Roast Duck, Pan-Seared Foie Gras and the update

There has been a request to show our entire house so some one can get a better idea of what we are doing.

I love requests…. so, here goes.

This is the back of the building.  The house is on the right; the barn on the left.  What appears to be a horizontal dividing line separates the cave or cellar from the upper levels.  The cellar is the oldest part of the house and has walls that slant outward at the base.

There are 2 doors going into the cellar, (the one under the balcony is open) and 4 windows that have closed shutters.

There is a door opening onto the balcony from the hall on the main floor. The window to the right of the hall is / will be the dining room; to the left is the kitchen.

The three little windows above are on the upper level that we are currently building out.  The one in the center is in the upper hall where the stairs come up.  The windows on either side will be in two bedrooms. 

Got that?


Let's go to the front:

This is the 'barn' view – the car is sitting in front of the barn door.  The little window underneath the tree is the part of the barn that the former owners built the kitchen in… It's our pantry.  In front of the tree is a round concrete cover over the well.  We don't use it – haven't found a replacement pump handle yet….


This is the 'house' view:

The door goes into our den or TV room.  There are no windows in that room – the little window is the one in the barn.  What is the upper level on the back of the building is ground level here.

The large window on the left is our living room.  The smaller window in between the door and living room is the bathroom.  It used to be the main entrance into the house.  They blocked it off and put the bathroom rooms there – no idea why.  The bathroom is at one end of the hall, opposite the balcony that is off the back of the house.

On the upper level the small window on the left is in the master bedroom, the small window in the middle is in the master bathroom.  the small window on the right is in the 4th bedroom.  Between the master bath and 4th bedroom is the 2nd bathroom, without a window.


There – now you know.

On to the work:

The biggest accomplishment this week was doors.

This is what you see when coming in from the barn:


It may look like a door in the middle of nowhere but it's at the end of the upstairs hall, going into the winter work area.  It will be the door into the 4th bedroom.

It looks like this from the other side:


The door on the left goes into the spare bedroom overlooking the back, the open door on the right goes into the second bath.

On the left side of the old post is the staircase and landing area.  I'm standing in the master bedroom door to take the photo.

This is the center little window looking over the back:


How'd I do?

Most European houses are plain on the outside, unlike American houses.  Ours is just a big, stone box – with walls 24" thick……

The hall runs front to back and there are 4 square rooms off of it.

Now some food….

I roasted a duck for our Christmas dinner – I wanted something easy.

Roast  Duck
Yes, I know there are still a few feathers…. I thought I got them all but they kind of pop out as it cooks.

I did nothing to it – a bit of salt and pepper, is all.  I roasted it for 30 minutes at 400F (200C) then reduced the heat to 350F (175C), add the potatoes and roasted for another hour, basting occasionally.

I made an olive sauce to go with it, chopped black and green olives simmered in a bit of white wine.  Simple!

To start, of course, we had my favorite holiday treat: Pan-Seared Foi Gras

Pan-Seared Foie Gras with Salad

This year I served it with a small salad of greens and slivered beet root tossed in a mustard vinaigrette.  A few olives and sliced walnut bread completed the course.

As the foie gras was rather large we managed to do this three days in a row….

Happy Holidays indeed!

8 thoughts on “Roast Duck, Pan-Seared Foie Gras and the update”

  1. 24″ walls, that’d be good for insulation. Love your duck, feathers and all, but I really like your foie gras more. Wish I could get hold of some, but that’s not about to happen any time soon.

  2. Katie,
    Thanks so much for the pictures of the house. Things are much clearer now.
    Your husband is a master craftsman to take that house and turn it into what it is now, and will be. Thank goodness he has you to cook for him to keep him strong.
    Great pics!
    P.S. Your duck looks a lot better than my roasted Xmass duck.

  3. Hello,
    I came across your blog during a recent web search. I am a college student from the U.S. and in the coming months, I will be staying in Andorra for a term abroad and taking classes. What is life there really like? It seems absolutely beautiful and everyone I have spoken with really likes it as well. Please,if anyone has input, email me at

  4. Wow, I am speechless. Speechless about the coolness of that house and the deliciousness of that duck and the foie gras. That house is really, really freaking cool!

  5. I always wanted to do duck for Christmas. I just have too many people to feed, so duck is kind of impractical. If I ever do a small holiday, duck would be on the menu. This year I did the other thing I wanted to do – pork, and boy did I have a lot of it!!!! I’m swooning at the foie gras too.
    Your house looks like it could be something out of a postcard. *envy*

  6. Zoomie, God only knows – and He’s not telling!
    Neil, they’re good – once they get warm. But if they get cold….. Bummer about the foie gras!
    brassfrog, he’s immensely pleased at your words 😉 My duck was not bad, thanks
    Gabe – we’ll talk….
    Thanks, Rich – wanna come work on it? I serve foie gras….
    Ina, we’re thinking of painting it pink….. the duck was good.
    Rachel, the duck would have served 4 nicely. It wasn’t really big, but perfect for us. I did a Crown Roast of Pork once for a crowd that was wonderful

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