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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Enjoying Wild Game and Fruits for the Holidays (Blog 322)

A Thanksgiving and Christmas meal tradition at our house is to have family members over and enjoy various wild game and fruit dishes. Elaine and I have had David and Sarah and their sons Sam and Eli and  also Mark and Ashley over several times during the Thanksgiving Holidays.  We've had venison meatball soup, roast venison, and today Elaine is going to make wild turkey breast burgers. We will use eggs from our Rhode Island Reds to enhance the flavor of the burger.

For dessert, we've enjoyed blackberry cobbler, and I hope today to make one last trip to a persimmon tree to gather its fruits.  Elaine has already made persimmon bread, but I would like some persimmon cookies this weekend.

There's plenty of potentially great food in the outdoors.  All it takes is a willingness to pursue it.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Success on Virginia's Opening Day of General Firearms Season (Blog 321)

This morning, for opening day of what many Virginia hunters call "rifle season," I drove to one of Elaine's and my properties in Craig County.  The goal was simple, try to kill a doe before the fierce winds in the forecast drove me off the mountain.

Fortunately, that was what happened.  Not long after dawn, a doe came by (at various times between 60 and 80 yards away), but did not offer a good shot.  But at just after 7:30 two more does came by.  When I first saw them they were over 100 yards away.  But they kept meandering along, and the potential shot became easier and easier.  Finally at 60 yards distant, the lead doe paused, and the shot rang true.  The drag was hard and took awhile, but I wasn't complaining.

Instead of being on a stand this evening, Elaine and I are preparing to play a rousing game of Scrabble; meanwhile the wind is howling. Perhaps I should start our wood stove in the morning for the first time this season.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

No Turkeys, but Persimmon Bread Instead (Blog 320)

Tuesday was election day, of course, so I didn't have to be at school until noon.  So I did what I usually do on that day, go hunting.  I spent the early morning in Franklin County, Virginia pursuing turkeys and the mid-morning in Botetourt doing the same...all to no avail.

But upon leaving the Botetourt farm, I visited a persimmon tree that has produced a cornucopia of fruits in the past.  And the tree was loaded with persimmons.  I gathered a bag full and the next night, Elaine and I made persimmon bread.

Few things in life are as tasty as persimmon bread.  Indeed, it is my favorite homemade bread and that includes breads made from wild and domesticated fruits.  I am going to pay another visit to the tree soon, as there are plenty of persimmons left.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Locavore Living (Blog 319)

Last week was a very good week for hunting and Elaine and me and our locavore lifestyle here in Botetourt County, Virginia.  On Thursday, I was able to kill my first turkey of the season, tagging a bird at fly down after roosting a flock the evening before. Wild turkey will now be on the menu for Thanksgiving.

Saturday on opening day of the early muzzleloading season, I killed a nice doe in Franklin County right before sundown.  I had found a place on a cattle farm where deer were likely to enter a pasture.

Our young Rhode Island Red hens are consistently laying eggs and our older Reds have already molted and are now laying, so the egg production is excellent.  And Sunday, now that leaves are falling, Elaine and I noticed that our Dolgo crabapple tree had enough fruits on it (a late frost had killed most of the blooms) to make a loaf of bread from.  Not a major event to be sure, given the tree's major production  last year, but one loaf of Elaine's homemade crabapple and walnut bread will be a delight this winter on a snowy day.