Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Duck, Blogging and Cooking followed by my Local Castle and Georgian Ballet

BloggingI ended up signing for the A to Z challenge, I was # 1935. I hadn’t realised there would be so many people doing this. I have been thinking all the time about recipes I can use – as I missed the first 2 days, I thought I would add them on at the end, that would be A and B of course. There is even a schedule for the letters with Sundays off. Actually, re-thinking I will maybe add my A and B on Sunday. Turns out this is fun. I had more comments on my blog yesterday than I have had for a long time. I have been reading the blogs of the others too which is also fun. Check the comments sections and you will come across remarks from other bloggers and you can read their blogs by clicking on their names and following links. Looking for a suitable picture, I typed Blogging into Google Images and found some absolutely hilarious pictures. You should check it out particularly if you are a blogger. I particularly like the one with ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’.

I have decided to make some Tourtières today. Can I use those for TourtieresT? I have posted the recipe before. We ate all our last batch, funny, I never was that keen on pies, but these are pretty good. I ended up only doing the filling as I discovered I didn’t have enough pastry shells. I am afraid I cheat, I have never been a very good pastry cook although I got better later in life (my ex’s second wife taught me). It is much to easy to cheat at things these days as one can buy so many good pre-prepared items – pastry being one of them. I have never tried making pastry in my present kitchen, but I suspect I don’t really have enough room.

Rochester CastleI was delighted with all the responses my blog got yesterday. It was also very interesting reading the blogs of some of the people who commented and I hope I will be able to keep it up although it does take a lot of time as I am sure many of you know. There is such a wonderful variety of blogs out there, some of which appeal and of course, some do not. I am particularly thrilled with the castles which I have discovered through Hilary Melton-Butcher and another blogger, Bob Scotney. I had no idea that 5 of their 6 castles existed and am looking forward to what they come up with in the weeks to come.  This is the castle from my former back yard in Kent, Rochester to be exact, which I was writing about yesterday – I believe a lot of it has been restored. Maybe Hilary or Bob will tell us more on April 20th. I don’t remember it being mentioned in any Dickens book but a lot of places in and around the area were certainly featured in his stories.

A friend posted this on Facebook. I absolutely love this kind of dancing, but what a dreadful floor these dancers are having to work with. Must hurt their knees too.

I wasn’t really going to do this, but D is for Duck – I don’t know how long I can keep this up, but having signed up, I have to try. I got this recipe from a friend in a cookery group I belong to, but where she found it I don’t know. She is in the UK and ducks used to be cheaper there, don’t know if they still are.

Duck with Cinnamon Plum Sauce

1 lb plumsDuck Plum Sauce
2 small onions
4 duck breasts
salt and pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 pint wine
1 oz butter
1/2 tsp sugar
4 tsp redcurrant jelly
2 oranges
1 Tbs vinegar
1/3 pint chicken stock

1. We love duck breasts and have them a lot. There's a clever trick that Vic does to cut down on the amount of fat you get from the skin on a duck breast - it makes it even crispier and delicious. What you do is put a skewer through the breast and hang them over a sink or bowl. Then, pour boiling water over them. You'll see the skin changes texture as the fat underneath is melted away. Leave the breasts hanging for several hours to dry out (a hard trick with 4 cats who go feral at the smell of duck ! We usually have to balance the bowl on the top of a kitchen cabinet !).  Then, continue with your recipe. Here's our favourite;

2. Finely chop onion and plums. Season duck with salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Score skin, rub with oil and salt. Place duck breasts skin side up in a pan and douse with 1/2 wine and leave for an hour. Cook onions in butter and add plums, sugar, redcurrant jelly, orange juice, vinegar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 wine. Boil and simmer for 15 mins. Cool, liquidise and return to pan with stock. Boil and bubble for 10/15 mins till syrupy. Drain duck and add marinade to sauce. Fry duck skin side down until crisp. Turn and cook for 3 to 4 mins. Keep warm in oven for 10 mins while bringing sauce to boil and bubbling for 2-3 mins. Slice a handful of plums and caramelise them - sprinkle with sugar and heat under very hot grill (broiler) or blast with a kitchen blowtorch. Serve duck with caramelised plum slices, mashed potatoes and salad or green veg and a stonking, beefy wine (Shiraz is great)

Servings: 4

Have a great day



  1. Have to smile .. had done my post for D - duck too .. but I changed direction and wrote about something related to my country. Big lover of duck - Viveka (1731)

  2. You would probably have written something quite different Viveka.

  3. Jo, what a great dancing video! That had me completely engrossed . . . yes, I see what you mean about the floor and their poor knees, ouch!
    A to Z blogger down at the bottom of the list with you . . . last minute sign on for me :o)
    MJones and the Family Tales
    Nice post!

  4. I love plum sauce. This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Isn't it fantastic Michelle. I was very impressed.

    M.J. Joachim, me too and your welcome.

  6. Love duck with plum sauce!

    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  7. Can't wait to try it out, thanks for posting this!

  8. I have never had duck, but this sounds delicious. I am going to have to try it out!

  9. I think there's something to be said for joining in later in the challenge, people tend to start at either the very top or very bottom to visit other blogs. I look for interest blog names and any that has to do with food grabs my attention. I've only prepared duck once and it was too fatty/greasy for me. I will have to try it again with your helpful tip!!