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The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
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is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.30.04
Montreal

GREG DUNCAN

Soloing and cooking at the same time

Two confirmed bachelors were sitting and talking. Their drifted from politics to cooking.

"I got a cookbook once," said the first, "but I could never do anything with it."

"Too much fancy cooking in it, eh?" asked the second.

"You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way - 'Take a clean dish and . . .'"

A reader said: "It's not easy spending a week having to fend for yourself in the kitchen," a reader said.

Today I offer hope for the many men out there who are single or will be spending a day or two on their own while the missus is out of town. While it is common for the male species to take advantage of fast-food offerings, boxed pizzas, and canned goods in the absence of the fairer sex, life can be finer with a little forethought.

This opportunity to treat yourself to what you want and only what you want is extremely rare. Take this opportunity and seize it, I say.

Men who are 'batching it' often take this window of female-free time to scratch and grunt, burp and gurgle, and rejoice in the chance to wear nothing but ratty T-shirts and sweat pants. They leave dirty dishes for days and never ever replace the roll of toilet paper. A roll sits fine on the sink counter or on the edge of the tub, thank you.

Piles of newspapers grow on bathroom floors and better yet, should a lone wolf decide to cook, he most likely will fire up the barbecue.

There are solutions to delivering a clean kitchen back to The Goddess upon her return and I suggest that you buy a stack of paper plates with plastic cups and utensils for your little vacation. A box of garbage bags might come in handy for last minute cleanup, too.

If you are going to smoke in the house while she is away you can thank the manufacturers of spray fabric refresher for providing some small amount of help. You will be caught but at least you can say you tried.

A man alone can easily cook up a decent nosh on his own if he puts his mind to it. He needs only to grab some essentials for his feast, as you'll witness here.

To all those lonely gents who will spend the night "sans femme," I have a suggestion. 'Stirred and not shaken' is a good thing. Pair this classic drink with this classic chicken dish for a classy bachelor meal. Watch James Bond movies all weekend.

The perfect martini

A martini should not be straight gin, or anything close. The martini is the perfect blend of gin and vermouth, with just a touch of orange and lemon.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Gin
  • 1/2 oz white vermouth
  • 1-2 drops orange bitters
  • Twist of lemon
Fill a shaker or glass with ice, and then add the gin, then the vermouth, then and the bitters. Stir (do not shake!), and then strain into a cocktail glass. Take a twist of lemon and twist it until a drop of oil drops into the liquor, then drop the twist into the liquor. Absolute heaven.

Do not use olives or onions; nor should one use less than a 1:6 ratio of vermouth to gin under any circumstance.

Tequila lime chicken

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
2 limes
1 lemon
1/4-cup water
1 shot tequila
Coriander leaves, finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
Greek seasoning to taste (available in spice section in small jars).

Juice the limes and lemon and add tequila. Clean breasts, then massage with chopped coriander leaves, black pepper,and Greek seasoning. Place in juice, diluting with water to cover. Let sit for 30 minutes, then grill and serve forth while sipping martini.

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