...exactly zero words.
Ah, well. At least the cat is waxed to a fine high-gloss shine.
I do need to get cracking on some short fiction, though; I have all these sad little stories sitting there begging for me to care about them enough to get them written, and every time I pick one up and thump it, the bloody thing just isn't ripe yet. So I'm reading The Unstrung Harp instead, because it makes me feel better.
So, since I haven't written anything today, I think I'll tell you about the duck recipe.
It started off as a chicken recipe, cadged from an issue of Cook's Illustrated three or four years ago. What you do is you brine a duck. After you have brined the duck and dried it, you butterfly it. If you are too squeamish to butterfly the duck, don't bother getting the butcher to do it, because you're also too squeamish for the part where you have to wedge your hand in between the duck's breast and the skin and rub the meat with herbs and garlic, so you might as well skip the whole recipe. (If you are doing this with a chicken, make the herbs and garlic into a paste with some butter, because chicken will dry out otherwise. Duck has enough fat to keep itself happy. The salt can go on the skin, though; that's fine.)
The seasonings have to go under the skin, because the critter gets cooked at 500 degrees, and if they're not under the skin, they burn. The bird has to be butterflied, because otherwise some parts burn and others are raw.
Then you get a broiler pan and line it with nonstick tinfoil (this stuff is bourgeois, but damn, it works). Then you slice three baking potatoes about a quarter of an inch thick, and lay them out so they cover the whole surface of the tinfoil.
The potatoes are necessary; they buffer the grease in the broiler pan and keep the kitchen from catching on fire.
Then you put the top grille portion of the broiler pan on over the potatoes, and put the duck on top of everything, laid out as flat as possible (break the ribcage, and fold the wings under themselves so the tips don't burn) and put it in a 500 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes, depending on the size of your duck. The potatoes are retrieved from the dripping pan, drained onto paper towels, and the entirety is consumed with savage glee.
I also made a cherry/blueberry/cranberry red wine & balsamic vinegar sauce to go with it.