Last Saturday was a gorgeous pre-autumn weekend in New England. The evening temperatures were low enough to leave the windows open and forego the A/C. I dug out my suede boots and paired them with a fantastic wrap dress. And the October issue of Food & Wine (i.e. the French issue) had just arrived.
As I perused F&W on Friday night, I mentally began planning a fantastic French feast for Saturday and the next morning I waved goodbye to Ed as he left to run errands while I scribbled out a grocery list. Duck? Oui. Things to be cooked Lyonnaise? Bien sur. Dessert containing a classic & controversial spirit? Quoi encore?
But I took my time getting ready on Saturday morning and by the time I was curling my lashes, Ed was home and ensconced in dachshunds in his usual spot on the couch. And it is from this spot that he said, “Hey, come look at this,” which then led to a trip to our regular vet which then turned into a 4-night stay at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals on the campus of the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine.
Needless to say, there was no French feast last weekend.
One week later, Scoobie the dachshund (notre peu de saucisse) has survived an extreme case of bloat, multiple x-rays, an ultrasound and a liver biopsy. The focus of all this attention is currently curled atop the couch without a care in the world for his mild case of hepatitis, but we couldn’t be happier to have him home. And how did we celebrate?
All in all, the duck proved surprisingly easier than expected, though I am now aware of my need for a cleaver & I’m still wary of the fact that our particular duck apparently didn’t come with a gizzard. But that aside, the meat was tender, the skin was crispy and the sauce was délicieux. The acidity of the tomato-caper salad provided a nice contrast to the overall meal, but it was the potatoes Lyonnaise that truly stole the show. I could attempt to list the number of things in life that are better, tastier or just in general more fabulous than almost *anything* cooked in rendered duck fat, but really, what’s the point? Once you taste these potatoes, you will want them for breakfast alongside a pile of crispy bacon and scrambled eggs with goat cheese and fresh herbs every day for the rest of your life.
And lest I omit a crucial component of the meal, allow me to introduce the libations of the day: 2010 Domaine Houchart Rosé, 2009 Bouchard Aîné & Fils Chardonnay, 2005 Roux Père et Fils Pinot Noir & Lucid Absinthe Supérieure. I am currently finishing my Pinot Noir and am contemplating getting off the couch to add the raspberries to the Absinthe puddings, but am still chuckling over Ed’s reaction to a straight sip of undiluted Absinthe this afternoon…imagine a Ricola cough drop distilled into a shot glass…Mon Dieu!
Bonne nuit, mes amis. Appréciez votre vin, puits de sommeil et soyez aimable avec vos chiens.