The duck-speriment was a great success. This recipe worked wonders, and our Super 88 duck was delish. Why a duck in the first place? Read on…

My grandmother – my mom’s mom – used to make us duck when we’d visit. She’d take me shopping with her to buy the birds, and always observed the same ritual when selecting her ducks. I never thought about it then, but given my trials just trying to find a single duck recently, it’s surprising that the local supermarket in Manhattan had enough ducks to require a selection process.

In any event, the game went like this: first, she’d feel up the birds a bit, remembering which ones she liked. Then, to make the final choice, she’d take her keys – apartment, mailbox, whatever – and cut open the package, right there in the duck aisle. She’d give me a little wink, as if to say, “Don’t tell anyone, David,” in her wonderful Hungarian accent, and wore a devilish grin as she dug in. There was something she was looking for, clearly, that couldn’t be found without opening up the plastic wrapping, but she never told me what it was. There were definitely occasions where the now opened duck was returned to the pool of rejects, just waiting for some unsuspecting duck-buying customer to take it home before realizing their error in selection. We’d put the two lucky birds that passed the rigorous examination process in the cart, and proceed along giggling to ourselves.

Anyways, it’s been about 10 years since she’s made us a duck, and I was nostalgic for the rich smell and unmistakable crackling sound of a duck in the oven, so I made one. Turns out my mom made one for her & my dad this week, too. Had I the authority, I’d declare it national duck week. But I don’t.

posted December 18, 2002 – 8:16 pm
Old News
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