I am not especially good with a knife. The yellow onions and purple carrots should come out finely diced, but, realistically, they land in the hot oil and rendered lamb fat as a haphazard collection of trapezoidal shapes. Fortunately, braising — the slow application of time, low heat and liquid — forgives many sins. I throw in some salt as the scent of the onions seizes the kitchen, then remember to add a bit extra. The doctors say my mother needs more sodium. Browned lamb shanks sit off to the side on a platter with a weird brown and orange sunflower pattern, a ’70s palette that’s as old as I am. I’ve been putting food on this platter since I was a child.