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August 22, 2008 2:34 PM

Please Mr. Postman, look and see: found any Beijing duck for me?

Posted by Nancy Leson

From my desk here at home, I can watch as Skip Nelson, my longtime postman, delivers the daily ration of credit-card offers and other unsolicited junk mail -- along with plenty of bills and the occasional letter. Sure, I'm used to getting mail from my mailman. But I must say, I was surprised and delighted this week to get a personal letter from the mailman himself. It showed up in my e-mailbox under the subject line: "Beijing Running Low on Bejing Duck." Turns out Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar (who I saw last Sunday night on TV, rushing off camera in hand, after Michael Phelps' big win) isn't my only pal keeping busy in Beijing. Skip wrote with this delicious tidbit from the Olympics city, where he's vacationing with his Chinese wife:

"I've heard on the street that Beijing is running out of Beijing duck -- the most popular dish in China. The Olympic Village alone needs more than 700 fresh ducks a day! The restaurants in Beijing, who do their buying in the early morning since it takes hours to prepare, are now being forced to take whatever is available, sometimes running out early before the dinner hour is over. We went out last night about 8 p.m. to one very well-known duck restaurant and they were out -- fired ovens turned off!"

I guess he'll have to wait till he gets back home to Edmonds to eat the (less politically correct) "Peking duck" served with steamed buns, scallions and hoisin at T&T -- where I've occasionally run into him dressed in his civvies.

Anybody have a favorite place for Peking (er, Beijing) duck?

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