Tuesday, December 29, 2015
An early New Year's eve
Anne will be away bushwalking on New Year's eve so we brought our celebration forward to today.
Anne brought along some fresh Sydney rock oysters as she usually does for special dinners. They are small but very tasty.
We had our favourite main course: Lots of lamb cutlets with plenty of salt and fried onions -- plus salad and bread. I guess it seems humble but it suits us.
It may surprise some but lamb is a rather dear meat in Australia these days. Not many families can have it routinely. There is a lot of demand for the bodies of our dear little woolly creatures from overseas, which jacks up the price.
Von and Simon live in NZ sheep country and they in fact produce lambs with some regularity. So they can always have all the lamb they want as long as they can explain to little Hannah where all the dear little lambs have gone. Not easy!
Simon told me where NZ sheepmeat mostly goes but all that I can remember is that mutton mostly goes to India. What the main markets for hogget and lamb are I forget -- but I think the Middle East is big somewhere there.
We had a bottle of St. Henri shiraz with it. St. Henri used to be regarded as the second best wine from Penfolds after Grange. That may not still be so. It is a fairly expensive drop but nowhere near as dear as Grange. It used to be a lighter wine than Grange and it still is but it is much closer to Grange these days. Anyway, it went down well
We finished off with some Christmas pudding and cream.
Then we took a trip to the Mozarthaus in Salzburg to take in an excellent performance of one of the world's most famous comic operas, Così fan tutte. We went there via my big screen and a two-DVD set I have recently acquired. You see more on DVD than you would by going there physically anyway.
As anybody who knows the show will tell you, it was was 200 minutes of silliness, but amusing silliness. It was the 2013 performance that I have. I did not know any of the singers but it was a good production all round: Minimal sets but lots of wonderful Mozart music.
BTW: People who know no Italian sometimes pronounce the name of the show as if it were "Cosy fan tutte". It is not. The squiggle on top of the i tells you that the final syllable is accented. It is an "ee" sound. Italian almost always stresses the penultimate syllable but, like all natural languages, it has some irregularities.
Von found the useful chart below about where our lambs go. The big consumer is Europe, followed by Japan. Makes sense. There's lots of well-off people there. Australia and New Zealand may sell into different markets, however.