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Duck breast by candlelight






We have all settled in pretty well, dealing with the pandemic. It has subsided a lot in this corner of Connecticut. The local market does a great job of screening and limiting people. Long walks without masks are possible because the rare brief encounters with a strangers are at an acceptable social distance. What more than a pandemic could happen to disrupt our lives? The answer was a hurricane that downgraded to a tropical storm and sped up the east coast and into New England. We had some heavy downpours but when the sun came out, the winds persisted. By shortly after 2 on Tuesday the power went out. No power, no plumbing, no wifi. We had plenty of cold food to make it through dinner and breakfast. Because they could not work, my daughter and her husband wisely returned to NYC. I decided to wait it out a day.


Almost all houses here run totally on electricity but I have a friend who put in a gas stove that uses a propane tank. I had duck breasts and peaches that needed cooking so I asked if I could make us dinner on her stove. She happily agreed, as long as I brought Goldie. Her dog Bailey and Goldie get along very well, happily ignoring each other. I packed up the duck, the peaches and some peach vinegar I happened to have on hand, as well as some frozen shrimp. She opened a delicious bottle of Bordeaux which we sipped along with some chips, salsa and a shrimp cocktail. To make the duck, I salted it and seared it in a heavy pan until the skin was browned and a lot of the fat rendered - maybe 5 minutes ( I was happily drinking the Bordeaux and not really watching the clock). I removed the duck, poured off the fat, and returned the pan to the stove. I poured in whatever amount of vinegar I had left, probably a few tablespoons, and deglazed the pan (scraped up all the little bits that had stuck while searing the duck). You could easily use wine, or any balsamic or wine vinegar to do the deglazing. I am sure some raspberry vinegar with raspberries would be lovely. I returned the breasts and the cut up peaches and continued to cook it all on a low flame. I intended to serve them with the white asparagus but I forgot to bring them. With that yummy Bordeaux we didn't miss them.


The light had dimmed, so my friend lit some candles and Goldie got to lick my plate. The following day we all headed for NYC. After two nights we got word that power was restored and we all returned to CT.

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