Fortnight Scramble Hubris

Pate de Canard En Croute from the Recipe Rifle blog by Esther Walker

I don’t really see a great deal of hubris in attempting a classic Julia Child recipe  (in this case for duck baked in pastry).    In particular,  when the cook frankly admits that the pastry tore along the seam on one side,  and speculates that anchoring the pastry to the top of the bird before attaching the top piece of pastry might fix that problem,  that does not seem to me like ‘extreme pride’  often coupled with ‘bravura and foolishness’.    And yet this picture came up in my image search for today’s words.      I was honestly surprised to read the blog and discover that there is a bird hiding in what first looked to me like a loaf of homemade bread.

It was surely the word scramble that brought up the image of a huge pan of scrambled eggs,  which the site identified as ostrich eggs.    While I did find the ostrich egg aspect an intriguing foot note,   I decided that the image of an unremarkable looking pan of scrambled eggs,   just wouldn’t do for this site.   I note that scramble can also apply to a period of frenzied activity before a deadline–  ‘the student scrambled to master the lesson before the exam’  or  ‘Wayne scrambled all over town to complete his errands and arrive at the meeting on time.’    It does seem to me as though this word is more often used in an egg context rather than in reference to some sort of mad dash.

Here in the United States at lease,  fortnight seems to me a rather archaic term.   A fortnight is precisely two weeks or fourteen days.     This does seem to me a useful span of time to speak of,  and yet I don’t believe I have ever heard anyone speak of a fortnight,  and I actually had to look it up to find out what it meant.   I am proud to note that as of this fifth day in November I am keeping my bloggers NaNoWriMo commitment to write every day in November.   Yet come back after a fortnight and I would not be surprised if I had not by then missed at least one day.    I’ve heard it said that consistency is the hob goblin of little minds.    If that is true,  I take it as a sure sign that my mind is not little.    Happy Monday to Wayne Hurlbert,  who suggested today’s words and to all of my readers and friends.


28 comments on “Fortnight Scramble Hubris

  1. Normally we stuff a pheasant in a duck then stuff that in a goose, If ostrich’s where available maybe we could stuff the lot in that!
    As for fortnights they are very common in Ireland

    • In Louisiana there is a dish where they stuff a chicken in a duck and then stuff the duck in a turkey. The three birds are then cooked and served as a single dish. (I’ve never actually eaten this 🙂 If you really do feast at holidays on three birds stuffed one inside the other, I seriously salute you as a true foodie 🙂

  2. As a tennis player, fortnight conjures thoughts of Wimbledon. When you add scramble to the mix with a bit of hubris, I just can’t escape thinking of the grand old tournament. Scramble is often what happens with the rains of London; both scrambling out of the way when the covers are pulled over the courts, and scrambling to get matches rescheduled. Hubris is that obvious trait of almost every champion.

    • When I was in junior high school…5th. 6th. 7th grade I attended a private day school on a spacious campus that emphasized swimming, tennis and horseback riding, and also lots of music, arts and crafts and dramatics. So seventh grade is probably the last time that I played tennis. Some authors, like Rita Mae Brown write so well that I will even read their novels about tennis tournaments. But I would never be said to have any interest in the sport 🙂 thanks so much for a great comment.

    • See my remarks to Lindy, below. I did NOT make the food pictured here. It was made by Esther Walker. you can read what Ms. Walker wrote about making it on her blog, which is linked to the picture.

  3. What about words? They are sometimes scrambled. As are our brains, occasionally.
    To most of us in the U.S., two weeks is two weeks. And a fortnight might be a night spent in a fort. Bring your sleeping bag and air mattress! Bring your musket!

    • Honestly, Lindy, I do try to approach these posts with a certain degree of nonchalant elan, so I am honored that several commentators seem to have mistaken it as something I cooked. The part of me that does not want my old journalism teacher coming back to issue some sort of retroactive F hopes that most of my readers notice that the woman whoa actually cooked the pictured dish is named in the photo caption and the photo is linked to her blog where you can read her entire posts (yes there is more than one) about cooking and serving this dish. Thanks so much for all of your comments, Lindy.

  4. Alan, it’s only “foolish constistency” that is the hobgoblin of small minds… my interpretation of “foolish consistency” is remaining consistent in spite of indications that a change is warranted. Like if you kept eating tapioca pudding every day in spite of the fact that it grosses you out.

    Scrambled eggs are good with bacon. I find myself wondering what duck bacon would taste like.

    • I find myself wondering what duck bacon would actually BE….I mean the bacon is a very specific part of the pig….what part of the duck might be cut in such a way as to emulate bacon….or would it be deboned and ground up in varying fat ratios, the way (I think) most turkey bacon is made??

  5. Perhaps, just as an experiment, you should try to bake a bird in some bread. I feel as if the results would be rather amusing.

    • lol No, sorry. I will leave it to the cooking bloggers to experiment with recipes from Julia Child and blog about their results. I do not ever take Any of the pictures on this blog 🙂 (see my About The Images statement on the Alan menu)

    • Mmmm. I suppose I can accept that one needs a certain degree of confidence even to bake a good pot of beans. (Sadly when I lived in Boston I was served rather many pots of beans that weren’t really good, though that’s hardly what you’d expect from a town full of high achieving geniuses….which among several other things IS the essence of Boston 🙂

  6. As a carb loader myself, a loaf of bread is where I too instantly went upon seeing the picture. The sandwich showing as your background pic looks mighty tasty also. As always, another enjoyable 3 word post.
    Bill and friends of Bewitched.

    • Thanks so much Bill. It is partially in penance for that bacon sandwich that I am reprising the purple peppers, which currently also serve as my Twitter background 🙂

  7. Fortnight is a great word. When I was younger I always thought it had something to do with Four knights and thought it sounded suitably interesting. Sadly it is much more mundane and is just an abbreviation of fourteen nights from old English.

    I am super impressed by this concept of three birds stuffed into one.

    On ‘How I met your Mother’ which I can’t help but enjoy I remember Ted stuffing a Turkey with a turkey for thanksgiving and came up with some ludicrous name for it. Anyway I am rather keen to try it now.

    Don’t think they go in much for stuffing down here in Peru, where I live now.

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