Monday, December 24, 2007

Duck anyone?

So, the main thing I wanted to get done right after chores this morning was to butcher our drake duck for dinner tonight. Neil and I rounded him up and took him back behind the shed where I have the killing cones set up. I had warned Neil that he was strong and would be difficult to keep hold of but still I don't think Neil was prepared for the struggle he got.

I had been dreading this job for two reasons. First, the ducks all have very distinct personalities, unlike the chickens, so it was going to be emotionally harder to kill one of the ducks. But, secondly, I was not looking forward to hand plucking the feathers from the duck either. The oil on the feathers makes scalding less effective so most resources recommend dry plucking. Ducks also have two layers of feathers; the exterior feathers and the downy feathers underneath. This makes for more difficult plucking.

Not to disappoint, the plucking of the duck was awful. Neil and I both worked on the duck trying to get the feathers out for almost an hour. The whole time I was muttering that next year we will be sending our ducks out to be processed. I do not want to repeat that task again!

On the other hand he sure was tasty! I prepared Duck à l'orange for the first time for our Christmas Eve dinner. It wasn't that difficult and he came out delicious. I also made a mushroom risotto along with sauteed brussel sprouts with garlic.

After dinner Neil made his famous chocolate chip cookies that are about 5 inches across and chewy and full of chocolate. His Dad particularly loves them so Neil made a whole extra batch as a Christmas present for his Dad. Some we put out for Santa along with both Chocolate and Strawberry milk because Evan and McKayla wanted to know which one Santa liked best.

No comments: