Ducke wuckie!  Mmm.  This was good but strangely not as good as the time I made it for me and Lolly.  Why?  Not sure.  Maybe because I was using Japanese rice wine rather than Chinese?  I’ll have to fiddle around with it a bit to recapture the daintiness of the version 2.  This is why I am now writing EVERYTHING down.  It’s the only way.

I had a good report from my lovely penpal Margie in Georgia about how her version turned out though.  She had duck for her Christmas lunch and dropped me an email to ask if there were any SSS recipes for duck leftovers.  Here’s her verdict:

“I took the suggestions and added garlic and ginger. Spot on!  I browned the duck in the de-fatted stock from roasting, added a splash of cooking sherry (I only found rice vinegar, not rice wine at the store and wasn’t sure if that would be right) and a tiny splash of soy sauce into the pan while browning.  I also generously sprinkled in red pepper flakes for heat which I think is perfect.  I used green onions and celery, didn’t have any bamboo shoots and had just tossed out some week-old mushrooms so didn’t use those. All those ingredients would be good in here because it’s good as is and could easily take a few more ingredients. The mushrooms, if really fresh, would be good. What are those Asian black mushrooms? Those would be great!  I think the celery and the ginger are the best bits.  Rice is good but I’ll bet noodles–if I knew how to cook Asian noodles properly– would be very good. Sesame noodles for the flavor.  This would also be good with chicken or pork.  Oh, and I got slivered almonds and toasted them for about 10 minutes before I used them. They’re very good.”

Me too with the toasted almonds…  Glad you enjoyed it Margie.

Sally over at My Custard Pie wrote a great post this week about her foodie bucket list – there are so many inspirational ideas there, I’m going to go back and look at it again.  It has inspired me to do one for myself so here are a dozen things I would like to do in 2013.  It’s good to write them down somewhere permanent rather than in one of a million notebooks.

1 – Go to Bubble Dogs for a hotdog and champers – one of Marlene Dietrich’s favourite meals.

2 – Make tempura – I’ve only done it once in my life courtesy of Red Buttons and I was so proud of myself so would like to try it again.  I still have that massive bag of MSG…

3 – Organise a virtual blog party – I might do this for Vincent Price’s birthday.  This is inspired by the “Church Lady Cookbook Challenge” over at Dinner is Served 1972 which introduced me to the splendour of Caker Cooking.  I know I go on about these two a lot but I LOVE THEM.  Their blogs consistently crack me up.  Brian made a Great Canadian Ketchup Cake this week!

4 – improve my food photography skills – this will involve getting my head around how my camera works.  I don’t understand it AT ALL and reading the manual makes my head hurt.  I think maybe a one day digital photography course with a hunky instructor is called for.  Or, a close second, getting DSG to give me a private lesson…

5 – learn how to make Vietnamese salad dressing like the stuff they use in the Thanh Binh restaurant near where I work.  I regularly cough up £4 for a salad that I could make myself for about 30p if I could only work out what they put in the dressing.  I suspect I might be using up some of that MSG once I find out.

6 – Test all 52 recipes for the book – I’m on the way – want to do them all by the end of the year for sure.

7 – Make Worcestershire Sauce – I saw a detailed recipe for this on the net somewhere once and I shall track it down and do it.  Worcestershire Sauce is my life force – alongside peanut butter and gherkins.  These things I could not do without.

8 – Make 1 x Ottolenghi recipe.  Luckily I am a hop, skip and jump away from Cathy’s house and she is the Queen of Ottolenghi  – always utterly gorgeous food.  She loves Vincent Price’s Treasury of Great Recipes too and once made me laugh by the following pronouncement: “First there was Vincent, then there was Ottolenghi”.

9 – Make meringue.  Never attempted it.  Cathy assures me it is easy.

10 – Go to the Ivy for lunch (it’s on the Vincent Price pilgrimage route) – I just need to find a dining companion.

11 – Make one of my desk-mate Lucy’s mum’s recipes – she was making my mouth water talking about the recipes she’d sent over from Malaysia.

12 – Make soda bread – my boss has promised me a starter or whatever it is called.

PHEW.  I shall check in January 2014 to see how lazy I have been.  Until then, my favourite pic of Frosted Yellow Willlows.  Through the wonders of the internet I discovered that there was a competition to colourise this image so if you want to see Anna May’s frock in various hues go here…




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