" The pleasures of eating are trumpeted loudly in today's society and that is a wonderful thing. But the pleasure of knowing what occurred on the journey from the field to the table are just as important, because food tastes so much better that way..." Georgia Pellegrini
Yep. That's a picture of me. Plucking a duck. A pretty mallard one at that. The theme of Georgia Pellegrini's book matches one of the theme of my life pretty well right now. A few years ago, I got interested in thinking about eating locally and where my food was coming from. This led to joining Global Gardens CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and learning more about where my vegetables were coming from. Then, I met Scott and his freezer full of food. I haven't bought meat in the last 2 and a half years and it's been an education in what it really means to know where your food comes from. For us, it means if you're gonna know where your meat is coming from you're gonna have to be comfortable getting your meat and when I say getting your meat, I mean hunting or fishing. I've caught a few fish, but at this point, Scott's the big hunter in the household, but I'm definitely getting more comfortable with it.
Me? Ice fishing.
But, the thing about hunting and knowing where your food comes from is that sometimes it's gross. Cleaning the innards out of a duck stinks, literally, and sometimes it might make you feel like throwing up. Especially when it's cold and you're tired and hungry. At the same time, it feels really true. When you sit down to a meal where you helped pluck and clean the duck at the table, the food tastes delicious and the effort is worth it. I can definitely relate to Pellegrini when she talks about knowing what has transpired on the way to the plate. Her book is part-memoir and part cookbook.
She travels to many sought after hunting locations and hunts turkeys, javelina, squirrels, pheasants, hog, doves, and many other birds. She reflects on many of the hunts that are on private land and therefore not available to all hunters and about the hunts that are available to gentleman hunters. Pellegrini used to be a chef and uses her culinary prowess to invent and share recipes that make you want to try them. She also explains the history of hunting in the United States and experiences some hunters with questionable hunting ethics. Hunting is complicated and each state regulates things slightly differently which makes it a research project to find out what the regulations are each time you got out. We are really lucky to live in Idaho where there are so many opportunities to hunt and gather.
We tried her recipe for Balsamic Deer Heart for dinner tonight and it was a success.
Balsamic Deer Heart, Buttercup Squash with homemade Strawberry Jam, Sauteed Lentil and Alfalfa Sprouts, and Sour Milk Potato Muffin.