I realized yesterday I've cut the grass not once, not twice, but thrice since my last blog post. However, it is looking much better what with all the rain we've received since Tropical Depression 2 (later named Tropical Storm Barry) blew through. (As an aside, there is a good chance Barry will be reclassified at the end of season review as a tropical storm before it made landfall in Belize.) Just yesterday another "Norte" blew through giving us about a half inch of rain in 20 minutes. Fortunately for me the rain started after I had finished mowing the "Inside Grass" and before I had a chance to tackle the "Outside Grass" or "The Lot Grass". There's no arguing with Mother Nature!
The "Inside Grass" is, of course, all within the fence; the "Outside Grass" is the 12 foot or so border on two sides of the property next to the road, and; "The Lot Grass" is a 15x40 meter lot that is subdivided (and for sale!) that we can but don't yet use and maintain for the owner. I have to talk to the neighbor about putting his two sheep in there more often. They do a pretty good job of keeping the grass short and fertilizing it too.
We've taken on a part timer to help out around the house a couple of days a week. Josephina is real pleasant and a hard worker who quickly put my housekeeping efforts to shame. This also means I have fewer excuses for avoiding outside work. Wifey is desperately hoping to see some progress in the landscaping department. I'll have to see what I can do beyond just mowing the grass.
Our first "Full Time" electric bill came in the other day. We're using just under 7.5 kWh/day which is quite acceptable for this big house. US$32.61 (which includes $4.50 in taxes and fees) is the bill for two months of juice. The Mexican Government contributed US$120 as their share of the cost of production of those 464 kWh (as explained in a previous blog posting).
Father's Day was spent with our neighbors Darren, Debbie, their children, and extended family. Great food, cold beer, and entertainment by guitar made for a fun time. We enjoyed meeting everyone and listening to Debbie's mother (a hoot she is!) sing the old songs accompanied by her son on the guitar. Yes, a fine day indeed.
Last Wednesday, good friends Libby and Barry visited from Consejo, Belize and joined us at Yax-Ha RV Resort for lunch and a dip in the pool. Use of the pool is available to anyone who pays the fee or its equivalent in lunch and drinks. A great deal since the food is excellent and the portions bountiful! By the way, Barry's website is a great resource for local Belizean art and will be expanding in the future. Have a look!
I was surprised to find New Zealand leg of lamb and even a bit more surprised by the price (US$6.70/lb) but that's what's on the menu today. Here's the recipe:
Sunday Leg of Lamb
1 leg of lamb, bone in (about 6 lbs)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Good olive oil as needed
8 cloves garlic
3 TBS chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 whole onion quartered
4 carrots, cut into largish pieces
2 large potatoes, quartered
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (combination of rosemary, chives, and parsley)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine
Using sharp knife, make slits in the lamb meat and insert whole garlic cloves spacing as evenly as possible on all sides. Rub the outside of the leg with lime juice, a spot of olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. If you have a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary, add those to the pan. Cover and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
At least one hour before cooking, remove lamb from refrigerator and preheat oven to 400F/200C.
In roasting pan, add onions, carrots, and potatoes and cook on high heat for a few minutes to char. Add lamb on top of vegetables, drizzle generously with olive oil, and roast in oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F/176C cook another hour for medium rare (meat thermometer at 150F). Remove lamb from pan and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Remove vegetables from roasting pan, deglaze with wine and stock, add mixed herbs, and reduce over high heat until sauce consistency. Slice and serve!