White Dog, the Army and Steve were in good spirits. It was a summer-like day with warm temperatures and clear bright skies. And dad was home with us. In fact, he just returned from the grocery and was, with the help of a platoon of White Dog Army superivisors, putting things away. That is when the discovery was made.
With Steve's crazy late night schedule this quarter at school, we have been preparing meals so that they generated leftovers that could be frozen and become a second, no-cook meal. But the containers take a fair amount of space in the freezer. In order to fit in a few items, Steve had to take things out of the freezer and shuffle around the organization.
"Oh! White Ones! What is this I found?" Tails began thumping and squeaks of excitement were uttered as the White Dog Army pressed closer for a glimpse. Steve had unearthed a lovely little smoked duck breast, a holiday gift, placed in deep freeze during the dark days that marked our holiday.
The alarm went off. "DUCK!" and the entire WDA charged into the kitchen. There was no argument when Steve suggested that we better consider using it soon even though it was protectively wrapped and preserved. (He loves duck as much as the WDA does).
One of my favorite things about my family is our ability to turn any day into a celebration...no real reason needed. Before I knew it, THIS day had become duck appreciation dinner night and plans were underway for a special meal, civilized dining, music, and togetherness.
Then 12 pairs of eyes turned to me. "Please make up a fabulous dinner, momma," White Dog pleaded. "One that is elegant and happy and features this glorious find...and that we can all share."
Steve was just gotten back from the store, so I felt I needed to work with what was on hand. It was kind of a challenge. Sort of like a cooking show. White Dog and YoYoMa sat with me as the others continued with unpacking groceries. Every so ofter we would call out a question, like, "Do we have almonds?" and the kitchen team would stop to give us an answer.
The plan came together and the menu did sound delicious to all involved.
We would thaw and warm the all-ready smoked breast and in the meantime use cherries from the freezer to concoct a tart cherry sauce. I remembered potato and chese pierogis that we had put up just a week or so ago. After boiling them, they would be sauteed in butter with mushroons and topped (on the human plates) with carmelized onions. Steve had just brought home brussel sprouts; now destined to be slivered and mixed with carrots they would be steamed over heavily gingered tea. WD and I out voted Yo about dessert...such a meal could stand without a sweet ending.
The musc of the night, chosen by Steve and Nilla and Pearl was Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." And after a brief intermission would allow walks before retiring for family movie night...Dog of Flanders, chosen by Benson, Stormer, and Bella because "it has artists AND dogs in it!"