Chris really enjoyed this meal. Duckling!
Serving a meal of duckling seemed appropriate for Labor Day since the ducklings had been a labor of love from the very first moment of picking up the tiny yellow peeping fluffs at the post office to all their daily care, the heat lamps, the coddling. Then, when the Pekin ducks were beginning to get their white feathers, we moved them outside to the Hoop Coop, complete with its swimming pool and shaded area. By then, they were big enough and had their natural oils, necessary so that they wouldn't drown in the pool. The ducks have been a joy to watch, and we gave them the best life we possibly could. Chris worked really hard.
In a similar manner, my dad raised pigs on his hog farm. When I was a teenager, questioning the eating of meat, I asked how he could justify eating one.
He simply said, "I give them the best life possible. The good Lord provides us meat, necessary for our bodies. When we eat meat, the animal becomes part of us, nourishing us, an ultimate 'thank you' for the nurturing care we give them."
To kill and prepare what you've raised is humbling, like nothing else. My father had a reverence for all life, an attitude that is lost as we distance ourselves from the animal, the source of our meat, and go instead to the plastic-wrapped environment of a grocery store.
When Chris and I ate this meal, we knew that humble feeling, but we also experienced an adventure in both cooking and eating, and we soon realized this is a process we'll go through again. For Chris, it convinced him that we don't need to pasture steers for beef. He actually prefers the flavor and texture of duckling to beef! I enjoyed it too, very much! The meat is mild and tasty, like the dark meat of turkey that is properly prepared.
I have friends who wouldn't come see Pauley's Pampered Poultry because they knew we planned to eat the ducks eventually. Come on! Are we so far removed from the reality of our food that we can't accept that fact?!
Frankly, I don't want to take anything's life! I take a house spider out to the flower bed! But, in reality, my body dictates that I eat well and that means including meat, moderately, in the diet.