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Media Markt

Up until the train wreck that was Friday night's Something's Gotta Give, I was having an unusually good run of luck with my media consumption. These are few and far between and therefore I feel obligated to share (or brag, depending on your perspective). In order of completion, then:

On the movie front, I have also added an exciting new feature to the Souzek Republic main page. If you scroll down past the Briefs and About sections on the left, you will notice a section entitled Now Playing with a few movies below. Through the wonder of the Movable Type Netflix Suite plug-in, I am able to display the movies I currently have checked out from Netflix. Now you can instantly know what I am watching on any given day, which is information I'm sure you were dying to have at your fingertips.

On deck:

April 25, 2004

Weights and Measures

About six months ago I started working out at the local YMCA again after taking almost two years off. I didn't start lifting weights until college but when I finally got over my "oh no, I'll be the smallest guy there" fears (I was, it didn't matter), I found that I actually enjoyed it. It makes you feel good, physically and mentally, and it's a good way to get in some exercise in the winter months for those of us that can't seem to stick with running. I also like to think of it as off-season training for my devastating tennis game.

Another perk of the weight room is the rare company you meet there and the gems of conversation you overhear. These are a few of my favorite people from the past months:

So if you've never lifted weights before, consider starting for the culture.

April 19, 2004

Rotisserie Gold

This past Sunday marked two important annual events in the Western World: 1) Easter and 2) the official start of the grilling season at our house. It was not the first time I had grilled this year--I made burgers and brats once each as well as an ambitious warm-up of salmon grilled in grape leaves (a recipe from the Bible) the week before--but it was the first project substantial enough to ring in the beginning of what I hope will be my greatest season to date.

The decision of which type of meat to prepare for this Easter feast was simple--it could only be lamb. This is not a tradition in my family but it is in my wife's and I share their affection for this wonderful animal so I decided to get in touch with the roots I inherited through marriage. I had grilled lamb chops before and done a leg of lamb in the oven for Christmas Eve but grilling a leg of lamb requires the slow, even heat and gentle internal basting that only the rotisserie can provide. Being a dedicated charcoal man, this was a capability that my grill did not possess and adding it required a certain amount of improvisation. Some people modify their cars or electronics, I modify my grill. With a few jigsaw cuts, some drilling and a "universal" rotisserie kit I soon had a setup capable of the job at hand.

From there on it was all downhill. I applied generous amounts of butter, oil, pepper and oregano at every stage, diligently monitored the coals to ensure an even temperature and in an hour and a half I had about four pounds of crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside lamb. Everyone at the table helped themselves to thirds and fourths (the best compliment a cook can receive) and washed it down with some unusually good Austrian red wine (Rubin Carnuntum, who knew?).

I am quite excited about the new opportunities that my new rotisserie setup will allow. I dream of chickens and game hens that are never dry, giant stuffed rib roasts without the charred exterior, and a bit more lamb, naturally. There is a long summer ahead and I have much work to do. Feel free to come but be sure to bring wine.

April 14, 2004