Monday, December 28, 2009


I'm not much for New Year's resolutions. Most of them don't take, and resolving to do better can be decided any day of the year.

But I'll go ahead and make one anyway. See that scrumptious meal above? That's Seared Duck over Squash and Sage Risotto. Easily one of my more memorable meals of 2009. Normally you wouldn't find it on this blog. You see, it doesn't contain a shred of foraged foods. Nada. The duck was farm-raised and I didn't resort to any trickery—for instance, ladling porcini-infused broth into the risotto—to post it here.

Instead, I reference this meal as a challenge to myself. I'm an omnivore and don't intend to change that. In other words, I eat meat, if only occasionally and mostly in small portions. Over the years I've made incursions into the Animal Kingdom with my foraging: free-diving for Dungeness crabs, digging razor clams, fly-fishing for salmon, spear-fishing lingcod. Always the animals have been of the fish or shellfish sort.

Mark 2010 as the year I get other kinds of meat, the furred and feathered kinds. It's time to up the irons on this foraging thing!


Big thank-yous to everyone who participated in Menu for Hope. The winners will be announced in January. Until then, Happy New Year to all!


Carbzilla said...

We have an excellent friend who'd be happy to take you hunting (deer, chuckar, grouse/pheasant). You'll get encyclopedic instruction which may be more than you need. They dressed their own deer this year, which was tough for the vegetarian wife but did save them $300. He often gathers chanterelles after he gets his game limit.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I am looking forward to your future posts on what you find in the game area. My brother hunts deer and I've been the beneficiary, so I've got a couple of venison recipes I'll be posting soon.

Claudia said...

I used to have a "game" cookbook lying around. You make me want to dig it out. I don't forage - but do have family members who hunt and fish... and eat all that they get.

Kirsten Lindquist said...

sounds like an adventure! Can't wait to read about your exploits!

evalyn said...

I'll be looking forward to receipes for wild game. I was raised on venison, but my mother's method was mostly frying. Good Hunting.

Tom said...

That's not going to go over well in this house, but maybe I can sneak over to taste the spoils without them knowing.

katie said...

I married an avid hunter and while it has been a big stretch for me to adapt our already-limited-meat diet to being primarily wild game, it has been a fun challenge. I am really looking forward to seeing what you do as you make your first forrays into game!

Rob said...

It seems to me that furred and feathered foraging only counts as foraging if you avoid the use of firepower.

2010: The Year of Hand-to-Hand Combat.

Shari said...

While I am a vegetarian, my husband is not. We are making it a goal of ours to start doing more fishing and perhaps delve into hunting furry critters to start to replace store bought food.
The way I see it, at least the animal had a real life before being hunted -- rather than being raised on a factory farm in miserable conditions before slaughter.
I'm looking forward to any recipes you can provide for game/fish.
Happy New Year!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

You could use a bow and arrow or a spear.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Excellent, Lang! You know that once my torn achilles heals in a few months, I will be more than honored to help you on this journey! Of course, there is a price... spring porcini and yummy things that live in mudflats. Can you dig clams and collect crabs in late spring?

In all seriousness, I have helped many an adult non-hunter get into the pursuit. In your area, blacktail deer, black bear, ducks are plentiful. And in the east, mule deer, chukar and blue grouse are all in good numbers in Washington.

And when you are ready, there are always elk...

John said...

Speaking as a longtime plant/mushroom forager who has taken up hunting in the past few years I have to say - prepare to have even more fun gathering food.
I never thought I would be a hunter, or even hold a gun in my hands. But since I made the leap it has been incredibly satisfying to bring in meat.
I've never tasted a bird so good as a ruffed grouse. Now that I've found spots on the west side for them it's even possible to come home with a grouse in one bag and chanterelles in the other. Not a bad combo...

mdmnm said...

Good luck on your further adventures!

I'd suggest starting on birds and small game at first. The skills you pick up will serve you well if you try big game hunting and, while the deaths you cause are certainly significant, it's not quite the same impact walking up on a bird as it is a deer or elk. Also, a .22 rifle will get you into tons of game and can be inexpensive and fun to learn to shoot. Hunter safety course, of course, is a great first step.

Langdon Cook said...

Hey everyone - and happy new year! I've been traveling and haven't been able to respond to all your comments until now. Thanks for the great feedback!

Carbzilla - We should talk. I'm looking for mentors. Thanks.

Ciao Chow Linda - Recipes of the "furred & feathered" sort will be a long time coming I suspect, since I have a learning curve to hop on but I hope to have some down the line.

Claudia - I've got a couple game cookbooks myself. They tend to be of the spiral binding variety.

Kirsten Lindquist - Me too!

Evalyn - I'm starting to feel the pressure...

Tom - Bring some of those Chocolate Macaroons with you!

Katie - If I can start substituting some wild game for store-bought meat here and there in 2010, I'll consider this resolution off to a good start.

Rob - Ha ha! Look out grey squirrels, it's GO TIME!

Shari - Amen. That's a big part of it.

Nate - I've always admired bow hunters. That's some serious skill.

Hank - You're on my speed dial! BTW, wtf with the achilles? I've been mostly offline last two weeks and hadn't heard. Healing vibes your way.

John - Would love to pick your brain more about the shift from forager to hunter. Drop me an email if you care to, thanks.

mdmnm - That's the plan. I have in-laws in Arkansas who hunt small game in addition to deer. Might head down there over Memorial Day weekend for a squirrel hunt. And as you mention, need to go through safety class first.

Kimberley Hasselbrink said...

This is a fantastic resolution, and I can't wait to hear about imminent adventures. It's something I'd like to try my hand at too.

Unknown said...

Good luck to you in your new adventure! I look forward to the many wonderful wild game recipes that will result from your future hunts.

BTW - Elk meat is one of my favorites! Elk hunting is truly a challenge and very rewarding if you are able to take home some meat!