person. That “never met in person” part will change soon, but I’ll save that for a future post.

Thanks for sharing yet another glimpse into your wonderful family, Pam!

—Warmly and with much admiration, Ivoryhut

The Ivory Hut: The Circle Of Lamb

The Circle Of Lamb
By Pam Anderson
Related recipe: Tandoori-Spiced Grilled Butterflied Lamb

There isn’t a cut of lamb we ThreeManyCooks don’t love. We adore shanks and stews in winter. Come spring we feast on racks. When the weather warms, we grill boned and spice-rubbed leg or shoulder for easy get-togethers.

But it’s been a long time getting here. When Maggy and Sharon (my daughters and two of the “three cooks in Pam Anderson’s kitchen”) were ten and twelve, they announced their new status: vegetarian.

It was nearly fifteen years ago when the V-bomb was dropped on me. I suppose a good mother would have allowed the choice, maybe even commended them for their ethical maturity. But since I made my living writing about the ultimate prime rib, the best pork ribs, and perfect leg of lamb, I wasn’t about to let my pre-adolescent daughters dictate my lifestyle and career. They knew the house rules. I was a professional cook, but I wasn’t running a restaurant. There was no menu. We shared the same meal.

They howled, I compromised. That day we three struck a deal. I excused them from pork, beef and lamb if they would eat poultry and fish. That’s how it went until they left for college.

Ultimately, it was good for us all. I saved them from a decade of excessive junk food consumption (it’s awfully easy for “vegetarian” teens to forswear meat for things like Barbeque Chips and Cheetos). And I helped them stick to their commitment—without dishes like turkey meatloaf, spaghetti & (turkey) meatballs, and chicken burgers, they would have probably caved pretty quickly.

But, for their part, they saved my husband and me from a decade of excessive red meat consumption. Except for the occasional steak or rack of lamb we’d enjoy when they weren’t around, we pretty much stuck to poultry and fish.

But eventually Maggy and Sharon circled back. Maggy landed in London with a seriously carnivorous boyfriend (now husband). When it was time to meet his grandmother and feast on one of her Sunday roast lamb dinners, Maggy decided not to make a scene and stomach the lamb. Turns out, she liked it. In fact, it’s her favorite. After spending five relatively meatless months in Malawi last year, Maggy requested lamb stew as her first meal back in the US.

Between Sharon’s post-college stint at Fine Cooking magazine and her food-loving boyfriend, Tony, she’s re-introduced herself to red meat too. Lamb is also one of her favorites. Their first meal as a couple at our house: lamb shanks. Second meal: rack of lamb.

And me? Fifteen years after my daughters’ plea, I now eat vegetarian at least two days a week. But whenever we ThreeManyCooks get together for a special meal, like as not, lamb is somewhere on the menu.

The Ivory Hut: The Circle Of Lamb


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