Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“How to Render Duck Fat & Other Important Matters”

I rendered some duck fat and wanted to tell you all about the glorious experience. I plan on using it in all of my recipes, from pie crusts to steaks to milkshakes. Just kidding. Sort of. I made the rendered duck fat and have step-by-step instructions over at my “second home“… I just had too many boxes and filing cabinets and needed to spread out a bit. It’s much more […]

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“How to Preserve Meyer Lemons”

I’m taking matters into my own hands. After yesterday’s post, no one asked for a lesson in preserving their fruit. I’m deeply hurt. Just kidding. I’m going to teach you anyway. Because I love you. Even if you don’t love me. That’s just the way it is. I saved this pickle jar. I’m so glad I did. Because it turned out to be a very useful preserving jar and I […]

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“Deer Hunting VI: How to Cook a Deer Liver”

It ain’t pretty, but it’s gooood. Just remember as we go on this journey together that we believe in certain principles around here. That animal protein or vegetable protein, if you’re going to eat, something has to die. And if I’m going to kill something in order to eat, then I want to use every part of it. So as you shimmy your way down the page keep reciting the […]

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“Deer Hunting V: How to Cook a Deer Heart”

The Native Americans used to eat the warm heart of their prey in order to inherit their spirit. It was also a way to honor the animal, and use every part of it. So on my deer hunt in the Delta a few weeks ago, I decided to “go native.” And I’m glad I did. It was delicious. And it’s good for you. And all of the veteran hunters looked […]

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“How to String Peppers”

As you recall, I had all of these strange French peppers this year. Some turned red, some didn’t. It was very confusing. But they were beautiful and I loved them and pickled the ones that were green. The others sat one the windowsill because I was too busy to do anything with them and while they waited, they turned red! So we strung them and now they’re dangling and drying […]

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“Turkey Stock”

I think of any stock as liquid gold… the sure path to tastier food. And as you know by now, I like to use as many parts of the animal that I eat, as I possibly can. So this Thanksgiving, my turkey carcas became a lovely stock, that made the house smell like Thanksgiving all over again. Here’s how you make it, a little liquid gold from me to you, […]

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“How to Age Venison, then Braise It”

In a few weeks I’ll be deer hunting. Someone recently told me that squirrel is the best meat in the woods. And while I plan on testing that theory and presenting you with a squirrel recipe one of these days, until then I’m clinging on to the notion that venison is the best meat in the woods. The key to good venison is aging it properly. Just like a good 12 ounce T-bone […]

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“A Garlic Mincing Trick”

One of the first little bits of wisdom I learned when I decided to get serious about cooking, was how to make garlic into a paste in under 30 seconds. It was a revelation and I thought, “Wow! These are all the shortcuts that pros know!” So then I began to work in professional kitchens and was peeved to see people mincing their garlic the same way I’d done it as a “civilian”… […]

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“Pickled Peppers: My Strange French Peppers”

I can’t really tell you where they came from. All I’ll say is that I may or may not have smuggled them from Provence. I may or may not have loved them so much in the restaurant garden that I worked in, that I may or may not have dried the seeds on the windowsil of my rundown house and tucked them into my suitcase and brought them back to the […]

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