Ducks On Tour

This is going back a fair bit - something we did in 2004. We "borrowed" two plastic ducks from our then-landlords, SWMBO decorated them in a His and Hers stylee, and we took them on holiday to France. It was the early days of my having a digital camera and I also had a portable Canon postcard printer, so we sent postcards from our travels. 1) Hampton Park, Bristol. 31/08 Hello! The rubber ducks are off on their holidays. See you in about 3 weeks time. Tarquil & Jocasta 2) Newbury. 31/08 Are we nearly there yet? Sebastian & Ludmilla 3) Giverny. 01/09 You know what's missing from Monet's water garden pictures? Duck! That's what! Jacquies & Nigella 4) Chateau de Chambourd. 02/09 OK, if we must slum it tonight. Hector & Clarissa 5) Puy-de-Dome. 03/09 No ponds! Claude & Henrietta 6) St Flour. 03/09 Ah, the joys of a luxurious hotel. Jeremy & Cynthia 7) Pas de Payrol / Puy St Mary. 04/09 The views are so good that I've taken up photography. Timothy & Audrey 8 ) Tournon d'Agenais. 05/09 Hooray! A pond at...
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Confit

We've spent the last couple of weeks making duck and goose confit. Aldi has been selling frozen ducks and geese at pretty reasonable prices, and Asda have taken to selling duck legs for £2.70 a pair. Makes a change from chutney - on which subject, SWMBO cooked up a huge vat of green bean chutney using our entire green bean crop from this summer. And then threw it all away as it wasn't at all nice... First up, dissect your bird - separate the legs and breast, and perhaps the wings if there's a bit of meat on them. Marinade in salt, oil, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and juniper berries. After a couple of days stewing in the marinade, clear off the salt and vegetation and sear the meat. Put it in a casserole dish, cover with goose fat and cook at 150 degrees C for a couple of hours. Yes, all that liquid is goose fat. Then put it in jars and cover with lashings of...
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Concorde

On Friday we went to have a look at Concorde at Filton - hurry if you want to go and see it, as it closes at the end of the month and there is no guarantee that it will ever re-open. A fantastic looking aircraft, and a friend of our neighbour designed bits of it - he worked on the air intakes (surprisingly important) and the wings. He was in a BBC documentary a few years ago, and they showed him stood underneath pointing at bits going "I did that bit, and that, and that..." ...
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More Flinty Red

Flinty Red asked me in recently to take some shots in the kitchen for them to use to publicise their Outside Catering service. Some Creme Brulees (or should that be Cremes Brulee?) in the foreground, with Max the (temporary) chef in the background. Crostini, ready to be loaded up with Marsala-cooked onions on Ricotta. This was actually the (really nice) staff dinner - pork, beans, herbs and some of the Marsala onions. Onglet with courgettes. I think the yellow ones came from Matt the chef's own garden. Fresh haloumi cheese I had an email yesterday from someone at the BBC (yes, that BBC), asking for photos of Flinty Red to use in one of their food magazines. Coo!...
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