I learned something today, and that is when one is raised in the Pacific Northwest, year-round access to all types of (real) crab is something that one takes for granted. However, in the desert of Arizona, that is NOT the case, as trips to three different grocery stores proved.
I had PLANNED to have Old Ebbitt Grill crab cakes for our appetizer tonight. That didn't happen. Yes, I could have bought a few dungeness babies or a handful of king crab legs. But I didn't want to go through all the effort of cracking/shelling them just for a bit of meat. And by "bit" I mean an entire pound of jumbo lump. So we didn't have them.
But we did have a lovely duck. Together, hubby and I made canard a'la orange. That called for AN ENTIRE CUP of orange liqueur. Holy smokes, that was a LOT of booze. I don't think it cooked off completely, but that might be because the smell of it still lingers in my nostrils.
There also wasn't enough time for dessert, so hopefully Sunday afternoon will bring company, which will also bring the excuse to make said dessert (Aunt Paula, I'm not gonna let you down!).
Of course, what is New Year's Eve without the bubbly. Tonight, we had a bottle of prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine that has small, soft bubbles. It was a nice, crisp, apply bubbly that would really go well with anything. Of course, sparkling wine (champagne, prosecco, cava, etc.) goes with EVERYTHING... or by itself, really. And thank goodness I had the foresight to get two bottles, so we have one in reserve. In case of emergency. Or weeknight.
We also exchanged gifts this evening, as we didn't feel like taking items up to Michigan only to have to bring them back. I got hubby a bottle of vintage port. This particular vintage, rated extremely well by Wine Spectator, was "born" in 2000, the year we met, and it was bottled in 2002, the year we married, so it has somewhat of a special tie to us. I also got him wine for our first Christmas together ten years ago, so as we also age, so does the wine. I.... I received a Shake Weight (serves me right for threatening to get that for him for a year... actually he did get one from someone else, so we are even). I also got an awesome running jacket, so I'm excited to bust that out, especially because 1) I ate way too much today and 2) it's freaking cold here in AZ lately!
I kind of wish we had just snacked on the pan scrapings of the duck, as they were soooooooo good! I feel like adding the orange gastrique took away from their ducky, salty goodness.
That being said, we have approximately 6 ounces of duck fat chilling in the fridge now, so the decadence can continue into the next decade of the millennium.