Sunday, July 18, 2004


On my own again this weekend, as She Who Must Be Obeyed (along with friend Laura Belle) is visiting Elder Daughter in Cambridge (Massachusetts, not England). This means it’s quiet in the house... a perfect chance to get some useful naps work in (as if). It also means that Hakuna and Matata, the cats, will be especially attentive to me, with Matata in particular being completely insufferable. If ever a dog were to be born in a cat’s body, it would have been Matata.

So... what have I done with my spare time?

Well, yesterday afternoon I made the obligatory trip to Harry’s Farmer’s Market to get some exotic grindage. Harry’s is the kind of place in which a foodie manqué like me can spend hours just looking at all the international foods. You want fresh gooseberries? Basmati rice? Indian mango pickle? German ketchup? Tea oil? Garam masala? Okoboji? Asafetida? Go to Harry’s. Sure, it’s a little less interesting (and a lot cleaner) since it was bought out by Whole Paycheck Whole Foods Market, but it’s still a damn sight more fun than the local Kroger. My problem is, it can be too interesting. Yesterday, however, I was a man on a mission, so I refused to get distracted. At least, not very distracted.

The mission: get a fresh duck. When the Missus is out of town, it's my opportunity to cook things that would send her screaming out of the house. And duck is one of those things.

So I got my duck... along with a few other items. Some fresh herbs. Some fart balls. A little chunk of wild salmon, which I will season and cook on a cedar plank over a hot grill. Some Mediterranean tuna salad, loaded with cool stuff such as capers and artichoke hearts. Some grilled asparagus salad. Some wacky-ass milk chocolate with ginger and chai in it. And some nice Belgian beer. Now that Georgia has finally repealed its stupid law that limited the alcohol content in beer to 5%, a whole crop of tasty new brews is beginning to appear on the shelves. I selected Orval, a flavorsome Trappist ale (with 6.9% alcohol, in case you cared) and also grabbed a bottle of Kriek (superb accompaniment to Chinese food, amazingly enough).

Took all this stuff home, and of course was too lazy to actually cook anything, so the tuna and grilled asparagus salads were the first things to go, washed down by a bottle of that yummy Orval. Then I went out on the deck and read a book, while enjoying a cigar and a few fingers of absinthe. Mmmmmmm.

Next thing I know, I’m stumbling up the stairs to bed. The only thing that kept me from sleeping through until the morning was the phone call from Elder Daughter, who had had a wonderful day running around with SWMBO and Laura.

And now it’s Sunday, and I gotta cook that goddamned duck.

So much for the bachelor life. All y’all bachelors can keep it. I like having Mama around!

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