Kirstin: Did you like it, Toby?
Toby: Yes. I did. What was the duck recipe?
Kirstin: You bung it in the oven with some salt and pepper on. For an hour. It’s the “easiest recipe ever” or something, she says.
Tom: It’s not really a recipe if you don’t have to do anything.
Toby: But you taste the duck, rather than the sauce. It tasted kind-of fried. Simple!
Kirstin: I’d definitely do that again. But duck legs aren’t ever big enough. They get smaller.
Nancy: But duck legs are so tasty. It’s just the right amount.
Oliver: In that case, you’re not getting much Christmas dinner. I will have lots of goose, and you will have ‘just the right amount’.
Kirstin: What did you think of the lentils?
Oliver: I thought they weren’t as good as Jamie’s lentils, which have bacon and rosemary in them. And this uses wine and not vinegar. So this is a recipe like one you know and use a lot. So you see it in terms of the difference with the one you know. That’s a bit unfair. I think you only splash the vinegar in right at the end. With the fresh olive oil. I like that recipe a lot. It makes me happy.
Viv: I have to “duck” out of this blog because I can’t smell anything today because of my cold. I loved the salad because I could taste the garlic!
Kirstin: There was some discussion about whether the chicory was too bitter or not.
Oliver: It wasn’t. There was some discussion, but the people on the other side of the argument were wrong. Chicory should be a very sharp taste, and very buttery. I liked it.
Nancy: It was very soft.
Oliver: You could put a bit of parmesan on chicory…
Nancy: What was the cheese on the salad?
Kirstin: That was garlic. Raw garlic. Don’t tell my patients tomorrow.
Nancy: Have you ever eaten raw garlic as a cure for a cold? At one point your mouth just goes incredibly numb.
Oliver: It’s more public health than medicine. If everyone with a cold doses themselves with raw garlic, they won’t pass it on.
Tom: And the sorbet? You had seconds, Oliver.
Oliver: I thought it was absolutely terrific. I might be tempted to experiment with a mixture of lime and lemon, rather than just lemon, and possibly garnish it with a very thin strip of cucumber, a spiral.
Kirstin: Like a cocktail, then?
Oliver: Possibly. Another thing would be to try it with the saffron gin they make in France. It’s bloody brilliant!