I realized last week, that I have been in a sort of limbo from the norm, probably since our primary here in North Carolina last May. Now it's almost like I have a political hangover. I'm trying to settle into our normal winter routine in the context of our abnormal economy. But I count my blessings. We always have basketball. I'm going to start this posting with something that has nothing to do with either food or politics. At left, is a photograph of the very elegant urinal that is in the pool house at my hotel in Celaya. I hesitated posting this at all because I didn't want to imply anything about other stuff in this entry, but this is just too good to be true.
Ok, now forget about plumbing. A lot of mid-winter favorites have appeared on our menu. Sweetbreads with Wild Turkey liqueur have returned, enriched this season with little dice of crispy sidemeat folded into the sauce at the last minute. Sweetbreads are something I save for colder weather as a rule. They seem too heavy for August. Green Tabasco Chicken is back, by popular demand I might add. Roast chicken is good any time really. I'm always going on about it, but it seems particularly appetising in cold gloomy weather. Butterscotch pudding has replaced persimmon pudding. This also has a following. I've posted this recipe this morning. Hit "The Recipes" link on the homepage.
Duck has gone as a main course, but turns up in onion soup and in our wilted salad. This fall we built up a good supply of salt cured legs for these dishes. Last season the salad proved especially popular, which surprised me because in previous years no one seemed to notice it much. Winter greens and the confit duck are dressed with a hot vinaigrette made from red wine vinegar that has had dried sour cherries steeping in it. Pecans are added for good measure
The salad above, is pictured on a tray with, among other things, a bowl of gumbo. That means Louisiana and Mardi Gras. This year it falls on February 24 and we will begin rolling out all that delicious food a few weeks before that. As if to prefigure the celebration, Beverly Dixon showed up for dinner the other night with an armful of fresh bay. She had pruned her bay tree in anticipation of the hard freeze that we had. I love the way it smells and it makes me think of New Orleans. You can always find it in the French Market there.