It is getting closer and I am getting nervous. Getting the house cleaned up, setting out the best service ware, preparing the menu, shopping, cooking, invitation, family conflicts... except this year, it is not going to happen. I am not going to have Thanksgiving at my house. I am nervous out of habit.
I am going to my daughter's house because she and her dear husband have taken the baton and are running the next lap. I am making "appetizers and side dishes". I am still searching for ingredients and special recipes, delicacies and fun ideas. And I have found some very special things.
While out and about last week, my darling and I discovered a new SPICE store in Newport, Ca. Amazing selection, ability to sample and sniff, can buy in small quantities for single use or in bulk. And some very unusual things- like meat cure for making sausages that need to age before cooking. And powdered blue cheese, which can turn that Ranch dressing into something special.
While we wandered around in Newport, we found a cheese store, Vin Goat, and tasted several different goat cheeses along with a smoky blue. These were very tasty and unusual. Made me want to add a few ideas to my cheese making adventure.
And there was the coffee class at Sur La Table. Very enlightening. My coupon expires today and I have decided to use it one last time for a special treat. Like I need another gadget or thing in the cupboard that goes unused for many years.
I promise my children that I will have removed the bulk of this stuff so they don't have to have a giant garage sale after I am gone. But, it is so cute. No honey, not the $300 thing, but the $60 thing.
Then as I was wandering though the recipe ideas, I read something really weird. California has banned the sale of fattened Goose and Duck Livers- Foie Gras. This is so reminiscent of the junk food ban of the 80's. The theory is that ducks and geese are "force fed" to get fat livers for the production of Pate Fat Liver (Foie Gras). Most people who can eat pate are buying pork liver flavored with tiny amounts of other meats because Goose and Duck are sooo expensive here. The duck produces lots of fat around it's skin (same for goose) so making the duck extra fat so that the liver is really fatty seems unnecessary, but some politicians (who can't balance the budget) have at least decided to protect the ducks and geese from the absurdly rich. What about regular duck liver? Like the chicken parts in a whole chicken, can you still get a regular duck liver with your duck? I don't know. Maybe the Pate Patrol will individually remove all duck liver from the frozen birds. I have two lovely ducks in the freezer. One for the after Tday weekend, and one for the xmas day dinner. I am hoping there are livers in the cavity with the heart, neck and "parts". The Pate Patrol doesn't start until Jan. 1, 2012. My ducks should be all there.