What WOULD Bekki Eat?

Well, I'll start with what I wouldn't eat. I wouldn't eat margarine. Or tofu. Or lowered-fat anything. Olestra is right out. Hydrolyzed, isolated, evaporated, enriched, or chocolate flavored "phood" won't pass these lips.
What will I eat? Real food. Made-at-home food. Food that my great-great-grandmother could have made, if she had the money and the time. And if she hadn't been so busy trick-riding in a most unladylike way.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Ah, the holidays... that time of year when I cook feast after Feaste... and frankly, finally, get really tired of cooking. Almost unbelievable. Because I love to cook. Partly because I love to eat, and partly because... I actually enjoy the chopping, stirring, making-changes-on-the-fly... the whole thing.
And for personal reasons it has been a bit of a bah-humbug kind of season.

But this meal, this feast, was my redemption. Have you ever had a meal that felt... like a turning point? I swear I almost saw the clouds part and the sunbeam shine down in all it's blinding glory. I almost heard the choir of angels singing "Aaaaaaahhhhh!" This meal was a great big sigh of relief. A reset button.

A feast.

I am sorry I didn't take more pictures. I didn't expect to finally be inspired to blog again.

Duck. For a Midwestern girl like me, duck was completely foreign. I remember cooking my first duck just a few years ago. It still feels unfamiliar to me, but after tonight's duck, I have a hunger to get on first-name terms with this lovely creature. It's all dark meat. Did you know that? Even after eating two other ducks in my life, I did not. Somehow I missed that. Maybe because my other ducks were from the commissary... and less than half the price of tonight's duck. I wonder now if they were even the same species.

Anyway, the luscious duck was prepared using a very simple recipe from Cook With Jamie, (by cutie-pie Jamie Oliver) one of my favorite and horribly under-used cookbooks. Rub duck with salt (possibly crushed with fresh sage, but I can't find my mortar and pestle), stick a quartered orange up it's backside, and roast at 350 for about 2 hours. Flip it a couple of times, and make sure to drain off (and SAVE) the luscious fat. I did mine on top of a bed of aromatics- celery, onion, garlic, and carrots. Deep-duck-fat-fried garlic cloves are heaven.

As a somewhat unnecessary, but delicious side, I made mashed potatoes and parsnips. Perhaps it's because I can no longer mash my potatoes with cream, but I must say... I really like mixing my potatoes halfsies with parsnips. Very tasty when mashed with copious amounts of butter. And the leftovers will go atop Shepherd's Pie.

Also on the side were Mystery Greens. I used every tool at my disposal to identify them, but I have no idea what I just ate. I got them in my weekly Greenling produce delivery... so I knew they were food. Beyond that... I think they were a member of the mustard family. Quite a bite to them, so I did a quick braise in bacon fat and the turkey stock that I happened to have simmering on the back of the stove. With a bit of vinegar, a few dashes of garlic Tobasco, and some salt... they were very tasty.

There was also a salad, which was forgotten until the end (and was surprisingly refreshing at that point) with fresh local greens and sprouts. But really, the duck stole the show. The Grill Geek and I each ate half the duck. It was a bit of work... it hadn't quite reached the tender stage, but we did not let that hold us back. We both abandoned our cutlery in carnivorous desperation. Every possible morsel was hunted down and consumed. A new craving was born in my soul at the same time that all the stresses of the holidays were greased over with lovely dark meat and duck fat.

I now need duck. Tonight's duck was not what I'd consider regularly affordable... so perhaps it's time to take up hunting? Buy a house with a pond? Learn to use a blowgun and hunt them at the city parks? I'm not sure, but I am sure that I am now deeply in duck love.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

You surely know the good juju you've created by enjoying duck as the Christmas Story family did after the Bumpus Hounds thrashed the turkey.

Bows Of Horry. Fa Ra Ra Ra...Ra ra ra ra....

About Me

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Tejas, United States
I am many things... all at the same time. (No wonder I don't get much done!) I am a wife to a retired infantryman, mother of 3, stocker (and stalker) of the fridge, passionate fan of food, nutrition, ecology, coffee, wine, and college football. I love all things witchy and piratey. I often cook with booze. I feed stray cats. I don't believe in sunscreen. I don't like shoes and really hate socks. And I currently can't eat any gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, coconut(!?), or sodium metabisulfite (aw, shucks, no chemical snackies.) Sometimes even citric acid gets me. But only sometimes.