Posts Tagged ‘Van Der Waals’

It is Rack of Lamb time, with baby beetroots.

March 2, 2016
Table setting. Hand coloured etching.

Table setting. Hand coloured etching.

These times are a changing. As the years go by with reasonable health still following, caution gets thrown to the wind. They say carpe diem, don’t they? So, after the week before last having enjoyed a great rack of lamb, the temptation for a repeat has surfaced again. Out of nowhere too.

Lamb chops used to be cheap as chips. I remember the half cooked mutton chops at Scheyville migrant camp. The bluish stamp of the abattoir still visible on its skin,  skirmishing neck on neck with keen maggots. It was during a very hot summer in 1956.

Actually, mutton is very nice in an Indian Raan dish and preferable to young sheep. You have to let the mutton age in a mixture of spices, yoghurt and lemon juice. It was my dish at Christmas time. The grandkids used to dip their bread in the mixture before it was even cooked. Look up Raan on Julie Sahni excellent recipe book about Classical Indian cooking.

Right now and it is only 3.30 pm I will start up the Webber. The Webber is a round US invented barbeque device that needs charcoal or coal briquettes to fire up. We had it since our own kids were still all around. And that is forty years ago. It is enamelled  brown and as sturdy as an outside dunnee during a sand storm. The trick is not to put the rack of lamb on before the temperature is hot enough. Lamb mustn’t be overcooked. It is a matter of timing and getting experience.

During our morning’s walk I had picked up a handful of rosemary. The soft kind of rosemary. Our own has become very woody. Now we just steal it elsewhere. I more or less wrapped the lamb in it, together with lots of garlic and lemon juice.

We both sat outside watching the rosellas and pink galahs feasting on the special birdseed-mix that we leave out. Even that required a special way. The seeds just left in a terra cotta dish were discovered by a smart rat. He told his mates. The droppings left made us suspicious. Surely, the bird’s poop is not that big? We were told to put the dish with the seeds on top of an upside-down turned terra cotta bowl. The rats can’t overcome crawling on an upside down space like the gecko can. In Bali I noticed large geckos crawling upside down on smooth surfaces as well as bamboo or rattan type ceilings.

Scientists have for years wondered about the ability of creatures to move about upside down. It has to do with millions of tiny hairs able to cling to surfaces. A gecko can hang upside down and carry their full weight from just a single toe.

This really floored me.

This from Wiki; “Geckos use something called the Van der Waals force to cling to smooth surfaces. The Van der Waals force is a weak electrodynamic attraction that occurs over extremely small distances, but works with virtually any substance. The geckos’ toes carry millions of microscopic hairs at their tips; scientists call these hairs setae. These allow the creature to stick to a branch, rock or — as the researchers discovered — surfaces such as polished glass.” It would not surprise me that geckos know about fonts too. Perhaps they use the Dante type. Who knows?

It was around 5.15 when the coal in the Webber was deemed at maximum temperature for the rack of lamb to get done. It took about 20 minutes. It was lovely. One of the best. Helvi had made an even better side dish. Beetroot babies. They were cooked with garlic, some sour crème and our home grown herbs.

There is just nothing like sitting in the garden, knowing the birds safe from rats and H and I babbling away about nothing much, waiting for a simple glorious meal.

It is the only way.