Monday, July 17, 2006

Goose Liver Fog

- I love this wonderful taste of chocolate, my wife said.

Immediately, our friend; a fellow hunter, and a professor in criminology, gave Lan-Ling a bottle to bring home. The wine that we were drinking was the famous (and expensive) Chateau d’Yquem in its 1975 vintage.

He did this at a fabulous dinner at his mansion in Sweden, after a particularly good Duck shoot that he had organized. The professor was in a very good mood since he himself had been shooting very well. I have a vague suspicion that he at that moment also had somewhat amorous feelings towards Lan-Ling.

The gargantuan amounts of wine that he, and indeed all of us, had consumed at dinner were probably also a contributing factor leading to both the love and good mood.

The bottle of Sauterne traveled with us from Sweden to Belgium, and subsequently to London when we moved there. Two years later, it was time to move to California. The bottle however, couldn’t travel anymore due to the cork slowly creeping out.

It was time for a mercy killing.

As you all know, Chateau d’Yquem has to be drunk with foie gras.

For you who do not understand French, this is a goose liver that has contracted liver cirrhosis. This is what we humans get when we, for example, drink the amount of booze that we really want to drink. All the time.

Geese do not drink booze, instead they get their stomachs pumped up with grain via a “reversed” vacuum cleaner. All the time. They like this. They are happy geese. As a matter of fact, they are as happy as you would be if you drunk all that booze. I think.

We went to Harrods and bought the liver. Too much liver. We always buy too much. We always cook too much, too.

We solve this continuous problem by inviting friends and neighbors on extremely short notice;

- You guys want to have dinner?

- Sure, what date?

- In twenty minutes.

This time it was our next-door neighbors who got the call. Of course they came over. They were fairly used to this by now so the fact that they themselves had some people over for dinner didn’t stop them; they simply brought them too.

We opened the bottle that was about to die, and a few extra other bottles to make it more into a mass murder exercise.

Since I feel that you have to eat goose liver immediately, we all congregated in the kitchen to eat the slices as they came off the pan.

Now, the best way to prepare goose liver, in my view, is to take a whole liver, clean out the blood vessels, cut it in slices, rub in salt and pepper, and then fry it on high heat for a few seconds on each side. You are basically giving it a surface. Beware, if you fry it for too long, it melts.

This method unfortunately produces a lot of smoke. Much more than your stove fan can handle. So much so that in a normal London kitchen, you can’t breathe. Or see your hands. As a matter of fact, it produces so much smoke so that all fire alarms in your house will go off, and your neighbors (the ones not currently in your kitchen) think your house is on fire.

The neighbors that currently are in your kitchen (you guess they are still there, because you sure as hell can’t see them) are happily eating fried goose liver and drinking the professor’s Chateau d’Yquem……….

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