I respect that many Kentuckians and some of our neighbors hunt wild game to supplement their diets. Squirrel and dumplings have been described as "good eating" to me by many people we've met here. My husband had a friend in New Hampshire who was an old Yankee farmer, an artisan and a regular Euell Gibbons. Willard Richardson thought nothing of cooking up a snapping turtle into soup, having his wife make their eggs into a salad dressing, or catching a mess of woodchuck for a "woodchuck feed" several times a summer. They even roasted an owl. If it moved they would catch it and cook it. I asked my husband, mildly disgusted, "Did it taste like chicken?" "No, it tasted like owl."
The Little Big Book of Comfort Food [Welcome Books: 2006.]
I'm sorry to say that our boys picked out every kidney bean and only one of them would try the corn bread. They've gotten used to so many favorites dishes in our kitchen that when I do pull out something they don't remember having, or have never had at all, it can be a difficult transition. My cooking has always been in the style of "take it, or leave it" as I'm not in the business of operating a short-order kitchen. That said, I most often make what everyone else likes. [Wait until they try the Indian dishes I want to make out of Modern Spice by Monica Bhide! I'm determined to get my family to love Indian cooking.]
Catherine's Easy Chili
|The very best store bought tomatoes and I just used my last can!|
- Brown two medium chopped onions with a bit of garlic (in about a Tbsp of olive oil);
- Add 1-3 pounds of ground sirloin (ours was dry aged from a steer, now in the freezer) and brown it with the onion mixture (big hunks of meat are fine);
- Add 3 cans of kidney beans (don't drain);
- Then add 1 28-ounce can (or 2 14-ounce cans) of crushed tomatoes––I prefer Muir Glen® Organic tomatoes and they are available at Walmart;
- You can also add a can of diced tomatoes, if desired (or freshly diced);
- Add to mixture 1 heaping teaspoon salt and 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp chili powder and a bit of hot red pepper, if desired, and all to taste. Also, don't forget your freshly cracked pepper.
Cornbread [from The Big Little Book of Comfort Food]
This is a moist and slightly sweetened cornbread, "northern" style!
|A hearty cornmeal and a bit on the red side.|
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar (next time I will use a heaping tablespoon!)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 cup buttermilk (you could also use regular milk, plain yogurt or sour cream)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 (8-oz) can of creamed corn (I think the can I used was a bit bigger)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I did not use this but it would have been good)
- 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
In large bowl, sift together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda and chili powder.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, creamed corn, cheese and oil. Add mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined (but not too much).
It says to pour this over your prepared chili in a large casserole dish and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. I baked it in a small, greased oblong dish (a bit more than 9x9) for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Test for doneness.
Great with butter and honey! And chili, of course.
You come back when you're ready!