I spent the afternoon on Saturday cooking some treats for my friends with V. It was so wonderful to be able to cook for fun, not to be stressed about how the food looked or if it matched the dinner plates. If you have never had a chance to buy creme fraiche, then I highly suggest it over sour cream. I used it to garnish the smoked salmon toasts and it just cut cleanly through the thick-cut salmon.
Next up was some lovely little duck confit toasts on bocconcini with rough country mustard from France. I am a big fan of duck confit, and am always surprised at how few people cook duck these days. I will admit that I normally cooked the breasts separately to sear them for a cherry or orange sauce, while I simmer the rest of the flesh in the rendered fat to create the confit. Saturday’s ducky was frozen though, so it all had to be roasted and then cooked in the confit-style.
Meatballs were total hardcore gourmet on Prince Edward Island in the late 80s; if you knew how to cook anything close to a swedish meatball, then you were a god. I recall spending a few afternoons in the Colonel Gray High School library perusing cookbooks to try to learn the secrets to the confectionary. Perhaps it is one of the most simple things I cook, but it never fails to please. V. wanted to eat all of them herself, but left some. These ones were done in a thai/japanese style with peanut and soy.
Cheese was basic: St. Andre, Roquefort and 5 year old Balderston Cheddar. I had others, but since most of the invited missed for various reasons, I put out just one plate. We also made some delicious balls of sushi rice soaked in coconut milk and rolled is sesame seeds, but I forgot to shoot those. We used a lot of the lacquered presentation plates V. brought back from her latest visit to Saigon, and then I brought out a few of my green dragonfly ones I ran all over Saigon for a few years ago.
Mingus was exhausted after the guests left. He actually went all wacko when people came for a while, but then composed himself and began stalking food off the table in a predatory fashion.
I would be remiss to mention that Saturday marked one year since V. and I became more permanent in our status. It was but one year ago that I travelled to South Africa and met her in Johannesburg for our big adventure across the country in a Toyota Yaris. It has been a wild ride ever since, and there is nobody in this world that I would rather share my time, life and love with.