Saturday, March 28, 2009


I am ABSOLUTELY thrilled to start a new regular feature here on One Tree Past The Fence.

It's called 8 with Kate, After Dinner.
Sure it was a little bit inspired by the cookbook My Last Supper. although I'm not a newbie,
when it comes to interviews, far from it.

...I like asking questions.
8 with Kate is nothing new, in fact
it was something I created last year.
Adapted it to fit the foodie world, I couldn't be happier.


I'll be working my way around blog world, interviewing the foodies we know & love,
and well, some we don't know but would like to.

I'm not a night owl by any means, but I'm so excited I'm staying up to get this done,
and once I start a blog I can't stop until its finished, needless to say I've already started it.
I promised her she would be the first.......I hold fast to my promises. Along with the
interview, I am cooking and photographing their last meal... if they could have only one meal
what would they choose.......yeh that meal.

Without further adieu meet my first guest.... The Angry Brit
An incredible writer, a fantastic writer, I encourage you to go check out her blog site, BUT...
not before you read her here.

8 with Kate, After Dinner...

1. What was the one thing that got you hooked, when you knew
your love of food could not be ignored and you decided to take it into
your own hands? Was it a childhood experience, a dinner eaten at a
restaurant, a personal kitchen experience? And if you can’t think of
what it was I’ll give you an out with what’s the best and or worst meal
you’ve ever eaten…

See I’m reasonable.

* There really was no such defining moment for me. I grew up
surrounded by food, by people who loved to cook, so I suppose that
it was inevitable. My grandfather on my mother's side was a
butcher and he married a woman who went to culinary school before
it became fashionable. My grandmother on my father's side was a
wartime bride who liked to cook and bake everything from scratch.
When I was 5 years old, I sneaked a piece of jalapeno from my
mother's chopping board, thinking that it was green bell pepper.
The resulting pain was memorable, still to this day. When I was
about 7, we went to the Dorchester hotel in London and I
scandalised everyone by asking for champagne. I remember baking
bread with my mother and the fact that my grandmother is unable to
cook roast potatoes without burning herself. These are the
memories that make up my childhood.

2. What's one thing you've learned about yourself since you
started cooking or baking?

*I have more patience than I ever thought possible. I am well
known for being an impatient woman with little time for anyone or
anything, however, put me in the kitchen and I will make bread,
caramelise onions, and candy lemon peel without a second thought
for how long it will take. Of course, this new found patience does
not stretch to the world outside of the kitchen. I still have no
patience for people and their endless stupidity. :)

3. When you're not in the kitchen cooking up a storm or pouring
through recipes, you find yourself with a little free time, what would
we find you doing?

*(aw c'mon don't say sleeping)*

* I am a massive rugby fan and follow a team in the UK known as the
Saracens. At the moment they totally suck, so they cause more
than a fair amount of heartbreak in my house. I am not a real
social butterfly, but I have a handful of very close friends with
whom I try to spend as much time with as possible, because they
are my family here in the States. I love to read and can very
easily spend hours lost in another world while I read. I am very
boring and highly antisocial, so chances are fairly high that I'm
not doing anything interesting.

4. There's a cookbook out called My Last Supper. Famous Chef's
choose their last meal, drink appetizer, dinner and desert,
lets add who would you have cook it for
you or would you cook it yourself?
Yep you know where I'm going with
this......what's yours?

* ( the recipe?)*

* Wild Scottish smoked salmon on brown bread with French butter,
squeeze of lemon, twist of black pepper, and a flute of prosecco.
* French onion soup without the crouton- instead a toasted baguette
with gruyere alongside.
* Confit de canard with French fries cooked in duck fat.
* My mother's lemon meringue pie.
* I would cook it myself, with the exception of my mother's pie,
because if I knew it would be my last meal, I would want to spend
as much time in the kitchen as possible. I refuse to do the
dishes, though.

5. And of course I'm going to ask who's sitting at your table...I’m
also going to ask why you chose these people. (They can be past or present)

* My parents and my sister. I never laugh so much as when I'm with
my family. I miss them every single day.
* Mia & Chris, Kat, Karl, Mike, and Eli- my best friends and my USA
* The Top Gear boys (Jeremy, Richard, and James). The boys are
absolutely mad, very funny, and I would love to be able to tell
Jeremy and Richard to be nice to James. I think I'd have to ban
Jeremy from talking, though, because he does whine a fair bit.
* Rob Kearney. Rob plays wing/full-back for Leinster rugby as well
as playing wing for the Ireland national team. He is also the
future Mr. Angry Brit. (Although he doesn't know it yet.)
* Bill Bryson, because I love his writing and I think a conversation
with him would be fascinating.
* Roald Dahl, who has always been my favourite author.

6. If you could give advice to the person you were just coming
into adulthood, what would you tell that younger version of yourself?

* It gets worse. Have fun with that.

7. What will be your legacy, what will you have contributed to this
world, what do you hope they will say about you after you leave this
human plane, and the one cookbook you’d take with you?
( haha yeh I sneaked that in there)

* Very depressing question, Kate. At the moment, I'm not sure that
I have much legacy to speak of and my contributions are fairly
minimal. I would like to be able to say that I was loved by my
friends and family, that my writing made someone laugh or made
someone get into the kitchen and try to cook something, and that I
finally managed to kill the people who annoy me. The one cookbook
I would take with me is The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew
Dornenburg, because if I have that with me, then I will have all
the inspiration I will ever need.

8. If there's one statement you'd like to get across to the public,
about what you do with food, what food does for us, eating together,
anything, any belief you have… food related or not's your chance....

"I believe..... (finish however you like)

I believe that life is too short to eat low-fat cookies. Tell him how
you feel. Move to Paris if that's what you want. If you fail, get up
and try again.

Duck Confit with Garlic and Thyme


Duck confit is one of those things that I would always want to have in
my fridge along with bacon, lemons, flat leaf parsley, parmesan, and
onions. If you have a couple of confit legs in the fridge then you are
never without options. The most expensive part of this dish is buying
the duck fat, but look on it as an investment. It keeps for AGES in the
fridge, so even after you have devoured the duck, you can keep the fat
for the next time you make confit. Or use it for making the best roast
potatoes in the entire universe.

4 ducks legs, bone and skin intact (meaning don't buy boneless,
skinless anything)
Roughly 1 1/2 lbs of duck fat, or enough to cover the legs for cooking
4 fresh bay leaves, roughly torn
Handful fresh thyme
1 head of garlic, cloves skinned and roughly chopped
Handful of coarse sea salt or kosher salt (do NOT used iodised table
salt or fine salt It will be far too salty)

A large, non-metallic dish that can accommodate the duck legs overnight
A lidded, non-reactive oven-going pan that will fit the ducks legs
snugly in a single layer.
[If you plan on storing them longer than a week] A clean, non-reactive
container with a lid.


1. Put the garlic and herbs into a pestle and mortar or a small food
processor along about 3-4 ounces of salt and smash it to pieces.
You want a very rough consistency, not a puree. Personally, I
find a pestle and mortar is best for this, but not everyone has
one. If you can't get fresh bay leaves, use 2 dried ones and
grind to relatively fine powder.
2. Smear the salt-garlic concoction liberally over the ducks legs and
place them in a large, non-metallic dish that will fit them in one
3. Cover tightly with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight,
turning once at some point.


4. The following day, rinse off the garlic-salt mixture from the duck
legs and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
5. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
6. Heat a lidded, non-reactive pan over a low heat and place the duck
legs, fat-side down, into the pan. You can pack them tightly, but
they need to be in a single layer. Leave them there for about
15-20 minutes until the fat starts to render and the skin has
browned slightly.


7. Still over the heat, add the duck fat and let it melt down to
cover the legs.
8. Transfer to the oven and leave it to cook for about 5 hours.
Yes, you heard me. 5 hours.

9. Let the legs cool in the fat. Provided the duck is completely
covered by the fat, these will keep for a few days like this. If
you would like to store them longer that that, then remove the
legs from the fat, melt and strain the fat, then pack them into a
clean container, cover with the strained fat, and keep in the
refrigerator. They will keep for months like this, but I'm
betting that they won't last that long.

10. You can do pretty much whatever you want with them at this point.
If you want to eat them straight, preheat your oven to about 400
degrees F, remove the legs from the fat and roast on a rack for
about 20 minutes or until the skin crisps and the legs are heated


You can shred the meat and make rilettes. You can make
cassoulet. You can make tarte au confit. You can make ravioli or
tortellini. Your choices really are kind of endless, but whatever
you do, make sure that you keep the duck fat.

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed cooking this dish, I don't know if I did it
justice, was my first attempt at duck confit. I only wish you were here to eat it!
I saved you a leg...

or two. : )

Thank you so much for your heartfelt answers, the time you put into this.
Others have said no, I'm glad you said yes.

Speaking of yes, I have another interview waiting in the wings, but I'm not telling...yet.
I've got some cooking to do first~

Wishing you all a great week ahead~

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways~


La Table De Nana said...

I can see this series becoming a favorite ..I read every word..
I smiled..I was touched and I laughed!
Thanks AB and K..
There is no one I laugh more with than my family either~
Better than the interviews at the end in BonAppétit..much!

Both my DSIL and his mother..adore did it so proud..
I have never made it..Looks really really good and wow how photogenic.
I never thought duck could be so photogenic.

I think we ate on those exact rectangle plates last nite..
Kate you would love Frédéric.

This is a grand idea.

Kathleen (One Tree Past The Fence) said...

Monique.....I'm winking at you , coswell you already know.....get ready. : )

I live to laugh, its what I want to do from
the moment I wake up until I go to bed.
You laughed. That made my morning. ABSOLUTELY!

AB is not only brilliant but very quick witted,
I think you'd like her.

Ahem.....qui est Frederic?

Kathleen said...

Her son in law, I believe!
Lovely post, Kathleen
You are very talented, as is my friend, Monique..

Wilde Poet said...

Unbelievably fine, the photos and the story. I dont think I need to say more.

La Table De Nana said...

Yes my of them..Frédérick I forgot the K..

Just your styles..very in sync:)

Kathleen (One Tree Past The Fence) said...

Aw thnx Joshy......thnx muchly.

ah Frederick......styles.......he writes? photographs?

Hayley said...

Thank you so much for including me in this. It was so much fun. Those photos are just gorgeous- how'd it turn out?

Kathleen (One Tree Past The Fence) said...


It was a great project, it really was.

How'd it turn out????

Do you really need to ask?
It's an incredible recipe, fo sho.

We Are Never Full said...

wow... lovely. i just ate and if this was put in front of me right now, i'd eat again.

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

Kathleen, I'm late to the party.

When this head cold is gone, I'm going to be ALL over this!

You have me in your grips with this subject matter (and of course) your brilliant photography.

oh ya. :)

once in a blue moon... said...

super idea kate with 8, i look forward to your darling installment! such artisty in your shots and prose, love visiting here!

Anonymous said...

Wow, indeed nice article. Where can I get your RSS?

Katty Trider
spy stores

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