Brief thoughts: Easter

by awindram

Over the recent Easter weekend, the smell of roast lamb permeated throughout the apartment. Normally I don’t like cooking smells that linger for days; there’s something regretfully institutional about the after-aroma of meals of fatty meats and boiled vegetables that settle into the walls and into the furniture, a smell found in school halls and hospital corridors and retirement homes, but on this occasion I waited a little longer than usual to get the air ventilating. Having a simple meal of roast lamb was a welcome change, and one that reminded me of a Sunday roast at home.

Lamb, as I’ve noted before, is an unloved meat here. Other than lamb chops it is difficult to find in the supermarkets, and what is available is often frozen and almost certainly hideously overpriced. Easter is the one time of the year when that changes and I was keen to take advantage of it.

America being traditionally a land of wide open plains rather than England’s rolling enclosures it is hardly a surprise that the rearing of cattle has dominated over the sheep.

The relative unusualness of eating lamb was reflected in the tagline that came with the meat I bought. Yes, meats have taglines here. Pork, thanks to mouthful that is the National Pork Board, was marketed for many years under the slogan “the other white meat” until they changed it last year to “Pork: be inspired” – an ironically uninspiring effort. Chicken, always edgier in the marketing space, goes by “motherclucking delicious” The lamb I purchased, however, came with the slogan: “taste the alternative.”


Only an idiot would schedule a dentist appointment for the week after Easter.

And so I found myself on the Tuesday after Easter sat in a dentist’s chair grimacing in pain as my molars and canines were scraped and polished.

I believe my dentist has grandiose plans for my mouth. It is to be her masterpiece. In its present form it is just too British for her liking. Too full of ugly, grey NHS fillings that she needs to expertly convert over into what will be a new all-sparkling American mouth. It is a slow, difficult process, but then all great art is.

It was certainly a thankless task for the hygienist charged with cleaning my ivories. As she works, she likes to play the local country music radio station. She does this whenever I visit. The other hygienist I could go to plays Phil Collins, so I’m really between a rock and a hard place. This, however, perhaps explains my complete aversion to country music. This is my very own Ludovico technique. Though my skull was filled with the sound of metal scraping on enamel, I couldn’t help but wish the sound was just a little louder so it would entirely drown out the Toby Keith song the radio was playing. Something about an old man who keeps the red, white and blue flying on his farm, breaks his heart seein’ foreign cars and his wife decorates on the 4th July, but says “every day’s Independence Day.” The chorus was just “made in America” repeated ad nauseam. I don’t know if this augmenting of an all-American sheen to my mouth is really quite taking


I recently blogged here on the NCAA championship. One thing I should have made clear in that post, and what should always be borne in mind when I write on basketball, is that I only figured out about three years ago that the Harlem Globetrotters are not, in fact, a real NBA team.