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