Saturday, October 9, 2010

Synchronicity and Duck a l'Orange

The Ste. Anne de Bellevue Campus of John Abbott College and Macdonald Agricultural School. Flo went to school here because the Macdonald Campus housed McGill's Teaching School until 1970's. I got this off Google Earth, cause my brother in law borrowed my camera.

It's a beautiful Thanksgiving Weekend Saturday, and this morning as I wrote my blog, thinking about an upcoming trip to New York City to see Mrs. Warren's Profession, my husband took possession of a second hand lawn mower, the kind you sit on, and looked positively enraptured as he did his Eddie Albert impression over our 20,000 square foot lawn, and it certainly was a Green Acres moment in our household, that's for sure. "Fresh air, Times Square... You are my wife..."

I tried to get my husband's attention, to no avail, so I got into the car, a bit miffed at missing out on this beautiful day and took off on the T-Can for Atwater Market, but made it only to Ste. Anne de Bellevue, where every Saturday they have a farmer's market on the Main drag.

It was about noon, and some stands were closed, but two veggie stands were open so I bought about everything I could see: chard, beets (orange!)broccoli, tiny green peppers.

As I turned to leave I saw that the artisanal meat people, a young entrepreneurial couple from Hemmingford, were there, with a big sign that said Muscover Duck. I had duck on the brain from reading the recipes in Fannie Farmer cookbook, so I bought a frozen one, mentioning that I was going to use a recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cook book (expecting a blank or questioning look)and guess what? The man, Andrew Stairs, said his wife, who was serving at his side, loved that cookbook. Then his wife, Rommy, said that there was a nice orange sauce in the cookbook, for duck.

Who would have guessed? These are young people, after all! But then I thought, these are young people who have a farm that has grass-fed livestock and specialized poultry, hormone and pesticide free. And you don't need fancy recipes for tasty meat.

Now, the past little while I've been playing a GOOGLE game. I'd look up the menu of, say, some trendy West London eatery, choose a recipe and go out and buy the ingredients and make it myself. My thinking: If I can't be there, in London, I can at least eat 'a meal out' ... and at a fraction of the price... as Montreal has cheaper groceries than London...This worked well for a while, but then, what do you know, the cost of living skyrocketed in our fair town. Montreal, according to a recent survey, is the 9th most expensive city in the world, one place AHEAD of London, (if you don't count rents). What a bummer! It's not as if our salaries are anything like Londoners'. This has something to do with the Canadian dollar's rise. Now, it's not as if I haven't noticed that my food bills are huge, despite the fact I am an empty nester. But I attributed this to my lack of kitchen economy.

So maybe that's why this Fanny Farmer book is of such interest to me. (I discovered it 3 years ago, cleaning out my husband's childhood home, but wasn't impressed back then.) I can experiment with food AND save money. Simple recipes.... If you don't count the extra cost of the superior meat products.

But I'm fed up with chicken as tasteless protein mass you have to enhance with every spice under the sun.

Anyway, I'm making the duck dish on Monday. Thanksgiving. Just for me and Eddie Albert, ahh, Blair, my husband. I hope I don't pull an Eva Gabor.