We have had a lovely Pesach with family and friends. We went to a powerful and moving play at the Susan Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre in Neve Tzedek, called Silver Spoons. It is performed by members of non-profit group called Knafayim (‘Wings’). This organization provides an opportunity for artistically talented people with special needs to train to be actors, dancers, musicians and artists.
The play is about a group of actors who are mentally disabled, mainly with Down’s Syndrome. Each actor tells a true story about themselves, some of them quite disturbing, such as the women who spoke about being raped. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered for their courage and their amazing talent. But, the most important thing you walk away with is that they just wanted to be respected like any other human being. They have dreams just like you and me. They dream of being a professional dancer, a taxi driver, an actress, and a bride. I think everyone in Israel should attend the wonderful play and more importantly help this organization realize their dream of having a center for the arts.
For the final evening of Pesach, I made a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, roasted lamb shoulder with baby artichokes. I marinated the lamb for over 24 hours in red wine, fresh herbs, cinnamon and white wine vinegar. Mr. BT is a very happy man tonight. I hope that you all had a lovely Pesach or Easter celebration with your family.
Adapted recipe from Lidia's Family Table: More Than 200 Fabulous Recipes to Enjoy Every Day-With Wonderful Ideas for Variations and Improvisations by Lidia Bastianich
2.5kg (6lbs) lamb shoulder, cut into 4 very thick chops, about 1/2kg (1.5lbs) each
2 medium carrots, cut in 2.5cm (1-inch) chunks, (about 2 cups)
2 medium onions, cut in large chunks (about 3 cups)
1 cinnamon stick, 7.5cm (3-inches) long
6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
4 small branches of fresh rosemary
8 fresh sage leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs of fresh za'atar
1/2 teaspoon coarsely black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups light chicken stock
12 baby artichokes
Trim most of the fat from the chops, leaving only a very thin layer on the outside surface. Put the meat in a large bowl with all of the ingredients except for the stock and the artichokes. Toss well to distribute all of the seasonings, and submerge the meat in the marinade. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn the meat occasionally.
Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Arrange the meat in a roasting pan, spread the marinade all around them, and pour in the stock. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast for 3 hours, basting and turning the meat every 30 minutes or so. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the oven up to 200C (400F).
Cut the artichokes in half, removing the choke and place them in the pan. Put the pan back in the oven, cover with foil, and cook for another hour or until the lamb is tender. Serve with the pan juices.