New Protein

Duck season is upon us!!

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A successful harvest so far this season means that I’ve had a fun chance to do something new with a protein I’ve never used.  I’ve had restaurant duck plenty of times, and it’s always been delicious.  But wild duck is a whole different animal, and it really puts a whole new spin on it when you can take something all the way from harvest to plate.

In addition to eating we also have some wings stashed in the freezer for a taxidermy/biology lab style display I want to do for the upstairs loft.  I’m thinking something along the lines of displaying the wings with little tags and their Latin names.  It’s a nice way to blend hunting with science in a stylized way, and it will feature the prettiest part of the birds….in my opinion.  Using as much of what we bring home as possible is something I really put a lot of focus on, The Engineer might say too much focus….but he usually goes along with my ideas! 🙂

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The most shocking part of duck season so far is how strongly Madam Roo has taken to the whole situation.  My usual timid, perpetually nervous girl has taken to charging right through The Engineer when he arrives home that she can go investigate what he’s brought home every morning.  Poor guy just wants to say hello to her, and she can’t even be bothered until she’s accessed the daily harvest.

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I’ve shared this already on Instagram, but it’s just too good and too cute!
“The Stay at Home, Delicate Duck Hunter”

I have grand cooking plans for all sorts of wild game, so I tend to get a bit bossy with home the birds should be cleaned.  Sadly, it’s been a bit too early in the season to pluck a bird for roasting.  They have all been about halfway between their summer feathers and having their dense winter, downy feathers grow in.  This has just led to a mess of plucking, so sadly I haven’t had a bird yet for roasting with my canned apple chutney.  That will come with time I’m sure, but I am antsy to try that and let you know how it goes!

While we patiently wait for the birds to fully plume for winter, and hopefully cleaner plucking, we’ve been breasting out the birds.  I tend to be a bit more skilled than The Engineer in that capacity, so bird cleaning as really become a whole family affair.  We usually try and keep Scout in the house while the knives are flying, but she’s taken to crying like she’s being beaten if we are out with the ducks without her, so we usually cave about halfway through.

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Ummm excuse me iz trying to investigate pleez!

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Pleez do not mind while I investigate these ducks pleez….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My very first adventure into cooking duck was Spicy Thai Duck Burgers curtesy of From Field to Plate.  I’ve used other From Field to Plate recipes before, and I’ve always had really great results.  I really can’t say enough good things about his lime and tequila turkey marinade!  The burgers were alright, but I would defiantly tweak the spices and flavors next time we make them.

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I think I’m just not a huge fan of cinnamon paired with meats.  I know that it’s a normal flavor profile in some Eastern cuisines, but it’s just not my favorite flavor.  Also, I didn’t find it all that spicy, and even The Engineer thought it was too mild.  I will say I did half the jalapeño in the slaw, but usually a single jalapeño is all The Engineer can tolerate spice wise.  It’s so hard to know especially because every pepper is a little different, but it could have used way more oomph.

I would definitely remove the cinnamon and amp up the spice for round two.  Also, I don’t like peanut sauce and it was a Wednesday night, and I was feeling lazy…..so I cheated and bought some peanut sauce for The Engineer.  The From Field to Plate homemade version is probably much better.  If you’re into peanut sauce and give it a try let me know!

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High on list of things you don’t want in your burger patty…..

This week we were a bit crunched for time, so instead of trying a new recipe we went to an old fall back.  Friday night duck taco and nacho night with margaritas was exactly what this week called for!  Just treat it exactly the way you’d use regular ground beef, and no one will even know you’re sneaking waterfowl into the dinner rotation!

I do a bit feel like I’m not really using the ducks to their full flavor potential, and it’s making me a little bummed.  I’m not really in love with the texture of ground duck….it’s a bit soft.  More on the side of ground turkey or chicken then say ground beef or deer.  It defiantly goes better, in my opinion, with something crunchy….slaw or tortilla chips.  But, at the end of the day, it’s all getting gobbled up and that’s really what counts.

Meals do really mean more when you know the time and sacrifice that have been put in to make them happen.  So many people have moved so far away from knowing where their food comes from.  Nothing that arrives on your table arrives by magic, and I’m glad that in this house we are active participants in at least some of the meals that arrive on the dining room table.

Bonus points for not having any shot end up in the taco meat!  I’ll take that as my major victory for the week!!

Breaking Up is the Hardest Part

Literally and figuratively, my trusted foundation and I are on the outs.  I’m not sure if this is an issue that happens to people with normal skin, if my foundation is just sick of my shit, or if sometimes you just need to switch things up so your body doesn’t become too used to something.

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This…..this is all we want!  Why does it have to be so hard to achieve?!?

I’m really not sure what the problem is or where it came from.  I’ve worn the Bare Minerals powder foundation since….IDK FOREVER!  I probably started using it in high school, and it’s been my go to foundation ever since.  It was obviously working for me here, or I wouldn’t have told you it was my ride or die foundation!  Then, the break up started……  I would put my foundation on like usual, and it would always look really good to start.  About an hour later, disaster would start.  It would slowly start breaking up into chunky awfulness on my face, always just down my nose, around my mouth, and the center of my forehead.  It would start to look like I just had something sitting on my face.  It was drawn to anything that wasn’t my actual face.  Phones, my glasses, Main Squeeze’s nose…..basically it wanted to be anywhere that wasn’t my face!!  Also, it would turn much lighter than my actual skin tone and just generally looked like a hot, hot mess.

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How I look with my makeup going into oil slick breakdown mode.

I headed straight to Sephora, and I tried everything I could think of to get my old foundation to set better.  I have the larger holiday pots, so in an effort to not be wasteful and high maintenance feeling, I was determined to make it work.  I bought primers, brush cleaner, different moisturizer, tried different ways of applying it, using more, using less…..nothing was working.  Luckily, Sephora has a good return policy and they will give you free samples.  It’s a good pro tip if you want to try things or you’re having struggles similar to mine.

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No Ariel….I just want the stuff I have to work!!!  Although I did buy myself two new lip products out of sadness…..NEW SUMMER COLORS!

I did finally bite the bullet and I bought a new foundation.  I’m trying out the new Bare Minerals BARESKIN liquid foundation.  I’m actually really enjoying it, and my skin seems to be enjoying it much more as well.  Even at the end of the day, my face still just looks like my skin, but in the best way possible.  I no longer have a floating oil slick of foundation hanging out on my face.

I do still feel a bit overly dramatic about having multiple varieties of foundation, and soon I’ll have to buy another color for summer.  But, I mean your face is what the world sees and what you see every time you look in the mirror.  If spending a bit of money changes the way you feel about what you see in a positive way, then in my mind that’s money well spent.  I mean…..you know what they say, “Put your best face forward!”  I know the quote is usually feet, but my feet are huge and are always forward even if I don’t want them to be, so I decided to switch it up!

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Chapter 5: The Dare

Every once in awhile……you do something sorta stupid.  This tale of stupidity, otherwise known as My Life with the Vinyl Enthusiast, starts with a semi drunk dare in a bar.

The Background:

My people and I were out celebrating the bestie’s hubby’s birthday one night a few months ago, and she dared me to do something I stupidly suggested.  (The actual phrasing of the dare is a bit non-politically correct, and I don’t need this to be that kinda blog, so I shall rephrase slightly.)  The bestie basically dared me that I wouldn’t go up and ask a decently attractive dude, “Hey! Do you wanna dance and fight chics with me?!?!”  So….I did…..cuz it seemed like a reasonably good idea at the time.  And…. it was a reasonably good idea on how to spend a semi tipsy night at the bar! (The bestie still owes me a prize for performing the dare…..!!)

The Research:

The downfall of this came a several months later.  So, the Vinyl Enthusiast invites me out on a date.  By the time of the date, the bestie and I, in the course of our stalking discovered that he was divorced with kids……which is ya know……not on the list!  We had also discovered the reason for his nickname to which my intial thought was, “OF COURSE HE’S A VINYL ENTHUSIAST”  In a show of being open minded, and therefore more adult, I decided to go on this date.

High Fidelity.....great movie, and it becomes slightly amusing when you're life becomes dating a real like John Cusack!

High Fidelity…..great movie, and it becomes slightly amusing when you’re life becomes dating a real life John Cusack….I’m not kidding he sorta looks like John Cusack……but he’s got better hair!  The Enthusiast’s life could be this movie!

So, the first date was fine.  The second date also seemed alright……until I asked the apparently dreaded, “How old are you?” See bestie and I realized that he was older than us, which again is….fine….to a point, we just didn’t know how old.  Guys are tricky in that they have a strange ability to look much younger than they actually are.

I have a friend who knows the Enthusiast socially, and she claimed that he was “like maybe 38”.  That seemed ok….I could have rolled with that I guess.  It really did seem okay until I discovered that HE’S 41!!!!!  Luckily, I was somewhat wine tipsy when he broke the news, so I think I managed to stifle the shock and awe face fairly well…..although maybe I didn’t…..the jury is out on this.

The Results

Now……no need to panic, I’ve done that for you!  I’ve also compiled a list of reason why it might, at first glance, seem okay to date a 41 year old.

  • He owns a home and has a job!
  • He owns a super sexy, old school, muscle car.
  • You can carry on intelligent conversations.
  • He possess good dating skills….like manners, an ability to dance, and if he invites you over for dinner he’ll buy you flowers.
  • You generally live life what a motto similar to “Hold my beer, and watch this!”  What’s the worst that could happen!?
I mean I'm not a huge fan of red cars, but..... when this rolls up in your driveway, a girl stops and takes notice!

I mean I’m not a huge fan of red cars, but….. when this rolls up in your driveway, a girl stops and takes notice!

Those all seem like legitimate reasons to give something a chance…..so under bestie’s advice, and in defiance to my mother’s looks of cautious disapproval….I gave it a chance……and this is what I discovered.

  • There’s really nothing wrong with the fact that he has a house and a job……
  • His muscle car was a teenager when I was born…..more to the point……HE WAS A TEENAGER WHEN I WAS BORN!  This won’t always be apparent, but you have to stifle the urge to tell him not to parent you…..it can’t end well.
  • You maybe be able to have conversations, but they will be few and far between because he has parental responsibilities.  Even being a divorced, part time parent takes up a huge amount of time….I had no idea really.  Also, after a certain amount of time, one should ask about the wee tottlets, even if one has no desire to know much about them.  That’s just polite after all!  If you don’t ask, they will just volunteer info anyway….it’s a lost cause.
  • His good dating skills and manners will cause him to have existential crises about that status of your relationship.  This can be confusing to a twenty something who was pretty sure that “going on dates” didn’t qualify one for:
    • Meeting the children
    • Titling the relationship
    • Having generally any sort of concern about the “state of the relationship”
    • Expecting any sort of scheduled time commitments from the other person

The Conclusion:

Now, I’m clearly not a dating expert, and I believe that if you’re dating the same kinds of people all the time, you’ll probably get the same results.  Didn’t Einstein say something along that line!??  I think he did…..anyway.  I support change and the desire to try something new.  I also believe if you’re gonna go……it should be big or you should go home.  However, I would suggest based on the evidence that maybe the 27:41 age gap is a bit too much gap.  Idk, maybe that’s just me…..

Side Note

It’s shaping up to be a pretty epic party weekend around here.  Expect another picture blog to document the adventure!