Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dead People In The Morning

I'm an early riser so I often hear the rescue squad or fire engine responding from the fire house located across the street. It doesn't bother me me, I find it comforting. Not because I feel safer (I don't) but because it stirs old memories. Just now they went out, it's 6:30 am. It reminded me of those morning runs we used to get. The mornings are a fairly busy time of day. One of the reasons is people often don't wake up. A family member discovers their lifeless body in bed and calls 911 hoping what they think is happening isn't true.

I hate to say it but the positive side of finding 1099s (dept. code for dead) in the morning is they are usually stiff or their blood has pooled in the lowest part of their body, which means we don't have to do CPR because they've been dead too long. CPR isn't fun and it's not pretty. While your doing compressions or blowing oxygen into the patient all you can do until the paramedics get there is think and observe. It's one of the reasons I started saying a little prayer while doing CPR. You got nothing else to think about for a few minutes so why not say a prayer for this person? And I'm NOT a religious guy despite 12 years of Catholic education.

I've said that prayer at least a hundred times.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Duck With Audio (You may want to pause music)

I love to do duck in the cooler months. My preferred method is to serve a half duck done two ways, grilled breast with leg and thigh "confit" crisped on the grill. I use the carcass for duck demi, the fat for frying and the livers for pate. The same method can be used for chicken as well. (Except for the skin part, unless you like "cracklings".)

This video shows how I break down the duck. I might follow this up with a video tutorial on how to make the entire dish. It's classic but you can also put modern twists on it. A great wine dish as well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Work in Progress

When we go antiquing I always have an eye out for vintage knives. There's a lot of garbage but once in a while I'll come up with a hidden gem.

I found two vintage Dexters. I did some research and found out they were probably 50 to 80 years old. What brought my attention was the distill taper of the blade and the tang. The blades were relatively thin and especially so at the tip. The tips were also very flexible and sprung naturally back in place. I'm thinking who ever made these knives knew what they were doing. After further research I found they were made out of 1095 high carbon steel. A steel that is very hard to find these days.

I started with the one that was in the worst shape. It was a 330mm chef's knife with full bolster. It had been ground down tremendously and had a huge bow in it. I don't know what it would be good for in it's current state. I removed the handle and cut down the bolster before I began the arduous task of grinding it down. I still need to take a little off the heel to get a nice straight cutting edge and refine the choil. The bolster has a big gauge in it that will never come out. I'd like to get a better polish on it as well.

Once the blade is done I think I'm going to tackle making a handle. Wish me luck.