Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.

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Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ducks and Bunnies

I had today off and spent it preparing for a weekend cooking jag. The confit adventure begins!

Berkeley Bowl, alas, had no duck fat. They did, however, have duck legs. I bought six, then stopped by Market Hall's Enzo's Butcher Shop, where, in the furthest corner, hiding behind a freezer full of fancy stocks, I found Grimaud's Graisse de Canard Clarifiee, product of Stockton, California.

Stockton, the United States' answer to Landes. Who knew?

I bought four containers--four pounds--at $7.99 a pop. I tried consoling myself with the notion that I'd saved money on gasoline and BART fare. That lasted about four seconds. The truth is fancy cooking is an expensive hobby.

Once home, I pored over The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Judy Rodgers demystifies the entire process, so I set about trimming my duck legs of "ragged bits" of fat, which I rendered. Rodgers' recipe calls for a scale. I don't own one, but noted the package weight (a little over two pounds) and went from there. I rolled the legs in a bit over four teaspoons of kosher salt, laid it all in a pyrex baking dish, and tucked it into the fridge. Tomorrow I will rinse the salt and carefully cook them in all that pricey fat. Stay tuned.

Once the duck was safely salted and cooling, I turned to the bunny, cleavering it into pieces: front legs, back legs, saddle. My cleaver technique would make Masaharu Morimoto shriek. Fortunately, my sole audience was the kitty, who wasn't interested. More Zuni Cafe: salt, rinse, pour millk over all.

Shabbos and I am seething bunnies in mother's milk . Not really, but.....

Never mind. Into the fridge!

A quick check on last Sunday's raspberries in Armagnac revealed nothing scary growing in the jar. I tasted a spoonful: some fruit, still mostly brandy. It's turning a pretty deep red color.

The heatwave has receded here. I am hugely grateful and simultaneously upset to read about the toll the weather is taking on humans, crops, and livestock. Read it and weep.

Remember those bumperstickers that read "Friends don't let Friends vote Republican?" How about friends don't let friends buy SUVs. Especially those damned Hummers. Why, why, why does ANYBODY need a pseudomilitary vehicle to get the kids to soccer?

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