Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Après Moi, Le Dessert

Complaining about the weather is about as pointless as activities get, I know, but the amount of rain we've been getting is beyond ridiculous. The temperature barely cracked 70˚ all weekend in Vermont- though it didn't actually rain there- and yesterday it pissed down all afternoon. Poor Milo shivered through his first swimming lesson. Today the sun is actually somewhat visible, but it's cold out.

I've lived in England, so I can handle it- I'll just start drinking a lot more to suppress my emotions, and then riot at the occasional soccer match to vent the pent-up aggression. It's just that we have all these tomato, pepper, eggplant, cucumber, and melon plants that are barely growing, let alone setting any fruit. And I was kind of looking forward to the sweet glory that is the second half of the season, as opposed to, say, a big pile of mildew covered in fat, satisfied slugs. It may be that we're due for a break later this week, so stay tuned; I know you're all on the edge of your seats with suspense.

Meanwhile, dinner must still be made. And it can still be mostly vegetables, if not the most sexy ones. So a moulard duck breast (the other is going to become prosciutto) with a good rub of pimentón, salt, pepper, and cinnamon into all the scored fat was the point around which a bunch of other flavors organized themselves. While the duck rendered and crisped in a pan, I blasted escarole in the processor with ume plums, pine nuts, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a heavenly mash. Our new batch of kimchi is ready, and it's a good one- our own scallions, carrots, and green garlic really help- and there was some good slaw made even better by a few days in the fridge. After the duck was cooked, I poured off some of the fat and made fried rice with leftover brown basmati and some beet greens from the other night.

While the sun is actually out, I'm going to go plant some things and continue my delusional belief that there's even a point any more. And then it'll be time to start drinking.


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This "summer" has been bizarre indeed. The duck breast looks magnificent.

The Spiteful Chef said...

It's 107 degrees outside right now, and there's a spider hanging from my front doorknob, basking in the frying rays of the sun. I'd kill for a raincloud. Even one.

Plus, shivering kids means hearty kids. I shivered my way through the pool every morning in the Colorado spring and summer, and I have now gone two seasons without so much as a cold or cough. Hearty, I tell ya.

Can't wait til there's a place in my house cool enough to make kimchi or prosciutto.

lisa said...

Nice looking breast. We, on the other hand, do not get rain. So, I planted beans, yellow oregano, mint, various basils, and thyme only so they could burn to a crisp in the unrelenting sun's heat after I wasted several days worth of watering. Basil in pots, rosemary, and bay laurel are the only edible things that have survived.

Brooke said...

Look at that beautiful sear job. Nice.

We've had unseasonably warm weather, until 2 days ago. Now back to trusty Seattle skies. It just feels right.

I think Kristie subscribes to the same logic as "hunger is a great motivator" for kids.

peter said...

Jen: I'm half English, but this is ridiculous.

Kristie: I shivered through all of my lessons too-in Walden pond, no less- but I was older than not quite five.

Lisa: Feast or famine. What matters is that we can complain.

Brooke: The paprika sears up black, so it looks more browned than it is. And Kristie can act all hard; the minute she has a kid she's going to spoil it right to death. Frankly, it's going to be disgusting, and that will be the exact moment we stop reading her blog.

Zoomie said...

Clever title, Peter. Fun.

We Are Never Full said...

you know what they say in england everyone loves a que and complaining about the weather.

up until two weeks ago, i was about to throw myself out my ground-level apartment window b/c of the frickin rain. whatever, the sear on that duck breast is making me forget about it all.