Friday, October 5, 2012

Notes from a domestic goddess: Catsup, duck eggs and daylilies

Note: This post should have been published three days ago, but I've been wrestling with iPhoto problems. I thought Macs were supposed to be perfect.

Five days post-weekend of being a domestic terrorist goddess, and I'm still completely paralyzed. But I made catsup, goddammit. Straight up, I did.

It's that point in the summer fall (who am I kidding here... it's freakin' October and there's freakin' FROST on the ground... cue winter fetal position), where with a little tomato love, aka visquine, I can still crank out a few of the red and yellow fellas. About three pounds to be exact as of last weekend.

What to do, what to do.

I don't can things. As I think I've noted before anything involving me, boiling water, tongs and glass is a recipe for disaster. So, of course I think, homemade catsup. What could be more domestic goddess-y?

Making catsup turned out to be MY kind of domestic goddess-y. Throw a bunch o' chopped vegetables in a pot with olive oil and cook them down.

Read. (I just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. FANTASTIC thriller!)

Add tomatoes and water and cook down.


Add basil, blend and strain. Add brown sugar and red wine vinegar and cook down.

Read. I think you get the picture.

The end result is pretty tasty. Sweeter than Trader Joe's organic, which is my current favorite, but quite serviceable. It went swimmingly with onion rings, which I brought to soup night this week.

Rather than tying up the cyberspace with the recipe, e-mail me a if you want to try this little cooking adventure. . .  and need some dedicated reading time.


Absolutely fantastic food photo missing here because iPhoto is being dick.

Duck eggs! Yes, I have found a purveyor of duck eggs! Before you go all Make-Way-for-Ducklings on me, hear me out. Duck eggs are quite delicious.

Maybe duck eggs are more common in your corner of the world, but they are not in Bermtopia. Well, I mean there are ducks who lay duck eggs in Bermtopia, but I had not considered them a food item till they appeared on the menu of a little bistro where the Number One Son was working beween his Japan gig and starting a National Outdoor Leadership School instructor course some years ago.

The chef at the time was a young guy, very intense, very Cutting Edge, loved to circulate through the room talking with diners i.n.t.e.n.s.e.l.y. He had added a duck egg-chorizo sausage appetizer thing-y that was intriguing. My date and I flagged him down and asked, "Why duck egg?"

Chef Intense gave us an enigmatic smile, turned on his heel and disappeared into the kitchen. A minute or two later, he re-appeared with a perfectly plated, perfectly scrambled duck egg.

One bite was transformative. Duck eggs are richer and creamier than anything known to man. They are the uber egg experience. One egg is all you need to be egg-happy. Of course, it's the yoke -- it's bigger (as is the egg itself) and a much more attractive shade of yellow than a chicken egg. Down side -- a bit higher in cholesterol, but other than that all the same nutritional values. And I find I use a little less salt because the egg is so flavorful.

Chef Intense left the restaurant a few months later, along with his duck eggs and chorizo appetizer. And I have been on the trail for duck eggs even since.

Happy to say, I've found them.


If anyone tells you gardening is wuss, smack 'em for me, would you? At the Nine-One-Four, it is a full-out contact sport.

I divided two very large daylilies last weekend. They had it coming. And according to my shoulders, arms and upper back five days later, let's just say dividing daylilies is the horticultural eqivalent of the gift that keeps on giving. (Then again, it could've been the moment when I attempted slap Romney silly on our TV screen Wednesday night. And THEN Jim Lehrer. So there you have it.)


For most domestic goddesses, dividing daylilies, I assume, is  a fairly benign pursuit. Loosen up the dirt, plop 'em out, divide and conquer. At least that's what Martha Stewart would have you to believe.

Not mine. All went went well till "plop 'em out." I had methodically loosened the soil around the plant with a pitch fork, then plunged a shovel into the ground and heaved down on the handle, fully expecting the root ball to pop right out.


Harken back to your favorite LooneyTune cartoon. You know, the one where Wile E. Coyote is about to catapult something fatally forceful on *beep beep* Road Runner? Ever optimistic, WC takes a flying leap and lands squarely on the catapult which drops the fatally forceful object on himself.

Yeah, it was kind of like. Except I basically did a loop-de-loop around the handle of the shovel while the daylily stayed happily stuck in the ground.

Let's just say it took several loop-de-loops to extract said daylily from the ground. And I really could've used a hockey mask and chain saw, instead of my wimpy hand saw, to divide the plant.

The 15 daylily plants (most of which have found homes at this writing) -- plus several thank-you notes from neighbors for providing an afternoon's rich entertainment -- were worth it.

I think.

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