Monday, November 12, 2012

Grandma Carol - deer hunting Thanksgiving.


  So here we are, just a week or so away from Thanksgiving Day.  If there is a day when culture meets food in the U.S. it's Thanksgiving.  Even here locally the traditions that have developed vary from family to family.  When I was young, it was another day of hunting in the morning with my dad, grandparents and sometimes uncles or friends.  Yes, I said grandparents, my grandmother was  probably one of the most persistent and dedicated hunters you would ever meet

     Many of my Thanksgiving tradition memories revolve around my grandmother.  I don't know if I appreciated it at the time as much as I should have, but she always managed to put an amazing meal on the table, and still be out in the woods.  The running joke for a while was that she started hunting so that she wouldn't have to be stuck at home by herself, getting a meal ready for when the hunters stumbled in at noon.  Now, to be fair my mom was always around to help and in later years my wife was there also, although she also had the job of keeping track of my then very young sons.  Even so, grandma always seemed to be able to run the show and get the meal out on time.

     The meal in those days did vary, some of it depended upon how the different hunts had gone that fall.  I remember wild goose, duck, wild turkey, domestic turkey, rabbit and even squirrel one year.  Mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole,  dinner rolls and cranberry sauce would usually round out the main meal.   Then came the pies, pumpkin, apple and, my favorite, custard. 

     The day would usually continue with watching football, often Packers and Lions it seemed.  Maybe back to the woods for some end of the day hunting, or maybe falling asleep in a chair, waking up to have some leftovers, to find that grandma was already preparing something for us to take into the woods the next day.

     These memories are awesome and, this time of year more than any other, bring back thoughts of the great times, and traditions of my grandparents.  Even though it has been many years since the last time we had Thanksgiving in that little Wisconsin town of Marquette, the memories remain very fresh and maybe a little bigger and better than things really were.  I could say that I really miss those times, and in a way I do.  But, I have realized that culture and tradition have to evolve.  No one can take away the memories that I have of those wonderful times, and they will always be with me.

     We can't, however, live in the  past.  Our memories of our traditions should move us forward to create our own.  Over the last several years I have had Thanksgiving meal at my home, with one exception when we spent a great time at my sisters in Ohio.  I have come to love this, sometimes my mom is here, my sons (although they are starting to go their own way now), my wife, and a good friend or two.  My tradition has become trying something new along with having some of the old standbys that my grandmother made.

   So what are we having this year?  I haven't decided yet.  I'm sure it will be turkey, but I'm not sure the preparation method yet.  I am  getting ahead of myself, that is what my post later this week will be about.

     What I do know is that I am looking forward to it, and I hope you are to.  If you love to cook, this is the one chance to create a great feast and show your creativity in the kitchen, so go for it!  Try something new,  if nothing else you can look back in a few years and say "wow! remember when I tried to cook ________ for Thanksgiving?"
    It will create a memory.  And that is far more powerful than anything that you will put on the table.  I know that is the case when I think back to Grandma Carol and deer hunting Thanksgiving.

Next time, back to some cooking

Stay hungry my friends




Monday, November 5, 2012

Here we go again!!!

Wow, has it really been that long?  Rule one of blogging if you expect people to actually read often.  OK, well I guess we'll try that again.

   So here I sit on the eve of the U.S. Presidential election thinking, for the first time in my voting life, I don't like either of these guys.  But it is against everything I believe in to sit home and not vote.  So for a number of reasons I'm casting my vote for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson.  Maybe with a stronger 3rd party we can have a more honest debate.  What does this have to do with a food blog?  Absolutely nothing, I just felt like saying it.

     So where do I go from here with this blog?  Back to food, it's what I know and it's what I like to do.  I enjoy cooking, eating and writing about it  Theme wise I think I will continue to look at traditions of food, focusing on regions and celebrations.  The obvious one for us here in the States is that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so that is were I will focus over the next few weeks.  This starts the most wonderful time of year for the foodie, with Thanksgiving and then Christmas just a few weeks away.

     I've done a fair amount of research and study in the past few months about how food and culture go together, and how one influences the other.  So that is were I hope to write as I move forward.

     To those that read this when I was more active with it, I apologize for my delinquency in writing.  To those who sent me notes wondering when I was going to write some more.  Thank you for the prodding.

     I also plan to update my TV cook, gadgets and book reviews.  And I hope to do some posts on restaurants. And I'll through in a few posts on feeding your dog.   So stay tuned for that.

    I'm working on getting out a full post with actual cooking on it later this week.

So, Stay hungry my friends........