I’m definitely in the blog blahs — have stuff to write about, but not feeling particularly motivated. Too much holiday stuff to do, plus of course my daughter’s class fundraising kicks into high gear now, what with the gift-wrapping booth at the mall and all. That’s actually kind of hectic fun — the customers are mostly guys, and they are so grateful to have gift-wrapping taken care of for them! But, it takes up time, and there are cookies to bake and shopping to do, and all the other stuff. People ask, “Are you ready for Christmas yet?”, and my stock answer is, “No, I’m just taking stuff off my list.” But, there’s a wreath on the door, a decorated tree in the living room, and cookie dough resting in the fridge. That’s pretty close to the Zen minimum for me.
The local NPR station has a nifty call-in show every now and then where local amazing chef Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s takes calls from people describing what’s in their refrigerators. He comes up with with recipes using whatever the caller has on hand. My call got taken, and what I happened to have was a smoked duck breast from Costco. He came up with the outline of a recipe which I’ve cooked up, and it’s quite marvelous! Let’s call it
Radio Free Duck Breast
Slice one smoked duck breast (about 12 ounces) and one shallot thinly. Peel one inch of ginger root and dice finely. Film a large skillet with olive oil, add duck breast and cook over medium heat until it begins to sizzle a bit and some of the fat starts to render from the skin. Add the shallot and ginger and cook until the shallot softens a bit. Sprinkle with curry powder and stir so that all sides of duck breast are lightly coated with it (1-2 teaspoons). Add a generous splash of soy sauce and nice drizzle of honey, about 2-3 teaspoons of each. You want a light glaze on the meat, not a big puddle of sauce. Add about one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and scrape all the delicious glaze off the bottom of the pan. Serve it up with rice and prepare to be amazed. So good! I think it would also be great as a canape, one slice of the meat perched on a leaf of Belgian endive or a piece of toast.
I’m still working on the Blue Blob, and it looks much the same, only bigger and blobbier, and the yarncake is looking rather hollow. I’ve switched it to my new Knit Picks Harmony needles, and those are grand. Slick but not too slick, and with great points on the needles. Do give them a try if you are in the market for needles.