Saturday, January 21, 2012

Welcome Home Gypsy

Here is the latest addition to the Grass Widow Household, the no-longer-wandering Gypsy. Two weeks ago she was in a kill shelter when Lone Star Boxer Rescue swooped in to save her. She spent two weeks being kenneled at a vet, she was spayed yesterday, and she came home with us today. She is unbelievably good and sweet, full of kisses she wants to give away, and instantly, madly in love with Knight.
In other words, a keeper.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Slow-Roasted Duck

I made this recipe tonight for the first time and it was divine. I served it plain, but if you wanted to deglaze the roasting pan while the duck is resting and make a sauce to pour over the duck, that would be a great idea, too. I'm thinking a little dry white wine and maybe a smidgen of honey? Scrumptious.

Here's the duck recipe itself. Well-worth the wait of several hours' roasting time.

1 5-pound duck, backbone cut out, flattened, rinsed and dried
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic powder
Onion powder

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Season duck generously inside and out with salt and pepper, and season the skinless side only with the onion powder and garlic powder. Place in a roasting pan skin-side up and cover with foil.

2. Roast duck for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 300 degrees and roast for 2 1/2 hours, skimming off fat at least once.

3. Remove foil. Roast duck for 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour more, until the skin is gloriously brown.

4. Transfer duck to cutting board and let rest 15 minutes. Cut into eight pieces and serve.

Makes enough for three normal people or two hungry ones. Derived from this recipe, which I didn't copy in full mostly because I think beets and turnips are some of the worst tasting things in the universe, and I wan't going to let them near my pwecious bird.

Oh, and don't forget to save the duck drippings in a bowl and skim off the golden goodness of the duck fat when it's cooled. Save in the 'fridge to use when frying the best potatoes you'll ever eat.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let's go with "Strongly Disagree"

I wrote some weeks ago about selfishness and the lack of understanding of what makes most of the world's personal relationships go 'round, after reading the Atlantic's piece All the Single Ladies. Now there's an even fluffier (that's actually a good thing, since the Atlantic piece was as dense as bad fruitcake) bit of nonsense in the New York Times, by author Dominique Browning. In this paean to single womanhood - written, perhaps, as Ann Althouse has posited, to make the Times' large contingent of 50-something female readers feel good - Browning lies on her deck after a fall and thinks happy thoughts about being a single woman. Some gems from this insightful piece include:

"Because many women, once released from marriage, seem to feel that it would take an act of madness to move back into a setup that involves not only housekeeping in all its manifold time-sucking beauty but also husband-keeping." [my emphasis] Really? How about the attendant "wife-keeping" that goes on in a marriage? The "to have and to hold" promised in so many wedding vows? And is the time-suck known as "house-keeping" (never mind that I suspect there's a woman hired for this purpose in Browning's household, given that she is financially able to live alone in Manhattan) really that much harder when there are two people in the house instead of one? Even if you reduce a husband to no better than an annoying pet, as Browning does, certainly even they can be trained to take out the trash and load the dishwasher now and then.

"Women alone eat breakfast at 11 if we feel like it, lunch at 3 and dinner never if that’s the way the day is winding down. Single women do not worry about cooking unless we want to. And we don’t want to unless we like to." I have not only a husband but (gasp!) two male children in the house, and I, too, manage to eat pretty much whatever and whenever I want. I don't cook when I don't want to; Husband is more than happy to sample the delights of the Whole Foods hot bar for dinner, and the boys are always up for Chick-fil-a. Mealtimes don't seem like such a big problem to me, sister.

"We love the give and take of making our own decisions."
There is give and take in making one's own decisions? Who are you compromising with, exactly? Be real: there is no compromise when you live alone. I know this from listening to my own mother, who asks disbelievingly "what do you mean, you didn't your first choice on where you're going for vacation this year? how can this be?" And then I have to patiently explain to her that when you are married and you respect your spouse, you don't always get exactly what you want every single minute of the day. This confuses her, as it obviously confuses Ms. Browning.

"A marriage is a lot of work. Strike that. A man is a lot of work."
Let's ask Ms. Browning's ex if he thinks women are a lot of work, shall we? I bet we can all guess what he will say.

And so the Times and the Atlantic go ever more frequently for Vanity Fair's audience, and put these poorly written, confusing pieces of misandry where real thought used to be. I'm not surprised, nor am I very disappointed. Pandering to one's audience, no matter how low-brow, is a time-honored tradition in the media. And think of the money it saves those readers who actually care about the content of the magazine or newspaper, rather than just the aging name on the cover! Sounds like a win-win situation for me.

Perhaps now someone from the Times will cab over to Ms. Browning's place and pick her up off her deck. All those assistant editors have to be good for something...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hunting Unicorns

It's easy when they walk right into your dining room. I didn't even need to feed this one - not that I'd begin to know what unicorns eat, mind you.

Anyone for a Swim?

Five inches of rain (and counting) since last night; the backyard is now a lake. Those brown patches are not dry land; they're mulch and leaf mould floating on top of the water.

My lawn will grow back! Praise be! I love living in a swamp - or, at least, I'm glad to have my swamp back.

UPDATE: the water is 6" deep in the back of the backyard swamp. I know this because I threw sticks into the deepest parts and let Knight do the measuring for me. As Husband frequently comments: "you're not a very nice person." Knight pouted for some time after his information-gathering session outside. I really don't blame him. I know I didn't want to go out there.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birth Day Songs

Okay, this meme is going around Facebook - it's about finding out the #1 song the day you were born. I did my own, that was bad enough:

Then I looked up Husband's. My apologies to all of you.

And One's. He says he might vomit now that he knows this. I'm sorry, my love, but from a mommy's perspective, it's quite sweet: "I knew I loved you before I met you. I think I dreamed you into life... I have been waiting all my life." Cheesy? Of course. But kinda cute...

I'm not sharing Two's with him. Eight is a little young for a song with the word "ass" in the first line, don't you think? And this pose? Ms. Lopez, my son does not need to know about you.

So we're 1 for 4 in the Grass Widow Household (in my opinion, anyway). I knew there was a reason I've always disliked Top 40 music.

Speaking Greek

One and I were having a conversation about Husband's and my days in college tonight, mostly consisting of him throwing out questions here and there and me giving highly sanitized answers to same. At one point I started a sentence "Now your father's fraternity..." and One interrupted:

"Dad's fraternity was the one full of nerds, wasn't it?"

I don't even begin to know how to respond to that. Anyone want to take a shot?