I'm a reasonably honest man and times I've been known to be rather blunt and abrasive. I'll take this opportunity to express both personality traits; last week was shit. I had a 'shocka' flu locking me to either the bed or the couch like a magnet to metal. When Friday came round I had had enough. I gathered my energy by the afternoon and sent a text to JB hinting at a possible rabbit hunt. I was desperate to get out of the house after being house bound since the previous Sunday. Sure enough JB rocked up and we headed out to the lake with our led lenser's and enough fire power to take out Osama. The drive in to the special spot was tantalising with bunny after bunny running in front of the Jeep. We walked along the game track for a good hour but not one bunny in sight so we headed back to the parked Jeep and headed due west. Still nothing. Over a good serve of home made pizza back home we both agreed it was a jinxed night. It's just one of those things a hunter must accept. In the morning I felt better, a good night sleep with out a fever and plenty of coffee to wake me up had me back out on the lake but this time it was ducks in sight. I'd only been out there an hour and bagged a beautiful Pacific Black Duck. I packed it in my game bag and headed home. I was pleased to have something amazing to cook my Mum for Sundays Mothers Day. I dressed the bird and hung it overnight in the laundry. That afternoon Laney, JB and I picked some great Pine Mushrooms at Creswick forest and then foraged for Walnuts at Learmounth. What a day, what a haul! I slept that night dreaming of the gastronomic possibilities for the following day. I was determined to make the bird go as far as it possibly could, and those pine mushrooms would definitely come in handy. Mothers Day started with a good plucking session out back and then into the oven with a Sage and Thyme butter inserted under the duck skin to ensure moisture retention. Pesky wild duck breast always seems to dry out in the oven so this butter mixture ways a way to combat that problem. Roasting wild duck can be tricky but it's worth the effort...I always get disappointed when I see hunters only use the breast of a wild duck and discard the rest it's such a waste. I made a Bianco risotto, added the duck meat and some fried wild mushrooms and what a dish! It was the best present that I could give to Mum and Kim for mothers day (better than any store bought commercial crap). While I had the risotto cooked with the stunning roast duck, I made some arancini for an entree. Which by the oohh's and aaarrhss I figured worked well. With a little sample of the roast duck meat I also made a tasting plate with the Peppered Hawthorn Berry Hoisin sauce I made last year, which was sweet and bitey and married so well as a dipping sauce for the roast duck meat. It really got the audiences taste buds into overdrive for the rest of the afternoon. I cooked a kilo of risotto so that means lunch time in the office prison I'll have a gastronomic reminder of such a great mothers day weekend. And a reminder of turning the raw materials of what nature provides into something amazing to enjoy showing as much respect to the living animal that has graced our palate.
Much love to all the mothers out there.