Mondays are generally crappy, but I have to say, today is particularly crappy because I had such a good weekend. It started on the golf course after work, where I shot my first sub-40 nine (38, with 17 putts, a few long bombs off the tee, and some solid iron shots – oh, and an eagle 2 on a chip in). Saturday, we waited for Christopher to come over so we could head up to Palmdale to hang out at Michael’s place. Christopher FINALLY showed up at 12:30PM (he was supposed to try to come over as early as possible), making some ridiculous excuses about panda suits and not having his car.
We got up to Palmdale about 2ish, unloaded the car, took the curing salmon out of the fridge to dry (need a pelicle for smoke!), and headed to the golf course. The Murdoc Lakes golf course on the Edwards airforce base is not that difficult of a course layout, but the prevailing 30 MPH winds make it a challenge. It didn’t help that it was also over 100 degrees. We valiantly fought our way through 9 (all the whole while only encountering one other group – the best part about playing up there). Christopher, despite his long – LONG – layoff from golf, actually acquitted himself quite well. By my count, I shot a 46, and only lost a couple balls (quite a feat for me). Better than that, I had drives up to 315 yards! And these weren’t down-wind, down hill drives; one was uphill into a cross wind. These were legit bombs. Yowza.
Anyways, after getting all of the sand and grit out of our noses and mouths, we went back to Michael’s house and started cooking up a storm. The salmon went into the smoker, while we prepared flank steak, guacamole, and deboned the duck for smoking. Around 8:30ish, a dinner of steak fajitas, corn on the cob, some delicious hot smoked salmon, and plenty of condiments. Sarah baked some excellent red velvet cupcakes for dessert, and we all had a good time eating. Michael, Sarah and Chris got me the Momofuku cookbook (which I’m already drooling over), a really nice reversible Izod vest (reversible!) and … *drum roll* … a meat slicer! I can already taste some delicious shaved meats!
The duck went in before dinner, and, after fighting the heat all day, we were all tired. Michael and I took it out before it finished, and stuck it in the fridge to finish the next day. But for lunch the next day – WHOO! The smoked duck was fantastic! We finished it in the oven, which put a nice dark brown color on it, and I had made some duck broth with the duck carcass. We had some noodles with sliced smoked duck breast. It was amazing! Salty, smoky, kind of a sweet hint, it went perfectly with the noodles, and the subtle duck broth. It was an excellent attempt at smoking. And to think that there was really no cure or anything involved in preparation for the duck. We literally broke it down, seasoned for a half hour or so with salt, sugar, pepper and seasoning salt, and stuck it in front of the fan to dry.
We headed back down to Torrance around 2PM, dropped Chris off to get his car, and then headed on to Huntington Beach for Shannon and Dani’s spa day. Shannon gave me a massage for my birthday, and, this being the first time I’ve had a massage in the states, I was kind of excited, especially after the golf the day before. It was a kind of new experience, what with the kind of cheesy relaxing music and the oil, but it was very relaxing. I definitely fell asleep at least twice. I immediately started looking for a cheap massage place near home. I could use more of that, especially after Chris told me about this massage school he goes to near his place.
All in all, a fitting end to my mid-20s: food, family, golf, spa and smoked meats. Now, onward to PS 2010!