The day went downhill from here.

Some years I pre-gird my loins in preparation for Mothers’ Day; some days it sneaks up on me. Either way, Mothers’ Day sucks the fat one when you’ve got no mom.* Don’t get me wrong – I utterly adore my mother-in-law** and feel incredibly fortunate to have married into a family that I love as much as my own. But Mothers’ Day still has the power to make me pretty cranky, and in more than 4 of the past 8 years I’ve wanted to tell it to suck my metaphorical dick.***

You know what can make the day better? Getting into a four-car pile-up on the way to your in-laws’ because the assholes around you were too busy talking on the phone and/or rubbernecking at another accident that had happened less than 15 minutes prior.****  But that’s not what this is about.

*In that she passed away, not that I was asexually created from a single gamete.

**Totally seriously.

***Which is fucking HUGE.

****5 minutes after our accident, while we were waiting on the side of the road for EMTs to show up and check me out, ANOTHER asshole caused ANOTHER three-car pile-up on the SAME stretch of road.

More duck fat and potatoes. I plan to eat duck fat and potatoes every day until I die, which should be roughly three and a half weeks from today.

See how I tricked you? Because you THOUGHT I was going to say that this plate of food – duck hash and poached eggs over brioche – made my day better. I’d be lying if I told you that, because it would take something more like a chocolate-covered pork belly with a side of cheese grits and a mug of gin to make this day better.

But this breakfast was really, really good, and it shouldn’t have to suffer because of its temporal proximity to the day’s unfortunate events.

So: We had almost an entire breast’s worth of duck meat leftover from Thursday, along with a newly-accumulated trove of duck fat and some more new potatoes. As you can imagine, I had no choice but to make duck hash for breakfast.

One good thing: we discovered that 2005 Honda Accords are either made of rubber or impenetrable iron, because NO HARM WHATSOEVER befell the car.

Sadly, my head is not made of either of those two materials, and it hurts. Because it slammed into the headrest twice, and the padding on the headrest is apparently designed to disintegrate on impact so that your skull can smash directly into the metal framework. Or so it feels.

But before my brain was jostled around in my skull and possibly started leaking out through my sinuses (what other explanation can there be for the pain?), there was a cast-iron skillet containing a small amount of my precious duck-fat store, diced potatoes and mushroom, onion, and chopped leftover duck. The duck had been simply seasoned with salt and pepper during its original cooking, so I added a little more salt and pepper along with a touch of Chinese 5-spice; the warm, sweet components of the 5-spice (cinnamon, star anise) complement the sweet, rich duck and the hotter and more savory (ginger, clove, fennel) are a nice foil. Chinese 5-spice is like a seasoning panacea.

While the hash finished browning, I poached a few eggs, pulled some berries out of the fridge and clipped some chives from the herb garden. I also cut and lightly toasted a round of brioche to use as a base.

I am the fucking egg-poaching MASTER.

I cut the brioche to fit a ring mold, packed in some hash and gently placed a poached egg on top. Chives for color, strawberries to create the illusion of a more balanced meal. Crack into the egg to get some oozy yolk for an artsy-fartsy picture.

If we’re talking about just Mothers’ Day without any other calamitous situation, this breakfast would be enough to perk me up. The egg yolk makes a lovely, viscous sauce as it runs over the warm hash, coating and clinging to every little bit of potato and duck; the brioche was nice but unnecessary as a sopping mechanism. The hash itself was a little sweet, a little salty, a little meaty, a little starchy and a lot delicious – Brian doesn’t even like duck all that much, and he ate a pile twice as big as mine.

So happy Mothers’ Day to all of you who have or are mothers. And the rest of you are all invited to my apartment next year for duck hash and eggs.

0 thoughts on “The day went downhill from here.

  1. i don’t care much for mother’s day for other reasons. anyway, bran wants your address so that we can come and have duck hash and eggs with you. it sounds mighty delicious.

  2. I’m not big on mother’s day, but I appreciate that I have the option. Truly sorry to hear about your shite day. Your duck hash looks fab…you are inspiring me to get my tub of duck fat out of the freezer and actually use it. take care :)

  3. Uh, and so you made more duck fat potatoes, I tune in to hear about them, and yep, the gods are crying again. Zany! Sorry to hear about your crappy mother’s day. I feel the same way about father’s day. Maybe this year I’ll drown my sorrows in duck fat and gin. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Big hugs to you! I wish your head was as hard as your car. It sounds like your head is metaphorically quite resiliant.

    I think Mother’s Day is overrated anyway. So much pressure for everyone to do *something* on just this one day. The importance people place on it is getting out of hand. My hyper-senstive stepmother whines that I don’t send her a Mother’s Day card, which I don’t do out of respect for my equally hyper-senstive mother. “Wah wah. You don’t love me. I don’t feel appreciated.” Never mind the dinner we bought her at Mia Dona for her birthday or the huge wad of cash I blew on her gift at Harrods (I went to the other side of the Atlantic for her birthday gift and she whines that I don’t love her because I didn’t get her a Mother’s Day card).

    You have to stop torturing me with all of this duck fat. Drool isn’t good for keyboards.

  5. I tried to over come my negative Mothers Day(8 years since she passed) by spending it with her sisters and great aunts who are in their 80’s. And it wasn’t bad. Everyone kept telling me how much I look like her.
    Anyway….I glad your Ok. Thats was a crappy day and I just think your parents were looking out for you!

  6. That looks amazing — and I’m glad you are ok! Cell phones have probably caused more accidents than drunk drivers, and yet people still think it’s ok to use them…

  7. I’m glad you made it through to torture us with more magiclly delicious potatoes. mmmmmm…..potatoes…

    Oh–gorgeous poached egg! I have so much damn trouble making presentable ones. I end up with the yolk and barely any white left. WTF am I doing wrong?

  8. Oh my god! I’m glad you are all Okay- jesus, what a fucked up day.
    That hash seriously looks like something you would pay through the roof for at some upscale brunchery. (thats a word, right?)
    All stacked like that with the fancy chive crucifix….day-um.

  9. What a crap way to start a crap day. I hate Mother’s Day, and I say that as the mother of three. Annnnd I forgot to call my mother, too. That hash, now… THAT I like.

  10. everyone, thanks for the good wishes. i have some bumps and bruises and my neck is stiff as a board today, but i otherwise the ol’ noggin has come through the ordeal unscathed (although my use of a phrase like “ol’ noggin” might seem to indicate otherwise).

    elle, you can find my poached egg method in this recipe. no bubbles in the pan, no more than 3 1/2 minutes cooking time, and fresh fresh fresh eggs.

  11. Michelle what a day you must’ve had! I tell you the only parts I envy are food related. Hope you are feeling better now and that you’re recovering with more duck fat. That poached egg looks mighty delicious.

  12. Michelle, I made a new rule. New Rule! If your mom is dead on Mother’s Day, you get to act like a royal cunt all day and get your nails done, get flowers, get a massage, eat brownies straight from the pan with a spoon while you watch a Project Runway marathon on tivo, whatever the fuck floats your boat. Your place, next year!

    Re: the two accidents. If you weren’t such a hot piece of ass maybe this type of shit wouldn’t happen.

  13. Bad day, huh? But as you learned, duck fat makes everything better. Everything! Let’s bring duck fat to Iraq and end this mess!

  14. Oh…car accidents suck! But regardless we still need to eat and that food looks amazing. May your next Mother’s Day be ever so much better!

  15. When I have babies, I’d like you to come over and teach them how to make this. Pencil me in.

    Hope you’re feeling less banged-up.

    Way to rock Tastespotting!

  16. don’t invite us over w/o leaving your address.

    duck fat wins me over every time. this looks awesome! at first i thought it was your brunch meal that you ate out… not to say i didn’t think you were capable of cookign something so lovely. anyways, looks good.

    check this out, you don’t have to respond or give a shit, but it’s for you:

    i kind of hate/love these things… i always change the rules, so do what you’d like w/ it!

  17. I really do need to learn how to poach eggs…they always look so brilliant.

    I love your blog, by the way. Humor and food is really the language of my heart.

  18. heather, best rule ever. we hot bitches can be bad news sometimes.

    katie b., i’ll do it as long as you’re prepared for your babies to start dropping the f-bomb when they burn themselves with duck fat. because i did that. a lot. that shit spatters like a mofo.

    toontz and WANF, thanks for the awards!

    mary, seriously, that thing doesn’t even have a DENT. just some scratches on the bumper. bananas.

  19. Michelle,

    We should totally hang out on Mother’s days from now on! I will see you next Mother’s day and join in on the duck hash

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