A few things have been going on in my life lately, mostly piddly stuff, and although my posting is far behind, I'm finally regaining some energy after my long siege with a kidney infection and drug reactions during most of November.
I managed to stumble through making Thanksgiving dinner with a local pastured duck my sister bought. I'd never cooked a duck, and although what I roasted was merely passable due to my inexperience, I'm looking forward to doing a much better job the next time, maybe even this Christmas. I brined the duck (4.4 pounds) for about 6 hours in a citrus brine before roasting, and it was generally moist and tender. The orange sauce I made was terrific, but the pumpkin for a custard never made it out of the freezer.
I was disappointed that there wasn't much duck fat from the young duck, because I've wanted to make duck confit for ages. However, I was impressed enough overall with the duck that I'm considering the possibility of raising a few ducks instead of chickens if I can ever get a secure pen and housing built. The eggs are more nutritious, the meat is tasty... AND ducks don't tear up a garden by scratching up plant roots the way chickens do.
I had a birthday (#72!) early in November and a few gifts showed up, even some belated. One friend sent a Butter Bell. I had one years ago, but eventually broke it. I love having spreadable butter on hand!
Another friend sent a pair of porcelain egg coddlers. Have you ever had a coddled egg? Simply put, coddled eggs are eggs that are baked or steamed until the whites are just set and the yolks are gloriously runny. I really like soft boiled eggs, and egg coddlers take dealing with the messy shell out of the picture. My grandfather ate them all the time, but it seems to be one of those wonderful things that fell out of favor, and most younger folks today have no clue what they are.
On a sour note... I recently ordered a tin of Bremner Wafers, my all-time favorite cracker to serve with cheese for many, many years. They obviously have changed their formula, and now use canola oil. When I opened the can, the rancid oil smell was so strong I almost gagged. Not pleasant when you have friends over for a wine and cheese tasting.