I took a bit of a holiday from blogging as I just needed to focus on the *home front* here.
The days leading up to Yule were a bit frenzied here---as they usually are---and I barely had time to get all the things done that needed doing, so my blog fell by the wayside!
We baked cookies. LOTS of cookies. I am officially "cookied out"!
And, although I used fabric and reusable bags and such to wrap presents, others did not, so we did end up with a big bag of wrapping paper trash....sigh.
Christmas dinner was a HUGE amount of work....and s-o-o-o-o-o-o worth it!
We had ham and duck.
Let me pause to wax rhapsodic about duck......
Duck is the ambrosia of poultry. A food for the gods that we mere mortals can also enjoy.
Crisp succulent duck skin should be a food group all by itself.
I roasted two ducks. One was devoured within the first 20 minutes of dinner.
Preparing duck is easy.
Rinse the bird, including the interior. Sprinkle a little salt inside it. Cut up an apple into slices and stuff in the interior and add a sprig of rosemary. Rub butter on the exterior of the duck. Pop it in an oven at 325 and roast 1/2 hour for each pound.
Take out of oven and let rest 10 minutes before you carve.
Serve and devour.
I wrapped one picked clean carcass up in foil and tucked it in the freezer so that in a couple weeks I can make a lovely duck soup.
The other duck will be eaten today.
I saved the large amount of duck fat that cooked out during roasting the birds. I strained it well and it is now in the refrigerator.
Duck fat is fabulous for cooking and even for preserving.
Duck comfit anyone?
I simmered the gizzards and necks to make a broth and used that broth in my gravy and stuffing.
Best. Stuffing. Ever.
I made two kinds of stuffing (as I usually do). One was cornbread stuffing with apples and walnuts. The other was regular stuffing with sausage.
One of the most popular items I put on the table was also one of the simpliest.
I made a dip out of cream cheese and crushed pineapple and had sliced pears to dip in it.
Basically, half a package of cream cheese plus about 1/4 cup crushed pineapple mixed together real well.
It is also good on crackers and such.
Everyone waddled away from the table quite happy.
The best present I received was Boy and Girl2 cleaned my kitchen for me while I napped yesterday evening. My kitchen is absolutely SPOTLESS this morning! A more thoughtful gift than that I can't think of!
We have a bit of goats milk on the table now. Gabrielle had a little buck, now named Geordi, and though she has had kids before, she had never been milked before!
The first milking was quite the experience...for me and the goat!
She is getting more comfortable with milking, as am I. I give her a bit of sweet feed to encourage things along and make milking a more enjoyable time for her. I also put little Geordi where Mama can see him, so she doesn't get panic striken and think she has lost her baby.
Gabrielle is a very protective and attentive goat mama. Geordi is everything a baby goat should be. Cute, fuzzy, playful and a delight to watch as he scampers about.
Because he is a buck, we have only two choices.
Either we sell him when he is weaned....or we have him as dinner, perhaps for Easter.
Now, Girl 1 and Girl 2 and Boy are all highly distraught at the thought of us serving Geordi up as a main dish.
They think the fella and I are heartless and cruel for even considering doing that to cute little Geordi.
They have not yet gotten used to the reality of farm life.
We shall see what happens...maybe we will sell Geordi....maybe not!
Hope all of you had a great holiday...now it is back to the grind! (Not that I actually got a day off! Still had to feed the critters and milk the mama goat!)