Monday, August 6, 2007

Los Paisanos on Smith...

My time is spent in the desert these days. I'm perhaps a third from the end of Seven Pillars of Wisdom and eat lamb and ash-baked bread with Ya Aurans every day, yesterday relieved by sundried tomatoes for the first time??? This was too much for me.

So I got on my bike (left) and headed for the Muslim butcher (closed) then to Los Paisanos (open) and bought some lamb shanks and rib chops. I was craving bredie. Tony, the bent-over, white-haired, elderly butcher and original owner, who calls me Smiley, was disappointed when I said that I wanted ribs (there's-a no meat onna ribs!), so I gave way to chops (I really did want ribs...). Last time I saw him, a younger butcher muscled in and started helping me and Tony said, These-a young guys-a, the young chickens, they think-a they know everything.

I said, with a smile and suggestively raised eyebrow, Well, young chickens are good in their own way, but it's the older chickens who really know everything. He lit up, became one big, unreserved smile like I've never seen, and I saw in him a glimpse of a young Tony, who must have been a force to be reckoned with. Yes! he said, don't-a forget. It's the old chicken that makes-a the best soup! he greeted me with a glimmer of that smile yesterday, and I left with two bags of lamb, some Italian canned tomatoes and basmati rice. I used about a quarter of the meat for the bredie, and will keep the rest for cooler weather and a larger audience for tagine (aka Ouma's spicy lambshanks).

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