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To Roast Ducks

With the weather turning warmer, it’s hard to imagine cooking over the fire as we did several weeks ago when there was a drop in the temperature. With my arm out of the sling, finally, I have begun to type with both hands. The right is still a little shaky so I have to keep my post a bit short. However, I did not want to go too long between them.

There is not much to say about duck with the exception that wild duck in the 1700s may not have been as plump as our store bought one. And, did the farm-grown “Dung Hill Fowl” have as good a diet as they have now. This reminds me of a duck dinner many years ago.

My brother, being a hunter-gatherer, shot a goose flying over his house. He roasted this goose in the oven at a large family gathering. Well, roasting a goose was new to him, and when my husband and I arrived with the baked ham, the smoke was so thick we had to duck to see where everyone was. Needless to say, we all learned a thing or two about cooking geese. Duck, like geese, has a lot of fat and before you bake it, it is advised that you steam it first. This Allan did with ours and ended up with several cups of duck fat.

I used the receipt “To Roast Ducks” from The Complete Housekeeper and Professional Cook by Mary Smith, 1772, and combined it with Sauce Madame. We assembled and diced parsley, thyme, sage, oregano, an apple and garlic. This we mixed with bread crumbs and cranberries.

After mixing everything together we stuffed and trussed the duck. We wanted to make sure that when we put the skewers through the duck on the spit it would hold fast and make turning easy.

With the duck securely in place in the tin oven we basted it with butter and an orange sauce. After about 25 minutes the duck was a golden brown and ready for the table.

The duck was served with the Sauce Madam, Spanish potatoes and our spring Fiddleheads.

I hope you have been enjoying the posts and Allan’s adventures into hearth cooking. I think he has done a wonderful job. This was a very tasty meal.

For now,