Wednesdays are always busier than most days for me.
Mornings include lifting and my visit to the cafe, Thinking Cup on Newbury Street, the walk taking an hour and a half.
Today is even busier, starting early with a 9.00am visit to a doctor [not my regular PCP] which is the necessary prequel to a visit to a gastroenterologist.
I reserve post-cafe Wednesday afternoons for personal errands: a haircut, the library, food shopping, pizza slices, a visit with LouLou who works in Limoncello, her brother’s very good restaurant, a monthly manicure, doughnuts from Union Square Doughnuts for the freezer, a fowl for chicken stock.
All-in-all, out in the city, hoofing it, from 8.30am until 3.00pm.
You can be sure I welcome my apartment’s too-warmth.
If no company coming, be sure that ‘broiler-on’ is my first act.
The duck is 45-minutes from finish.
Like Michelangelo loved frequent step-backs to admire his work and to decide what is next, I love the frequent visits to the broil to check on the duck, to turn it to brown all over.
I pick out a voluptuous red to drink with the duck,thankful for not being hit by a bike or a car, eking out yet another wonderful moment from this life.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
My 231st consecutive posting.
Time is 12.01am.
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 44* but with the breeze it will feel like 32*.
It will be sunny with some clouds,
Dinner is Roast Duck, already slow-roasted.
A larger duck than the usual 5-pounder, seven pounds, at 27-minutes per pound, 186 minutes total, three hours plus.
In at 4.00am and out at 7.06 am, before I start out.
It’ll wait my return this afternoon for the finish: browning the skin.
I’ll buy some grilled vegetables.
Question of the Day:
What is comedy behind the Doni Madonna?
Here is the painting in question.
The Doni Tondo was influenced by an early version of Leonardo da Vinci's The Virgin and Child with St. Anne. This is the completed version, painted in 1510.
C2RMF (digitizaed) / user:Dcoetzee (retouched) and one more author - original file: C2RMF: Galerie de tableaux en très haute définition: image page
Second from left:
Visitors to the Doni Tondo
Second from right:
Detail of Mary
The frame is original.
Love your notes.
Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s one from Howard Dinin, master chef (Ed. Note.):
I have to say, I outdid myself this year with the meal.
The bird was great. Free-range, organic, blah blah blah. I dry brined it for a day and let it air dry in the fridge. It cooked up nicely, and quickly. Tender, browned, juicy, skin for those who wanted it… No basting. Just shut the oven door and let it cook.
But the best part were the sides. I did “adult” versions of some perennial dishes.
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with shallots and fennel seeds and a pankow/gruyere topping
Caramelized roasted carrots with white balsamic soaked raisins and pine nuts
Haricots verts with cremini mushrooms in a sherry whole grain mustard vinaigrette
Mashed russet potatoes with a boatload of butter in them
Brioche chestnut dressing with fennel, shallots, and chanterelles
Gravy was from pan juices (roasted the bird with pan liquids of white wine and hard cider, and later deglazed with turkey broth and dry sherry, as well as some cognac)
No sugar in any of these dishes.
Other than that just an ordinary meal.
Oh, yeah, the pie. The pie was spectacular, a cranberry crumble, made from a recipe from Sister Pie in Detroit, owned by Lisa Ludwinski. She has a pie cookbook and this pie was selected by Whole Foods Market to be featured this year in all their markets.
Only I made it from scratch. A fair amount of sugar In the pie, especially brown sugar.
Web Meister Responds: Meanwhile, Kat and I spent a lot of money for an ordinary meal.
Answer to Question of Day:
Agnolo Doni was reputed to be the sharpest bargainer in Tuscany, a skill which brought him wealth and marriage to one of the most powerful families in Tuscany, Maddalena Strozzi, a close friend of the Contessa de Medici, she one of Michelangelo’s closest and dearest friends.
Michelangelo, now acknowledged as Florence’s official scultor, Doni asked him to paint the Holy Family which he would give as a weeding gift to his bride.
They haggled over the price, settling on seventy florins.
Doni left the negotiations smiling.
Michelangelo got to work, visiting areas of Florence to sketch people as models for the work.
When it was finished, Michelangelo sent for Doni whose face turned red when he saw it.
Instead of royalty, Michelangelo had represented the trio as a peasant family.
Doni, “I want a Holy Family in a palace.”
“Holiness has nothing to do with surroundings.”
Doni, “I cannot give this picnic in the grass to the Strozzi family.”
Then his eyes flew open and he cried in horror:
Doni, “What are those five naked boys doing in my Holy Family?”
“They’ve just had a swim and now they are drying off.”
Next day Doni sent a servant with thirty-five florins and a release for Michelangelo to sign.
Michelangelo answered with a note of his own: “The Holy Family will now cost you 140 florins.”
Because Michelangelo’s studio was in a crowded and busy artisans’ square, all Florence knew of the haggling going on and bets were wagered, most of the money against Michelangelo.
But they didn’t consider that time was running out and Doni had bragged that Florence’s official artist was doing a painting for his family.
Doni arrived at Michelangelo’s studio with the seventy florins as first agreed.
Michelangelo, “I release from the agreement you broke when you offered me thirty-five florins. The price now is 140.”
“Never,” screamed Doni. “For that mediocre peasant picture. I’ll see you hung from the Bargello first.”
He left in a huff.
Michelangelo was about to send over the painting for the seventy florins when he got a note from the dear Contessa de Medici.
“I hear Maddalena wants your painting. Nothing will please her more. C.”
Michelangelo sent Argiento with a note releasing Doni, stating he will be selling the piece to another friend.
Doni followed Argiento back to Michelangelo and slammed a pouch on the table so hard that he attracted the attention of all the nearby workers.
He opened the pouch and poured them out: “A hundred and forty florins for a miserable peasant family sitting on the grass. I have let you exploit me.”
Michelangelo took the episode as a vacation.
He also took the money.
Good morning on this Thursday, November 29, Christmas now 26 days away.
We had a nice visit. Busy Wednesdays, roast duck, the Doni Tondo story and had a chuckle, an ambitious menu prepared by Howard, a nice Thanksgiving for Kat and I despite a disappointing dinner.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.