Music: C’est Si Bon – Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Anita Briem
To continue our study with duckish things, I bring you duck rillette. We practiced with the duck confit about a week before we served it for a Sunday Dinner and we went one step further and made duck rillette. It was a perfect start to a Valentine’s Day meal. This fed 4 people as an appetizer. We served it with a homemade baguette, cornichons and some whole grain mustard (sad, no pictures…and it looked so cute!).
I read a bunch of recipes for this and came up with the following.
Music: If Looks Could Kill – Camera Obscura
I can actually say I grew up eating the world’s best brownies. My father was given this recipe from a friend and my mother made them for every family event. There is a secret ingredient in them that I would never reveal (since it’s not my recipe) but I thought I would attempt them. I, of course, changed them entirely and they came out not so great (mostly because I was too lazy to go back to the grocery store to get the right ingredient after having already been there 5 minutes before). And I learned something this week, something I’m finally able to admit. I am not a baker. With that, I bring you the recipe (without the secret ingredient) for the best brownies in the world. They sure do LOOK good!
If food is too hot, quickly take a swallow of water. On no account spit it out! If food has been taken into your mouth, no matter how you hate it, you must swallow it. It is offensive to take anything out of your mouth that hs been put in it, except dry fish bones and fruits pits (think Heathcliff). If you choke on a fish bone, leave the table quickly (sooo…you’re saying risk health for etiquette? I like!). To spit anything whatever into the corner of your napkin is too nauseating to comment on. It is horrid to see anyone spit skins on a fork or into the plate, and is excusable only if you get a bad clam or something similar into your mouth. Even then the best – because least noticeable – method is to take it from your mouth in your fingers – thumb underneath and four other fingers forming a screen over whatever it is, from lips to plate.
Peaches of other very juicy fruits are peeled and then eaten with knife and fork, but dry fruits, such as apples, may be cut and then eaten in the fingers. NEVER wipe hands that have fruit juice on them on a napkin without first using a finger bowl, because fruit juices make injurious stains (This is true, my dry cleaner just told me about “invisible” stains, or what one might call an oxymoron. Unless Emily is in on the dry cleaning prices racket).
I chose this entry because I was reminded of the time that I was dining at Korean restaurant with about 15 friends. I was sitting across the table from a friend who reached into my plate to grab a piece of shrimp (which I knew she didn’t like from the get go) and stuffed it in her mouth. A second later she spit the half chewed crustacean onto her plate and proclaimed “YUCK that was DISGUSTING”. She was, in fact, raised by wolves…but this entry reminds us that, when dining with friends, one should to keep their food opinions to themselves (and also their spit) because I have to say, there is NOTHING ruder than sharing your opinion about a meal a friend is also enjoying.
Music : Florence and the Machine – My Boy Builds Coffins
Hello and hope you had a happy weekend. I didn’t post on Friday because I have been making duck confit for about a week – but we finally got to eat it last night and it was unbelievable. Rosa, Matt and Scott partook in the Sunday Dinner event. We paired it with a lovely sweet and tart blueberry sauce that matched perfectly. Seasonality, be damned!
Music: Winter Winds – Mumford & Sons
As part of our Valentine’s Day celebration, I made these sweet little cakes for my parents and James. Because I forgot to take a final picture of them I had to use the one from Martha Stewart. They definitely came out looking SOMETHING like this picture (parentals…hush!).
It may be this war period (war? what war? yes yes, WWII but I was being ironical), which has accustomed everyone to going with very little meat and to marked reductions in all food, or it may, of course, be merely vanity that is causing even grandparents to aspire to svelte figures (nope, that would be the media); but whatever the reason, people are putting much less food on their tables than formerly (and thank god! aren’t American’s some of the most obese people in the world dare I say galaxy?). The few very rich, still living in great houses with an imposing array of servants, sit down to three, or at most four, courses.
Under no circumstances does a modern dinner, no matter how formal consist of less than:
1. Soup or oysters or melon or clams.
2. Fish or Entree.
6. After-dinner coffee.
We’ve been watching “Emma” on PBS and I believe she might include a phrase or two here about “finding oneself in reduced circumstances”…indeed a polite way of saying “We won’t be serving any of the preceding in one sitting at our dinners, nevermind in sequence. Who do you think we are? The Woodhouses?”
Music: Broadcast – I Found the F
I’ve talked about this sandwich before but I was craving it and couldn’t get to New Haven…so we made it at home. We paired it with polenta fries which were delicious and an easy alternative to french fries (although no more healthy).