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So what did you think about the NBA’s latest foray into Christmas marketeering? We knew about the new jerseys, but we didn’t know the players would have the option of wearing candy-striped socks. Most of the Nets’ players wore them, but I’m not sure any of the Knicks or Heat wore them (little help..?), with most of the other teams falling somewhere in between. As you can see above, they looked particularly, uh, vibrant on the Nets, due to the white/black contrast.
Over at ESPN, I’ve provided an fairly in-depth look at the good and the bad from yesterday’s NBA uniforms — look here.
Culinary Corner: I love my Mom and my brother, but I also love my friends. So every year I tell my Mom, “You can have me for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but not both.” This year, as usual, she chose Thanksgiving. That left me free yesterday, so I had a couple of friends over for Christmas dinner.
My original plan was to buy a boneless leg of lamb and have it tied into a roast, but I waited too long to order it and my butcher had run out of leg o’ lamb. But they still had a small (about 2.3 pounds) boneless lamb loin roast. If you’re not familiar with that cut, look at this, and then imagine the bones being removed from the center. That turns the meat into a V-shaped wedge, so the roast has to be rolled and tied to keep it cylindrical. After the butcher did that, here’s what I had to work with (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):
I decided I wanted the roast to be stuffed, so yesterday morning I removed the butcher’s string and returned the meat to its V-shaped state:
Then I made a stuffing. I was doing this more by feel than by exact measures, but I think I took about 10 cloves of garlic, half a cup of fresh rosemary leaves, half a cup of fresh thyme leaves, half a cup of olive oil, some salt and some pepper, and put it all in a food processor, where I turned it into a paste. Then I stirred in maybe a third of a cup of chopped pine nuts and the zest from one lemon. This was my stuffing, which I slathered on the exposed inner surface of the roast:
Then I used some string to tie the roast back up. It looked pretty much the same as before, only now there was a vein of stuffing running through it:
One secret to a good roast is searing the exterior before the meat goes into the oven, so I put a teeny bit of olive oil in a cast iron skillet and browned the roast on all sides:
Then I put the browned meat on a wire rack. I had some of the stuffing left over, so I applied that to the top of the roast. Then I scattered some new potatoes around the base of the roasting pan:
The meat went into a 350º oven for about an hour. While it was doing its thing, my friends and I enjoyed a small spread of cheeses, pretzels, Marcona almonds, kumquats, and a Thermos of Irish cream:
Soon it was time for dinner. The meat turned out beautifully, and the accompanying potatoes, green beans, and salad made for a very festive-looking Christmas plate:
For dessert, I made a cherry crisp (from the recipe featured in this earlier installment of Culinary Corner). The photos didn’t turn out great, but the crisp itself was wonderful:
I was left with a full belly, happily sated friends, a shitload of dirty dishes, and the satisfaction of having created a very successful holiday meal. Huzzah!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Short Ticker today, so we’re going with the old format, beginning with the news that Bleacher Report — or at least one of their primary NFL writers — appears to be boycotting the ’Skins name. … Ever wonder what it would be like if the Browns lived up to their name with a brown helmet? Turns out the team gave us a sense of what that would look like on the cover of their 1961 media guide (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … According to this story about Texans DE J.J. Watt’s upcoming plastic surgery, Watt “got a different helmet before Sunday’s game against Denver and … plans to use the helmet again [this weekend].” … Check this out — Cooperalls vs. Cooperalls! That’s the Whalers and Flyers from Jan. 9, 1983 (big thanks to Jordan Lazinsk). … We already knew Michigan State would be wearing green jerseys in the Rose Bowl, but now it looks like they’ll also be wearing green pants. … In predictably cringe-inducing move, Marshall will be desecrating the flag in the Military-Industrial Complex Bowl (from Jay Abbott). … Meanwhile, here’s Maryland’s jersey for for that same game. … Here are Notre Dame’s shoes for the Baseball Cap Bowl (from Warren Junium). … Under Armour has created what the company claims to be the world’s fastest speedskating suit, which will be worn by skaters at the Olympics. … Holy moly, check out this bowling shirt for a barber shop team, with barber pole striping on the front! … SF Giants skipper Jim Davenport was wearing a snapback/adjusta-strap cap in this 1985 game (good spot by David Taub).