It's often noted that Israel lacks properly defined seasons - hot weather turns overnight into winter, without going through the falling leaves of autumn and winter turns to summer without first going through the rejuvenation of spring. As we sit on the cusp of the summer solstice, I'm finally getting a reminder of spring with the opportunity to watch spring lambs at my in-laws home.
Did I say watch? I meant eat. In copious quantities. I never thought I'd find carnivores like my wife's family but I really lucked out here - it seems that a whole flock has been slaughtered and had there ribs ceremoniously packaged, ready for the barbecue and thence to my stomach. My father in law doesn't do things by halves and were it not for the fact that I already really love my in-laws, this would be proof that love can be bought - for several pounds of flesh.
Despite it being a traditional Middle Eastern meat, lamb is not all that common on the Israeli menu; it tends to be expensive and more the sort of thing to eat at a decent restaraunt - a real shame as it's a favourite of mine (along with beef, duck, goose and chicken) - generally my mother has it on the menu whenever I visit England.
My father-in-law, in his quest for meat, discovered a holy grail if you will; Meatland in Raánana does exactly what it says on the packaging - sells excellent cuts of meat at fair prices. It's worthwhile keeping your eye out for their occasional sales (they advertise in the weekend edition of the Jpost) when you can pick up prime beef at about NIS 20 a kilo - our freezer is usually full to bulging when that happens. If you're hungry for a butcher where they obviously love their meat - it's well worth making a special trip. They also stock various items which you might recognise from the Old Country.
I'm off to find the mint sauce......