If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands. Douglas Adams

Mister Adams may not be entirely right. I searched for two weeks for duck breasts. I had jar of Verlaque Burnt Seville Orange Preserve and I was determined to recreate a meal I’d once eaten at Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg Wine Estate in Cape Town. Duck a la orange was going to be on the menu for Tandy’s long-awaited visit to my home, come hell or high water. I phoned every butcher I knew. No duck breasts. I searched all the good supermarkets and delis. No duck breasts. I did discover a lone whole bird in the frozen section at a shop and eyed it with serious misgivings; a previous attempt at roasting a whole duck hadn’t ended well.  Still determined, I brought it home.


(Sous sent me these ‘glass markers’, very handy to identify whose glass is whose, for my birthday in January.) 

I pottered about in the kitchen happily chatting to my Capetonian friend, we opened some wine and toasted Sous Chef, laughingly remembering our February visit together in Cape Town. Side View joined us and I served the starters; I’d made smoked salmon parcels stuffed with Pesto Princess flavoured cream cheese. The girls thought my ‘whales’ hilarious; They definitely don’t look like fish, Tandy and Sidey said, you should ask your readers what they think these things look like. Hmphf! See my little whale moulds, what do you think?


My duck emerged from the oven very pretty and smelling good enough to eat. What a disappointment to find the meat wild and stringy and really tasting nothing like duck. We concluded that it must have been in that freezer for quite a few years.

Still, my guests were polite and we simply agreed to not mention ducks, ever again. My Black Forest Trifles saved the day, thank heavens and we proceeded to enjoy another bottle of wine and chat around the kitchen table until we couldn’t keep our eyes open.


It was a very special evening, with two very special friends and my weekend is ending with, yet again, great gratitude for my good fortune.

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.  Albert Schweitzer


78 Comments Add yours

  1. Leeswammes says:

    A pity about the duck, but the trifle looks divine. After that, your guest probably didn’t even think about their main meal again.

    Love the wine glass jewelery!

    1. theonlycin says:

      They did seem to like the pud 🙂

  2. Yip, definitely whales.
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Liane says:

    Your meal looks divine – pity the duck didn’t quite live up the expectation. I definitely need a “burst into flame” experience! Don’t know what it is with me lately… At times I feel a little like your salmon whale stranded on the lettuce beach of life 😦

    1. theonlycin says:

      Sorry you have the blues, my sweet friend, I hope you find a positive resolution soon. xxx

  4. nursemyra says:

    that looks exactly like a whale to me Cindy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Myra, you are a very discerning woman!!! 🙂

  5. Tilly Bud says:

    Where to start?

    Your ducks do look like whales but that’s okay, I’ve got nothing against whales. Or ducks, for that matter.

    Love the glass markers.

    I once had duck a l’orange which tasted more like orange a l’aduck to my teenage tongue. Yuk.

    We’ve had duck for Christmas dinner and found it fatty and tasteless.

    The food looks fabulous, as always.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Tilly, I shall henceforth put ducks out of my mind 😉

  6. I said the whales needed eyes and find, but otherwise like pink beluga whales. They tasted far far better than any whale would

    It was a lovely evening, thank you so much.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks you for coming, it all went too fast and I wish I wasn’t so tired and we could have pulled an all-nighter. So much more we could have chatted about. Oh well, there’s always a ‘next time’ eh?

      1. yes, next time and I’ll tell you my diet limits and see what you can come up with 😉

      2. theonlycin says:

        A challenge to look forward to 🙂

  7. Misspeyton says:

    This looks delish! Well, i finally decided to start blogging again…here! But eish, i need some time to figure the wordpress puppy out *eek*

    have a lovely day Cindy

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ve got some notes and tips, if you want them?

  8. Misspeyton says:

    oh and if you can please help me out with some pointers i will appreciate it 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Do you still have the same email address?

      1. Misspeyton says:

        Morning Cindy Yes. I have the same email still. The gmail one!

        I love it here but i feel completely dumb at the moment hahaha

  9. Miss Chris says:

    There is a saying that says there is no such thing as luck – we make our own. You are ‘lucky’ to have wonderful friends, because you are a good friend – that’s not luck – that is your reward for being the wonderful person you are.
    Very hungry now!!!

      1. theonlycin says:

        Thanks Sidey 🙂 xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      What a nice thing to say, Chris, thank you. xxx

  10. Your dessert looks delightful. Friendship is deeper than duck breast. Ha! You’ll all forget that disappointing duck, but friendship remains to be enjoyed again and again. Blessings to you, Cindy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Carol 🙂

  11. nrhatch says:

    When duck is on the menu, I always eat dessert first. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed your visit with Tandy & Sidey.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was fab, Nancy, we really had a super evening.

  12. Tes says:

    Yes, that does look like whale… 🙂 this is so funny 🙂
    I don’t know why it looks so appetizing looking like whale though 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Neither do I Tes 🙂

  13. Santana says:

    That dessert looks divine amica mia. Giving me some inspiration to make something sweet. Have a super day (whats left of it)
    Much love

    1. theonlycin says:

      Have a great week, sweet friend 🙂

  14. SuziCate says:

    Those are the best wine charms EVER!!!!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Aren’t they just? 🙂

  15. Supa says:

    God your readers are all so polite, that it not a whale, it’s phallic! Himself agreed 🙂
    Glad you are using the wine glass shoes, thanks for raising a toast to me.

    1. theonlycin says:

      hehehe, I wasn’t going to say, but the girls said they looked like spermies 😉

  16. slpmartin says:

    Sorry to hear about the duck…but the dessert sounds as though it was a hit.

  17. granny1947 says:

    The duck LOOKS good..wish I had been there!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for phoning, made the evening all the more special. Love you xxx

  18. deepercolors says:

    I never liked duck anyway. The Trifles look good. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      The dogs liked the duck 😉

  19. halfp1nt says:

    That’s the cutest whale I’ve seen in a long time! Love the wine glass markers; I take it the red shoe is yours?

  20. linda says:

    Looks like a whale to me! How interesting. Now the truffles are just right for me. Yum.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Will think of you the next time I make them 🙂

  21. colonialist says:

    A quacking good post!
    Duck is one of my favourite dishes – properly done. The occasions on which it has been properly done are, alas, very few. Usually that crisp, delicious outside and firm but munchable inside siply oozing flavour – don’t happen.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll leave it to the hands of others from now on 🙂

  22. I always find ducks so very small. A couple of mouthfuls and they’re gone.
    Alternatively I might just have a very big mouth.

    1. theonlycin says:

      hahaha, no, they are rather small, far prefer chicken, realy 🙂

  23. Yvette says:

    You’ll look back and laugh everytime about the duck! Dessert looks great! Friday I made a cheese cake for a friends get together…handed the plate to her, all abound with strawberries and cream,looking divine! Turned and with a scream it landed on the ground, she was in tears…I turn and said laugh!Better on the floor and not our hips! A memorable moment! x

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh that is priceless, Yvette 😀

  24. klrs09 says:

    Hi Cindy — the food looks wonderful — at first I wasn’t sure what the pink thing was — thought it might be pickled ginger rolled up — then read on and, yes, they certainly look whale-like — the dessert looked to die for, and well, with wine, you just can’t go wrong. Regardless of how the duck turned out it appears you and your two very lucky guests had a great time. I miss keeping up with you daily — hopefully, I’ll be able to visit more often, soon. I love to see what you prepare and present — always challenges me to put a bit more effort into what I do in the kitchen. Cheers!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Kathy, have a good weel 🙂

  25. bluebee says:

    Whales do spring to mind. Bad luck about the duck. Madness that you can’t get any in JHB. You might have to do a ‘Rick Stein’ food heroes trip into the midlands, Cin. There used to be a butcher in Hyde Park that sold game, wild birds and fresh duck (but that was many moons ago). He would go on holiday without notice – just shut up shop with a handwritten sign the door! Yummy dessert. Having a dinner party Saturday, so those might be a good option if it’s warm, or chocolate souffles if it’s not 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy the party 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      ‘Coz you’re so sweet 😀

  26. Mmmm… the duck seems to have tasted kuck… hehehe

    1. theonlycin says:

      LMAO, exactly 😉

  27. Tandy says:

    thank you my darling friend for an amazing evening, great wine, and awesome conversation! Still think those salmon parcels look like ….

    1. theonlycin says:

      Watch what you say 😉

  28. adeeyoyo says:

    I’ve never been successful with duck, but the choc trifle looks divine and would have made up for it I’m sure. … I think more like a dolphin? Anyway, sounds like a great evening!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It truly was, adee 🙂

  29. That sounds delicious!!! Sorry about the duck! Next time ask the chinese restaurant where they get theirs? (Or is that a no-go?)
    Dessert looks awesome- think you should post that recipe?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Very easy:
      Crumbled chocolate cake, layered with sour cherry preserves. Pour a generous glug of pink port over. Top with whipped cream and garnished with a Griottine (or other cherry pickled in booze).

  30. bandsmoke says:

    What a wonderful gathering – the odd culinary blip means nothing when you’re in fabulous company 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re right, it didn’t matter much.

  31. Supa says:

    You know the duck might have been better with a sprinkle of Aromat! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      And cooked in a bucket!

  32. Sorry to say Cin, but I see mini-whales too…
    Those trifles look divine – would you please send me the recipe?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Will do, it’s very easy though, see my comment to mynakedbokkie above 🙂

      1. *blush* I zoomed right past it the first time.

      2. theonlycin says:

        Never mind, I do that myself … all the time 😉

  33. Very cool little whales you’ve got there and what about that trifle huh. You sure know how to make a girls mouth water don’t you!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Into your kitchen, Cheffie 🙂

  34. Jamie Dedes says:

    Okay, I think it does look like a whale, but not sure it would if I you hadn’t already said so.

    Re: Duck story. Put me in mind of Julia Child. She once said that if a dish didn’t turn out right to change the name. Hence we have had blacked kibby (a Lebanese meatloaf not usually served blackend), twice-stringed chicken, chili-billy Turkey, and cherry double-crisp. Would thrice-stringed duck do? Or is that doo. Shucks! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      3 string mucky duck? *grin*

  35. What a lovely evening and such a fabulous meal you treated your friends to. Friends are such joy.
    I love the glass markers – they’re gorgeous.
    Sunshine xx

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