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 Post subject: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Location: New Mexico
Two days of duck hunting, trying to stay out of Mrs. C's hair. Still too warm for the migration, so chasing local ducks mostly. 16 miles on foot and only one mallard drake to show for it. And don't think he made it easy - scootong down the bank of the irrigation ditch and across to the other side where he buried himself in the russian olive overgrowth and promptly died. I forgot to pack a pair of water shoes, and had to wade across to get him, leaving a 3.5 mile hike back to the car in wet boots.

The grandson (5 yrs old) watched me pluck him, commenting only on his "bloody nose." Not phased at all by his first sight of a dead bird. Went inside before the nasty bits, though.

Was hoping for a couple more to fill out the gumbo pot for our annual Cajun Xmas party I throw for the staff, but I guess we'll have to settle for andouille & chicken gumbo, jambalaya (brown, no tomatoes), merliton casserole, and mamou next Saturday. Bummer ;o)


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:38 am 
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Hi, Cecil. If time and circumstance allows, pix of the party and food would be greatly appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Here's some of the food:

Sausage & chicken gumbo with 4 kinds of sausage - Creole country chaurice & andouille, Couchon Butcher andouille and venison smoked sausage.

Chicken Mamou - finally after about 20 years of eating this and wondering about the name, I found out Mamou in a place name, not a dish. And figured out its maamou, like mama, not mahmou, like mammy. I've been saying it wrong for years.

Brown jambalaya with 4 sausages - This is a recipe from a friend's grandma in Shreveport. It's my favorite of all that I've tried. No tomatoes whatsoever.

Merliton & corn casserole - Actually a mexican recipe for chayote from Rick Bayless which I adapted somewhat to a cajun flavor. No poblano rajas, but green bell pepper, celery, and cayenne instead. Kept the Cotija cheese and breadcrumb topping, though, as I love the cotija. Merliton (chayote, vegetable pear) are an awesome squash, very tasty and don't get soft and mealy like butternut, etc. or watery like zucchini when cooked.

No pics of the crispy skin boudin (a la Donald Link) with creole mustard and pickled okra - it was gone before I got a chance!

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With a little Crystal added. My cayenne was, might I say, a little bland, geriatic, downright old! Tossed it and will get new. That's the peril of only doing cajun once or twice a year!

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The flash makes the gumbo in this pic look lighter than it really is. The first pic is more true. Still not dark as night, like it should be, but this is about as dark as I can go without mortal fear of scorching the roux. Another hazard of only doing cajun once or twice a year.

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Here's the mallard, plucked and frozen. Not nearly as pretty, but a lot more tasty than on the wing.

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No party pics because I forgot, and so did Mrs. C (a rare occurance, to say the least)!


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:56 pm 
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Thank you, Cecil! It's a feast for the eyes. You're a fine host!


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:34 pm 
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It's really the least I can do to show my appreciation for the people who work so hard for me all year. The cajun Xmas is a department tradition that had been going some time when I started with the company in 1991. I have kept it alive through 4 bosses until I inally took over the department. Hopefully it will live on long after I retire.


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:35 am 
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Looks great Cecil, thanks for sharing. No fear when making brick roux! Low and slow...


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:01 pm 
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Trolled the irrigation ditches this weekend. Cold weather has brought more ducks down south here. Finished the weekend with a couple wood ducks and a green wing teal.
Wood ducks are the prettiest ducks, at least around here. Their coloration is just striking. And boy, are those teal fast!

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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:27 am 
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Nice birds! What model shotgun are you using, Cecil?

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"Wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think." - Warren St. John


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:24 am 
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Topsider wrote:
Nice birds! What model shotgun are you using, Cecil?
It's an old Ithaca Model 37 Featherweight 12 Ga, early 1950's vintage. It cost me around a hundred bucks years ago, and I can drop it in the river and it keeps on running. Kicks like a mule, but sure is easy to carry. Love the bottom eject, which is great for lefties. My 3-gun shotgun is a Browning Gold, which has bottom eject in an autoloader. 20" barrel and a peep sight make it OK for turkey but not so good for waterfowl. I keep thinking I need a 3-inch gun, but haven't pulled the trigger :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:05 pm 
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Spent Saturday and Sunday in camo and chest waders. Some friends from UFOville were in town and wanted to hunt the Rio. Out'a bed at 3:30, on the river by 5:00 setting decoys for legal shooting at 6:45. It was cold (for here) at 10F on the river. Fell in the knee-deep mud in a backwater on Sat, what a mess! Got a few mallards and a teal (not enough), and blew a great chance at two wigeon drakes. Nonetheless, had a great time watching the wilds, including a couple blue heron and hundreds of greater sandhill cranes. There's few things better than watching the river wake up.


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:54 pm 
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^sounds like a great hunt. I was able to get out for geese on Saturday. Was a bit snowy here in NJ but thankfully not too cold. We saw hundreds of geese but the geese werent decoying that well so it was tough shooting. Was happy to get three Canadas and my buddies got three also so I had some work to do cleaning (I only use the breasts). Being home for the 'holiday' today I made them all into jerky so now I've got 2.5lbs of jerky to work through.


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 Post subject: Re: Ducks, almost
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Sounds like a great time. Our limit in the Middle Rio Grande Valley for dark geese is 2...per year. :mrgreen: I got none, nada, zilch this year. Ducks weren't decoying very well for us, either. They'd break up and take a look but then keep on going. Something in the spread just wasn't right.


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