Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Swell Holidays!

I had a very happy Christmas holiday, celebrating with my boyz: Ron, Tim, Perry, and Brian. We got together on Christmas Eve at Tim's and started off with wine, cheese, and pate. We then migrated over to Greystone Grill for a very nice dinner. Brian joined us at the restaurant. Their bartender makes a decent sidecar.

After dinner we moseyed back to Tim's for some fruitcake, and an excellent dessert wine, all mixed in with some wonderful conversation, and Brian telling us about getting all tied up with a former work colleague just before Christmas. We then shared some frank appraisals about Craigs List.

Christmas Day I cooked Donald Duck! I had lots of fun working with Donald. I used Julia Child's recipe, Designer Duck, p. 178, The Way to Cook, Julia Child, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1989.

Basically, you half-roast the duck in a hot oven for a half hour. Skin the bird (reserving the skin), remove the breast meat and slice each breast into a half-dozen medallions, remove the wings, legs, and thighs.

You coat the wings, legs, and thighs with dijon mustard, then bread with dried crumbs, and bake in a hot oven until they are roasted.

You finish off the medallions, by placing them in a skillet, seasoning them, adding a chopped scallion, and a little broth and port and poaching just until the meat is pink.

Finally, you slice the skin into quarter-inch strips and bake in a hot oven until the skin is brown and the fat is rendered out.

I arranged the medallions on greens, added a leg or a thigh to the plate, then sprinkled with the duck skin cracklings. It was a lip-smacking experience. Ron made a red rice pilaf that really paired well with the duck, and we also had some cranberry relish. Perry joined us for Donald's last dinner.

After dinner, I phoned with my sister and my twin brother. Later Ron and I watched Lorenzo's Oil, a sad, but very interesting medical mystery. I ended the day talking with my older brother, and reminiscing about my father's sermons among other thing.

I love this holiday for the connections, the heart, the flavors and smells, the lightness of step, the reflection, and the family that is mine.