Rain and Duck
Today was a lovely, raining day.
Real rain. Slow rain. Wet, slow soak the ground and make it soft kind of rain. Rain that lightly beads Fezzik's coat rather than matting it down in a downpour kinds of rain. Fezzik was in and out all day.
I started off with a really fun juggling act. Have you ever cooked bacon, hash browns and eggs for breakfast and had them come out exactly at the right time? It's fun! It felt so much like juggling, too. Each thing gets contact at the right moment, then moving onto the next and then another touch and things might burn or congeal too much or stuff if it's done wrong! It was really cool to set one pan on heat, then add a bit of oil, and then the partially cooked grated potatoes were patted down on that. The bacon strips then went into a cold pan on medium heat and the eggs all went into a bowl where they were scrambled thoroughly with a dash of milk. By then the hash needed flipping to reveal a lovely brown crust underneath and then the bacon needed flipping. The eggs then went into the little spun aluminum pan I'd bought at the restaurant supply place last week on a bit of butter and canola and put over a low heat so I could stir them thoroughly while they cooked so I'd get the small curding that I really like.
By the time the eggs were done, everything was done, and we ate while Fezzik watched us, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and hoping for a handout. He didn't get anything. Too good a breakfast.
John then set up his brewing stuff and brewed beer while I took advantage of his laptop and talked with Geoff for a bit on-line as I'm not going to get a chance for most of the first half of next week. It was nice to just have a little time to talk, but I got mildly restless as I didn't have two or even three other things to do on the computer at the same time, so I eventually left.
I was braindead, and contemplated actually doing things like writing or reading with mild distaste. Just no brain left after running ragged for the last few days. So I watched TV for a bit, mostly cooking shows, which reminded me of the duck in the refridgerator. So, while John had to wait for something to cool, we went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the duck. Along with cabbage and stuff, we also got chocolate covered chocolate donuts for tomorrow morning as we wouldn't have the time for breakfast before getting Fezzik to his walk in the morning. We also dropped by the video place and we wanted to try out the new DVD player, so we went and got From Dusk Til' Dawn III: The Hangman's Daughter.
Between his latter stages, John managed to get the duck out of the refrigerator, where it had thawed some, and into a sinkful of cold water and then he wrestled the giblets out while I watched. I dried it, then coated it with a light sprinkling of kosher salt, whisky and canola oil and then stuck it on a rotissary shaft. John took it out to the grill, turned the roaster on high and we left it just that way for nearly two and a half hours! It was the perfect heat, too, as the day outside was pretty cool so the overall heat in the grill wasn't that high.
Back inside, I made homemade Chinese pancakes by whirling flour with near boiling water and taking the resultant mass and piecing it out and then sticking two lumps together with a bit of shortening before rolling them out. When then baked in a hot pan, they seperated pretty quickly. I folded them into quarters and stuck them in a Corningware with a lid for later. They could be steamed or microwaved into warmth when necessary.
I sat down a bit after all that work, to rest my legs from all the standing and rolling and stuff. I'm still tired from the week and still panting a little from my cold. Not fun. At least I'll be able to really taste things this week. It'd be awful to roast a duck and not taste it!
Dried shitaki, eggs, cabbage, rice noodles, lots of minced garlic chives and minced, marinated chicken were all stir fried together next for 'mu shu chicken' of a sort. Mom's 'stirred dishes' that we used to have when I was a kid with the pancakes as a compliment and as actual vegitable matter in addition to the duck. It was a good balancing agent to the richness of the duck, which came out of the rotissary all crispy and brown and with a panful of duck grease, so most of the fat had dripped right off.
I parted the hot duck fairly quickly with my eight inch chef's knife and a carving fork. Pulling off the leg and thigh and seperating them neatly, and then pulling the breast portions off. The back skin portions were exquistely crispy, so I pulled them off, too, and cut them into crisp strips on top of the tender meat. We then piled everything onto the table along with a big bowl of hishen sauce and dug in.
First bite: slightly resistant give of the homemade pancake, then the crisp, suddenly melt-in-the-mouth richness of the duck skin, just the right amount of salty and then the tender juiciness of the duck meat flavored with the sweet savor of the hishen sauce. Ooooooo...
Both of us were very happy indeed.
We scarfed up that duck in nearly nothing flat.
Then leasurely dug into the vegitables and enjoyed that in a bit more timely fashion. It turned out really, really well. What was really cool was that Iron Chef was playing along at the same time and I wasn't at all hungry for the things they were making. Now that is very, very keen.
We eventually moved downstairs and curled up together on the pappa-san that John had move downstairs and watched the movie. It was actually pretty good, especially compared to II, there was much more interesting story and characters, and it was a little like the first movie in the amount of gore. But I liked the first movie, too, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that didn't like the first.