Jeff and Eve came to visit, and we had pulled a duck out of the freezer in anticipation. I lit the smoker, and in addition to smoking the duck (on a mixture of maple, apple, and grape vines- all from our yard) I also smoked the bacon that had been patiently curing in back of the fridge for so long (more on that later.) In addition, I made polenta, green mash, caramelized turnips (they’ve gotten really big in the last week or so) and cooked chioggia beet and turnip greens together with some of the newly-smoked bacon.
We started with some of our duck prosciutto and thin slices of the still-warm bacon as an appetizer, accompanied by a 2006 Jacky Blot Triple Zéro- a no-dosage sparkler that is super clean and elegant and works well with salty meat like this. Then we piled all the food on the table and got to work on it. Nothing remained. We drank a Pleiades XVI, and then a 2003 Jaboulet Vacqueyras which are both outstanding wines, and go famously with high-end peasant food like this.
For dessert, since I had picked TWO QUARTS of strawberries that morning from our 4 x 8 foot bed, I mashed some of them in the suribachi and stirred in whole yogurt and maple syrup, then ran it through the ice cream machine and served it on top of more strawberries. I must say that “June-bearing strawberries” is one of the great triumphs of truth in advertising; these varieties are insanely prolific and intensely sweet. They easily prove Butler’s assertion that “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.”