Family Food Traditions

KevinBig Game, From The Wild, Hunting, Moose, PhilosoFoodLeave a Comment

Let me illustrate my stupidity. I’ve studied and eaten the regional traditional foods of most regions of France, Tuscany, Liguria, Bohemia, Catalonia, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Denmark, Flanders, Wallonia, England, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. I’ve spent lots of time and money doing so. Not that I regret it – but here’s where my stupidity comes in. Amdist my ambitions to be a regional and traditional food geek, I had overlooked, for a good 5 years, a pretty cool regional food tradition in my very own family. In my very back yard. Hunting wild game. With hunting season approaching, it got me wondering how many years my family’s been doing this ritual. So I emailed my grandfather today, asking him when he first started hunting – and if his father hunted. My grandpa is 83(?), and luckily is talented for his age with email. This is an excerpt from his reply:

“My Father hunted deer when the occasion presented itself…any time of the year. I know that twice, he went to Carrot River with a friend to hunt moose. One of my earliest memories is seeing this huge frozen carcass of a moose on the kitchen floor in Duck Lake. Personally….I hunted sparrows in their nests….pigeons in the grain bin when I was about 6 or 7. My mother was very patient…plucked them…then roasted them. By 10 years old I had a beat up old 22….with no back sight….and I hunted upland game…rabbits and such. It wasn’t till I was in practice in St. Paul in 1951, that I started hunting deer…and then moose. I hunted mostly alone in these days…and when I had a animal down…I field dressed it….skinned it on the spot….and packed the quarters out on my pack board. Compared to to-day…this was HARD work!….but youth knows no bounds!

Immediately after writing the above, and inspired by:

  • Andrea Nguyen’s recipe for Thit Bo Nuong Xa, and
  • the photo above of calf moose carcass from last fall, and
  • my growling stomach while writing the above text

I grilled some skewered calf moose plate that had been marinated in lemongrass, ginger, sesame oil, garden onion, soy sauce, fish sauce, and thai chili. Dipped it in some hoisin-peanut sauce. Thanks again, Andrea.

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