Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“How to Make Applesauce”

As you may recall, I went apple picking with an old college friend not too long ago. It was an attempt to re-live those cool, crisp New England days. But seeing as it was 104 degrees, and we were sweaty, I don’t think it was really a walk down memory lane. But we got apples. And I made a pie. And then I made this: Chunky Apple Sauce. You really […]

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“How to Clean a Dove”

But first you have to shoot it. Just after sunrise. Preferably over a cotton field. Near sunflowers. Dead ones. Doves love dead sunflowers. I do too. I also love dead dove. It tastes like liver, the pudding of the gods. You can read about dead sunflowers in the last chapter of Food Heroes. I love them. More than alive ones. I don’t often watch the sun come up in the […]

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“Tuna Preserved in Oil”

In some parts of the country, the summer albacore run is in its prime. But even where tuna isn’t plentiful, this preserving technique is a must have. It falls somewhere between fresh and canned tuna, the Italians called it “conservata,” the old tradition of preserving protein in olive oil. It is usually imported from Spain or Italy and sells for as much as $50 a pound, which is especially unnecessary […]

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“Fruit Vinegar”

Fruit vinegars are a great way to enhance the flavor in almost anything and a good way to use an over abundance of fruit. You can use them to deglaze the pan of a roasted chicken or pork chop, add them to green salads and fruit salads, or add them to sparkling water for a tangy beverage. You can use almost any variety of fruit that’s in season, simply keep […]

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“Daylilies”

When I was a line cook at a restaurant in the Hudson Valley long ago, I used to pick daylilies right before dinner service. It was my favorite thing to do. Not because I’m a girl and I like picking flowers…but because it was an escape from the brutal kitchen. An excuse to leave and experience a few minutes of fresh air and quiet woods. I especially liked running out […]

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“Homemade Fruit Leather”

Fruit roll-ups were a big thing when I was growing up. There were so many iterations at one point that I was in pure fruit candy bliss. Then there were the healthy versions that we’d always find at the health food store. They were called “fruit leather,” because they were thicker and made out of pure fruit I suppose… not the other nasty bits that were probably in the fruit […]

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“Honey Bee Healthy”

Remember yesterday how I showed you a glimpse of a strange figure in a hazmat suit wandering through the woods? That was my dad. He only comes out of his hiding place to feed the bees. My interactions with him are solely when he’s wearing netted head gear. Just kidding. But we do both have hermit tendencies. But we overcome them when society demands it of us. He enjoys interacting […]

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“Clam Chowder”

Also known as… “how to cook a clam.” Word on the street is that my clam digging pictures are freaking you out. I’m sorry to give you the heebie jeebies. But they taste good, I promise. Besides, don’t you want to know what to do if someone drops you on an island somewhere and tells you to fend for yourself? Here is what I did with the horseneck clams from my […]

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“How to Clean a Clam”

Yes, they made it off the island. The little boat made two more trips and the last ones on the island were the ones who had the tallest boots… they had thigh boots. They took one for the team because they had thigh boots. When preparing your clams for dinner, it is best to let them soak in a bucket of water over night so that they “relax.” This will […]

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“How to Dig a Clam: Part 2”

…also known as “How to dig a clam like a gentleman (or lady).” Alan had discovered that instead of getting yourself covered in mud, a little PCB pipe, and a double sided shovel kept one nice and mud-free. So we were the clean ones on the island. Alan drove his three person boat back and forth until we were all there. Then one of the girls tried her hand at […]

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