My best friend, Miss Sassy, and her fiancé joined us for a little dinner at the dollhouse tonight. I love entertaining and don’t get to have people over as often as I’d like during the flurry of the school year. The Electrician and I have also wanted to invite Miss Sassy and Comic Book Fan over for the first time as an engaged couple.
Ironically, I made “engagement duck,” which I threatened The Electrician with way back when we were merely dating. Every time I brought it up, I joked that I’d have to roast duck for him sometime, because there was no way he could let me get away once he’d eaten it. As it turns out, he thought I was so nifty (and my old oven was not trustworthy enough to attempt waterfowl) that he married me without ever having duck for dinner. So tonight, I guess I made “aren’t you glad you married me duck.”
We started with a green salad tossed in homemade lemon tarragon dressing; I am in the habit right now of including snap peas in everything, and they were in the salad too. In the spirit of returning to the Blue Speckled Pup entries of yore–the ones where I photographed stuff I made in my kitchen–I took pictures of the meal tonight as it hit the table. All the photos are on the counter, though, where the light is better.
The cloves of garlic I used to make the dressing (only two) were fresher than I anticipated, so the salad bit back, but that’s okay. I’ve heard garlic is good for all kinds of ailments, so our salad tonight was extra-super healthy, and also vampire-proof.
Following the greens, we enjoyed duck, which I roasted with celery, fuji apples, and fresh fennel, and topped with a wild blueberry merlot reduction. My house smelled unreal while it cooked. There was also thyme in there, because all dishes should have a dusting of thyme. I brined the duck quarters for a few hours this afternoon, which I’ve never tried before, and I was pleased by how tender it kept things.
Since there seems something deeply wrong about serving duck alongside mashed potatoes or mac and cheese, I made risotto. A dish that requires twenty-some minutes of stirring wasn’t at the top of my list while I had the old stove, which adjusted its own temperature randomly and dramatically. For the first risotto on my wedding gift stove, I made one with lemon, bacon, and spinach. Bacon really does make all things better. It’s in the same precious food group as chocolate that way.
Did you notice how nicely the peas match the plate?
For dessert, we had coconut pecan tart on a shortbread crust. The men also had vanilla ice cream. We ladies were wise enough to stop at just pie. Then we all had food comas and watched Game of Thrones. It was a lovely evening all around.
First dinner party of 2013 = belching success. The Electrician and I love to have people over, me because I enjoy hosting guests and him because he likes what I cook when folks visit. If you’re in town some time, you should stop by for a bite.
Just call me first so I can vacuum up the dog hair.
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