Finally, the ducks are packed in nice clean bags in our deep freezers. The kids kept 22 back for next year, I might add, against my will. I’m not a huge fan of feathers and feathers they leave everywhere they go. Hopefully, they won’t multiply as quickly next spring. It’s not only the feathers that bother me, but the constant quacking sound they make. I think they are even more annoying than guinea fowl. During hunting season, one of our friends was kept awake out in his camper by their constant uproar and he jokingly threatened that he was about ready to shoot them. With those few negatives though, one can’t overlook the positive aspect of having ducks and that is how good they taste when cooked very slowly in Sweet Baby Ray Barbecue Sauce. Simply Divine is the only way to describe their flavor.
We took the easy route this year and decided to skin them all, avoiding the hot water dipping and feather plucking method which takes forever. Duck feathers repel even the highest possible hot water temperatures. It was quite warm in the butcher shop and not all that unpleasant of a task. Especially with Nonna and my very lovely niece, Victoria, hanging around making us laugh. It took us two days to complete the job, but they were not whole days, meaning we did them in the afternoon two days in a row.
The ducks are not very meaty and it takes 3 ducks to feed our family, along with a few other family guests, and still have a little bit left over. If given the choice, I favor the flavor and texture of our meat birds which we also put into the freezer last week.
I should also say here that the deer meat harvested a few week ago is delicious as well. Most can’t tell the difference; I kid you not. Our deer in Minnesota are corn-fed, thanks to the local grain farmers, and they taste very similar to beef. Nothing like the deer I remember back in PA growing up. Mom always had to cook them in Pizziaola sauce, just to hide the gamey flavor:) We have 7 in the freezer, some in the form of jerky and others in steaks and burger form.
We’re going into the long winter with a great variety of meats and home canned goods. It’s a good feeling knowing that, especially since groceries seem to be getting more and more expensive.