Cool Stuff

Fun Holiday Gift Idea

I’m going to take a pause from my deer hunting adventures to share with you what showed up on my doorstep yesterday. I think my non-hunting oriented readers might need a rest. Plus I want to talk about chocolate. This chocolate. It comes from a charming chocolate factory called Charles Chocolates in Emeryville, California. His things are really a work of art and the flavors he uses are quite unique. […]

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Deer Hunting III: Pig, PBR, and Paul

That brown thing glistening in the florescent light is a whole hog. It has been roasting on that big grill all day. The man puffing a cigar is my host Paul Michael and in his hand is a nice cold PBR. “I don’t drink it cause it’s cheap, I drink it cause it’s deelicious,” he says. He is one of the most philosophical and interesting human beings I have ever […]

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Deer Hunting II: Camera Men and Me

We spent a lot of time in a cold wet deer stand this weekend. And sometimes you have to entertain yourself as a distraction from your numb toes. So Freddie Black, the commissioner of fish and game in AR (and also my hunting partner), stole my camera from behind me and started snapping photos. That’s my cameraman friend Sam. He was a real trooper. But then I stole the camera […]

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Deer Hunting I: Arriving to Camp

I just returned from a beautiful place. It was a deer hunting lodge along the Mississippi river near Lake Village, Arkansas. The weekend was filled with a remarkable set of characters from the surrounding south, a whole roasted pig dripping with molasses and bacon, good scotch and cigars, and good guitar playing. And it was there that I shot my first doe right through the heart and made venison for […]

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Easy Christmas Cookies

I am always so impressed with people who produce oceans of Christmas cookies of various kinds and dole them out in charming tins. The woman who took care of me growing up has about twenty or so kinds of cookes that she makes every year. She doesn’t break a sweat. They are all very different and all beautiful to look at and all delicious. Last weekend, my friend and I […]

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No Sugar, No 7-Up, Just Plain Water: A Quest for the Perfect Christmas Tree

We have a place that we go to every year on the highway. It is a place where burly Canadians come and display their Christmas trees. I look forward to finding that perfect tree… it’s a bit of a treasure hunt. Everyone has their own style. I look for nice balance and proportions, a little bushiness, and good height. But my mom is completely different. She likes those really sparse […]

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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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Strange Birds

Because it’s Monday. And because we’re all strange birds at heart. This was Loretta hanging out in the kitchen the other day. She lives inside… it’s one saga of a story, but she enjoys herself. And cracks me up.

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A Norman Rockwell Evening

I just had a very Norman Rockwell evening. Warm food and Christmas carol singing and advent wreath making… it began with a church potluck down the road. The same church that every member of my family seems to have gone through…in birth, marriage, or death. It’s a place where everybody knows my name… like on the TV show Cheers but more wholesome. Grandma Pellegrini and I worked all afternoon on […]

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The Fruits of Our Labor

There are few things more gratifying than cooking a meal entirely from things you have grown. This Thanksgiving we spent as much time outdoors collecting ingredients as we did indoors cooking them. First, we cut these baby brussels sprouts from the garden. They were strange things this year. We waited and waited for them to get large and plump but they never did. So because it was Thanksgiving, we just […]

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