On this past weekend, Canadian friends were celebrating Grey Cup Sunday. You may have missed it — you know, the annual Canadian Football League championship game. This year, the Calgary Stampeders defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. (Oh, that Grey Cup.) But here in Daglan, my wife Jan and I were celebrating St. Andrew’s Day.
You may not know about St. Andrew’s Day any better than you understand Canada’s Grey Cup Sunday. In any case, it’s Scotland’s official national day, and Jan was born in Scotland, so that’s enough for us.
Knowing that the day was approaching, some time ago we started wondering: What shall we have for Sunday lunch? We were hoping for a true Scottish meal.
Of course our lunch had to include the traditional “neeps and tatties” (mashed turnips and potatoes). But what of the main event — a prime rib of beef? Given our views of French beef (very chewy and pretty expensive, given that it seems to have been taken from a frozen mastodon), we thought that maybe a roast chicken would be the answer. Then, lightning struck.
On a visit to the boutique of Fabrice le Chef, here in central Daglan, Jan discovered that on Sunday morning, Chef would be selling roast ducklings, all ready to eat. So she ordered a canette rôtie. When she brought it home, she simply wrapped it in some foil and heated it in our oven and, voilà:
This may not seem unusual to you, since the Greater Daglan Area lies in the very heart of Duck Country, but we don’t find roast duckling on the menu as often as you would in North America. More commonly, we are served confit de canard (duck legs) and prepared dishes like duck meat made into a sort of shepherd’s pie.
In any case, Chef had stuffed this particular canette with olives, and it came out of the oven perfectly, with moist meat and crispy skin. Here’s how it looked on my plate, with the neeps and tatties, and with a simple sauce we made out of blueberry-and-cassis preserves, heated in the microwave with chopped walnuts and some Grand Marnier:
Unfortunately we were unable to find a Scottish wine (Château d’Haggis), so we made do with this pinot noir from Burgundy:
All in all, the meal was delicious. So was the dessert, which consisted of pears that Jan had poached in white wine and honey, and then served with whipped mascarpone cheese that she flavoured with brandy.
On behalf of the entire staff of Radio Free Daglan (both of us), here’s hoping that you had a very good Sunday too — whether it was Grey Cup Sunday or St. Andrew’s Day or just a day of rest.
It now turns out that Daglan’s new-and-improved convenience store is not open on Mondays at this time of year, despite what I wrote in my blog posting of November 27. The promotional card we received, trumpeting the store’s reopening, said that it would be open all through the week, but yesterday the 8 à Huit was shut as tight as a drum. Presumably Monday shopping will resume once winter is behind us.
On another shopping note, we drove past the mini-supermarket in Cénac this morning, and found that the store still had the Shopi sign on its front. Since it is supposed to reopen as a Carrefour tomorrow, work crews still have some heavy lifting to do.