Why does everything need to be done by Friday? While it would be fab to have someone named Friday who could do all the scut work, I don't and it is Friday and the only free day I have this week.
Desperate moments call for desperate measures. No chicken stock in the freezer, no confit aging in the basement fridge, nothing for dinner tonight, and, horror of horrors, no dessert. There were two pounds of chicken feet, 12 pounds of necks and bones, and four pounds of chicken thighs taking up a lot of real estate in the fridge. Trimming the toenails off a pile of chicken feet isn't really the way to start your day. Not before coffee. Not before the sun is up. If I don't have time for a manicure, why should I have to manicure a chicken? Like it or not, this was going to be an all day cook-a-thon.
The plan was, as I was trimming the talons, that after I got the stock going, I'd confit the four nice turkey legs I got at the farmers market along with the chicken stock bones. There was enough duck fat in the freezer and extra lard to make up the necessary 2 quarts of fat to cover those turkey legs. Next I'd make some dough for pumpkin fettuccine so it could rest while I made a few meatballs. Crank out the pasta. And finally used up the leftover pumpkin from the pasta in some pumpkin gingerbread cupcakes topped with chocolate. Be done by 3 PM so I could have a nap... Before I fixed the asparagus and the Gorgonzola sauce for the fettuccine for dinner. Um, right.
Somehow, I'd managed to make my day as complicated as I possibly could. I didn't figure just how much duck grease I'd be cleaning off the counters and utensils. I didn't figure how far chicken toenails will fly as you chop 'em off. Eeew. Or how many trips I'd make to the cellar for flour, canned pumpkin, an old box of Trader Joe's gingerbread mix so I could cheat on the cupcakes, semolina, parsley and celery from the basement fridge, a hand-crank pasta machine, a stock pot and a gazillion jars. Or that my husband would watch a depressing show on the kitchen TV all day. Just to annoy me. Oh, Robinson Crusoe, could you pleeeez lend me Friday?
It's dark now. There's stock in the freezer . Confit in the fridge. Pumpkin fettuccine in Gorgonzola Sage Sauce with Turkey-Cranberry meatballs and asparagus for dinner. Chocolate-topped little gingerbread cakes for dessert. I enjoyed every minute. And will never, ever do that to myself again. Except maybe in a week or so it'll be time to have a baking day to get started on the holidays. After all, that crock of fruit in rum is right on the counter to remind me that it should be ready. By Friday.