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What with one thing and another, it looks as if ol’ Robbo is going to be doing the Easter Dinner cooking at the port-swiller household.   And it’s never too early to start planning things out.

Recently I happened to come across a rayther intriguing Greek marinade/grilling recipe for goat.  I’m not going to bother trying to track down goat meat, but there’s no good reason I couldn’t use the same recipe for lamb, right?

UPDATE:  The port-swiller emailbag has quickly filled with hundreds of inquiries along the lines of, “So what’s the recipe, already?”  Now that I have the original in hand, I pass it along:

Grilled Goat With Retsina

2 ½ pounds goat meat, cut into 2-inch pieces (remember, I’ll be trying lamb)

Course ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sel gris (whatever that is)

1 tablespoon sumac (wherever I’m going to find that)

 ¼ cup olive oil

4 cups retsina (With a few extra swigs for the cook, of course.  I wonder if Total Bev carries it?)

1 yellow onion, cut into thin half-moons

10 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1½ tablespoons dried wild Neopolitan oregano (Pahdon me, I’m off to play the grahnd piaaahno!)

3 stalks rosemary

Fine sea salt

In a nonreactive dish, season meat with pepper, salt and sumac.  Pour in retsina and olive oil.  Add onion, garlic and herbs.  Stir to evenly distribute ingredients.  Marinate 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare grill.

Pour marinade into small pot and set on grill to reduce.

Grill meat for 10-12 minutes on each side.  Meat will be slightly charred and a reddish gold.  Brush with marinade several times.

Strain marinade and serve with meat.

Serves four.

– From The Bad Catholic’s Guide To Wine, Whiskey and Song.

This seems well within ol’ Robbo’s modest culinary talent and experience.   Now I need to think up some good things to go with it.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!  Yes, Ol’ Robbo is back from his jaunt and just bursting with gratuitous travel observations:

♦  I will be mighty glad when the last of the Bombardier CRJ-200 series regional jets is retired from the domestic fleet and sent wherever it is hand-me-down planes go.  The thing is chunky, clunky and very cramped, and the windows are so low relative to the seats that the only way you can look (if you choose to) is down.  But the two aspects that bother me most about it are: a) the unusually prolonged nose-down landing approach that always makes one wonder if Mr. Kamikaze is at the controls; and b) that the landing gear is deployed by simple gravity instead of hydrolics, so when the pilot puts the wheels down one is startled by an almighty GRUNCH!

♦  On the other hand, there’s not really much wrong with the 700 series, although I am morally certain that Bombardier stole the design from Embraer, as it bears a striking similarity to their ERJ 145.

♦  Canadians, eh?

♦  I understand that the folks at the Cincinnati Airport wish to promote that city’s symphony orchestra out of civic pride, but it seems to me that when full-length orchestral recordings are blared throughout the concourse in direct competition with all the myriad broadcast announcements, to say nothing of the ubiquitous CNN bloviation (Is there no escape? None whatsoever?), the kulchah really isn’t served that well.

♦  Speaking of Cincinnati, is hyper-aggressive friendliness some kind of residency requirement? I’ve noticed this before.

♦  I quite like Lexington, Kentucky, although I’ve a sense that at the height of the basketball and horse-racing seasons, the place must be something of a zoo.

♦  I must have logged something better than 650 miles flitting about Kentucky this week.  It is an apparent custom in those parts to regularly pass on the right, even when the left lane is wide open and the right lane is clogged by trucks lumbering up the grade.   Go figure.

♦  Regular friends of the decanter may recollect that the last time I was out driving on biznay travel I got caught in a prairie snowstorm?  This time it was a mountain hailstorm, complete with scary ground-strike lightning bolts all about.  Call me Foul-Weather Robbo.

♦  My apologies to the poor counter-gal at the Micky D’s in Grayson.  She had such a thick Appalachian drawl and I was so tired as to have fallen back on my Mumbles impersonation, that it took us about five minutes to finally sort out that all I wanted was a medium cup of coffee.

♦  If you happen to rent a white Chevy Cobalt from Dollar and find Disc 2 of Musica Antiqua Köln’s performance of Johann David Heinichen’s Dresden Concerti in the CD player, consider it my gift to you.  D’oh!



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March 2012