As a hunter and an eater of venison, I would say this is very good info. Proper field dressing and shooting young animals is critical as well as simple preparations. We often surprise visitors with gourmet venison meals and they are shocked with how amazing the meat is. Often it is a simple tenderloin cut, crusted with fresh pepper and seared on all sides till rare, other times it is steaks pounded out thin and made into traditional schnitzel and served with mushroom sauce that make our guests eyes light up! If you are looking for other gourmet wild game recipes I would also recommend Hunter Angler Gardener Cook at http://honest-food.net/ Hanks recipes are great!
Almost all chicken soup recipies (and espcially the good ones like this one) add enough water “to cover the chicken” It all depends on the size of the chicken and the pot that you make it in. It won’t really matter in the end as the chicken will flavor the whole soup. I suppose if you used a 40 liter stockpot this might be a problem but seeing as this is a home recipe we will all be using a regular stockpot or dutch oven or the like that will easily fit a whole chicken inside!
As the majority of my recipes at least are concived of through others I am completely willing to share with anyone and everyone. When other have been so generous as to give me recipes, why would I be stingy with them? Still sometimes there is just not a way to write some recipes that would allow new cooks / bakers to duplicate them. This is especially true with family recipes. Almost all of the daughters-in-law of my husbands grandmother accuse her of not giving out the best recipes. I found an easy way around that was to go and bake and cook with her for the afternoon. As we went along I could write down the recipes and learn all the techniques that were missing from my aunt-in-laws papers. My husband now says that I can successfully duplicate her buns, soup, and perogies. This is espcially good as she is now not cooking as much as she used to and so I can bring her some favorites that she cannot make anymore!
I make homemade dog treats too, so it is great to see some new recipies. My dogs favorite is liver that I boil whole then slice into 1/4 inch slices and dry in the oven. I have also used the slowcooker to cook whole hearts and tongue. Both of these seem to have a good chewy texture and can last up to a week in the fridge in a paper bag. Plus my dog is always on his best behaviour if he thinks he can get a liver treat!
My grandmother-in-law still makes rice “salad” with cool whip and canned fruit. Her grandchildren think it is food of the gods and it is requirement on all family dinners. She also makes her own buns, noodles, pickles, perogies, stock and the best soup ever! All at 84 years of age. She is kind of like my hero (except I still have not figured out the appeal of the rice salad).
Thank-you for this well written article on hunting for food. So many people do not realise this great gift that is ours to go out into the woods and, with the low cost of a license, provide food for our families. I am very grateful for a freezer full of organic, sustainable deer. I will be able to eat some of the best meat available over the winter (and into grilling season!) mainly because I live in a country that said that everyone should be able to provide for thier families.
I love my mom’s potato salad! She mixes in dill pickles, not too many eggs (only one or two for a big bowl!), and a dressing made from mayo, sour cream, mustard and more dill!!! Then she mashes it all together so that there are only a few small chunks of potato and the rest are mashed. So good! Best served with farmers sausage and fresh veggies.
A couple of weeks ago I discovered the potato lady at the farmers market. A lot of the veggie vendors there have one or two types of potatos but this lady sold potatos almost exclusively with squashes making up the rest of her stall. She had so many kinds it was difficult to pick. There were Blue Russians (which I had been searching for for a couple of years already!), yukon gold, banana fingerlings, pink fleshed and then there were the french fingerlings. So I picked some of each kind and brought them home to try. I scrubbed a bunch of the smaller ones and threw them in the steamer. It was an assorted batch so I could get a taste for each. I doctored them up with butter and salt and started trying them.
The Blue Russians were dark purple, with a dry crumbly texture. I knew they would be much better as bakers or mashed up with extra milk.
The yukon gold had a nice yellow colour and had a crumbly texture and soaked up the butter and salt very nicely.
The banana fingerlings had a smooth texture and the skins were nice and thin. Steaming was probably the best prepration for them.
The best however were the french fingerlings. They had red skins and a creamy white flesh and had an extremely smooth texture. It was almost like eating potato custard. I loved them so much I raved about them to everyone I knew and even people I didn’t.
You would think that the next time I was at the market I would have bought a whole bag of the beauties. You would think I would carefully store them and save them and eat them all winter long. However the next time I was at the market I thought, “oh I still have some left, I’ll get some next time.” And then I didn’t get to go to the market the next week. And then, when I went back just last weekend, there were no more french fingerlings. It was over for the season. I would have to wait til next year to get another taste of the heavenly french fingerling. I was so disappointed I almost cried. But instead I bought two 10 pound bags of the blue russians (the lady said this was the last week for them too) and went home and made Barbie mashed potatos (steamed blue russians and pink fleshed potatos, mashed with butter and milk and salt and placed side by side they are the same colours as a Barbie house! The four-year old I fed them to loved them.)
My heart still yearns for those tiny little bundles of God’s goodness though, and I promise myself that next year won’t take me so much by surprise and that I will buy them every chance I get, because you know the season is just too short.
On Friday I was out for a tour of a local Ecological Reserve and found a gorgeous field of stinging nettles just ready for picking (outside of the reserve, no picking allowed inside!). They were about four to six inches high and so tender I could pick them without gloves. I got a few mild stings but nothing compared to what they will feel like in a month or two. I picked a good bunch and carefully packed them for the ride home. I also picked up a few fiddleheads I found along the way.
When I got home I perused the internet for recipies and settled on a mish-mash of several nettle soup recipies. I didn’t have any large onions but did have some onion dressing that I made earlier in the week (1/2 cup of olive oil heated in medium sauce pot on stove, put in one large onion cut up small, cook until onion is soft and sweet, take off heat, pour in a little cider vinegar and give it a quick whiz with the hand blender, leaving it a bit chunky, its amazing on just about anything) plus some green onions and garlic were the base. I sauted all of these together and then added the washed nettles until they wilted down. I added some leftover bean stock and cooked for 20 min. When everything was smelling great I took it off the stove and gave it a whiz with the hand blender and added some cream and some reserved green onion tops. It was a bit thin and I think it would been creamier with a potato added but it was still warm and satisfying after a long (rainy) day outside.
The fiddleheads I sauted along with more of the onion dressing and garlic and at the last minute I threw in a bunch of spinach till just wilted. This warm garlicky salad hit the spot.
This was my first time foraging by myself without an expert for anything other than berries and I think it went very well. My food tasted great and I felt proud that I had picked and cooked it myself.
Ok, so, my experiment adding split pea puree to my lasagna sauce is going excelently!!!
I made my regular tomato sauce and also added some grated zuchinni (from the freezer) for some body. I ran the immersion blender through that to smooth it out some. The split peas were simmered with some celery hearts, garlic and fresh thyme. I ran the immersion blender through them and when I tasted it I almost didn’t add it to the sauce it tasted so good!! But that would have given me split pea soup and not a protein boost to my tomato sauce like I want.
The sauce tastes amazing with the added split pea puree. The puree gives it a creamier texture and rounds out the flavors nicely. I would almost eat it like a soup! Hmmm... maybe if I added in some rice... yes, it could be a soup... (I will have to save this idea for another day...)
The big test will be this weekend when I serve it up at a family gathering next to my sisters pan of “normal” lasagna. I’m not planning to mention that it is veggetarian as that may turn off some people before they even try it. Hope it all turns out well.
I really try, really I do! I try not to buy new kitchen gadgets that will only clutter up my already stuffed apartment kitchen. But then the perfect idea comes along, like using some of my stawberries (frozen from last years picking) and making an angel food cake for my co-workers. It would be a way to look forward to summer as we are suffering under the latest Canadian cold spell (it was -40 with windchill again this week!!)
My only problem with this is that I do not own an angel food cake pan. A one-use-only item if there ever was one. Not only that but with the wierd shape, not a pan I can easliy hide among my other pans. I could have used my bundt pan but I had done that before and it was a pain to get the cake out. No if I was to get an angel food cake pan it would have to be one with a removable bottom.
So without completely making up my mind about the pan, I went shopping for the ingredients. I bought the cream for whipped topping, the eggs for beating into marshmallowy foam and the pastry flour to keep it all light and fluffy. Then, as I was heading back, I just thought I would look at the Thrift Store. “Maybe someone had got sick of their’s never fitting in their cupboards and donated it,” I thought. I could justify a cheap used pan. But, alas, there were no cake pans in among the mismatched dishes and dented pots. By then though I was in hunting mode. There was a discount designer store just one store over that I had found good kitchen stuff in before. Yes, they had a pan. The Perfect angel food cake pan, with a removable bottom! The price was reasonable, the timing perfect, everyone would love the results. I bought it.
Looking back I am happy with my decision. The cake turned out beautifully and everyone enjoyed the treat. The batter whipped up so tall it would never have fit in my bundt pan. And I found the place to put it, high at the top of a wobbly stack of roasters, cookie tins and trays deep in the storage closet. And who knows, maybe I will make angel food more often now.
Most of the time with cooking and eating, the rules are clear.
A father’s legacy
The vegetarian-cooking pioneer
Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more
Good on everything