Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“How to Butcher a Pig”

This post should really be called, “How to Butcher a Pig in Flip Flops.” You see, I was having breakfast. A Greek yogurt with strawberry jam to be exact. And it occurred to me that I needed to butcher the Javelina if I was going to have it for dinner. So I marched out to the barn where I met Mike and my pesky brother and got to work. Except […]

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“How to Skin a Pig”

They say that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. But as far as I know, there’s really only one way to skin a pig. And anyway, I think they’re lying about the cat. If you’ve ever been to a butcher shop, this looks a little bit like what you’ll see there. Except we’re starting one step earlier while the skin is still on. If the sight of […]

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“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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