just a smidgen

Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky Paté

I talk to myself…

(quite often in fact)

with assorted random instructions, reassurances, quiet reminders, admonishments and encouragements
…and the occasional boisterous song thrown in for good measure.

I find it particularly useful when I’m trying to decipher a music theory question:
“I knew I should have
(insert here: listened, studied, practiced.. written down every word he said).”

As I brought out the food processor today.. I was overcome with a foreboding feeling of déjà vu,

“Oh, boy… I remember the last time I did this.” I mumbled.

My son, of course, happened to be wandering down the hall at that precise moment,
and jauntily asked if I was, in fact, talking to myself.
(Read between the lines, “My mom has finally lost it.”)

“Absolutely,” I replied unconvincingly.

He’d caught me reminiscing about
“that dreadful time I tried to make paté.”

There was an open-topped blender
and a spatula to scrape down the sides.. whilst blending the brown mess..


I stopped that sucker cold in its tracks and brown paté splattered everywhere,
to be specific, all over the new, stippled ceiling, my face
(yes, I was lookin’ in the blender)
and my pretty New Year’s Eve dress.

Crocodile tears of humiliation ensued and then
“Valdemort” reprimanded me in front of our guests

…for embarrassing him and ruining the ceiling.

“Mark my words, I was a humble Tigger Smidge back then, a small and sad Tigger Smidge,

and an “Oh, I am I so sorry” Tigger Smidge.”

And he took the “bounces” right out of me.

Don’t you wish, sometimes, that your “new sagacious self”
Could go back in time and whisper in your “younger, innocent self’s” ear..

to dump the rest of the paté right where it belonged?

Coincidentally, several years and two children later, we visited a family who had just purchased..  that same condo.


it was still there on the ceiling.. a bit faded with time, but marked indeed…
but this time I couldn’t help laughing

because the mark on my heart had long since been expunged,

and so had he!

I stared down my worthy opponent today.. a juicy, dripping pan of chicken livers, all nicely browned, buttered and seasoned.

“This isn’t gonna happen a second time,” I muttered aloud to myself as I strapped on my apron,
“because I won’t allow it!”

The weather continues to balk at the change of seasons.. although there was a sudden burst of brilliant sun mid-afternoon yesterday, that brought me pure joy!  In keeping with my love for all things Provence, I sought out a recipe for paté and found one that I could “tweak” on Epicurious. Most notable is the liberal addition of Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky (have I told you I’m part Scotch?). I had searched high and low for this French Laguiole spreading knife.. and found one at the Cookbook Company. The new Mercato West’s beautiful presentation included one and I thought it would be perfect for my photos.

I highly recommend having a sip or two of Oban while cooking, the recipe is so easy you could make it with your eyes closed when seeing double!

Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky Pate

Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky Paté
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh minced thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp fresh minced marjoram (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp fresh minced sage (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 lb chicken livers, trimmed
  • milk
  • 1/4 cup Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  1. *A few hours before cooking, put the chicken livers in a glass bowl and cover with milk.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over moderately low heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the herbs, salt, pepper, all spice and livers. Cook, stirring until the livers are cooked on the outside but pink on the inside when cut open, about 8 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the whisky.
  3. Allow to cool somewhat, then spoon into a food processor. Blend until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Transfer paté to small crocks, jars or ramekins and smooth the tops. Place on piece of fresh herb for garnish on top.
  5. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan on low heat. Remove from heat as soon as the butter has melted and let it sit for three minutes. Skim off the foam floating on top. Spoon enough butter just to cover the top of the pâté.
  6. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Then cover with a lid or plastic and refrigerate for an additional 2 hours or more.


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