Friday, November 21, 2014

Must Be Hunting Season

Because the dogs are wandering around in their deer-offal-stuffed drunken states from the prizes they drag home from the woods and A. is announcing things like this first thing in the morning when he steps outside to get firewood:

 "I feel I should warn you there is a lung on the doorstep."

Thanks for the warning. I'll just stay inside.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Radical at Heart

A couple of weeks ago, I finally read Radical Homemakers, by Shannon Hayes. It came out about five years ago, and I have no idea why I never heard of it, because if ever there were a book that I should read, that one was it. The subtitle is "Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture."

Apparently, I'm a radical homemaker. Who knew?

Not radical in the 80's awesome sense (although that too, OBVIOUSLY), but radical in the sense of changing the world. Except it never occurred to me that disgust with consumerism and making my own sauerkraut had any larger purpose. And if I must be honest, that's not why I do things like make my own sauerkraut. Really, I'm just greedy and homemade tastes better.

But I agreed with a lot of the things in that book. And that one led me to another one entitled Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, by Kelly Coyne and Eric Knutzen.

Again with the radical and the consumer thing.

This book is awesome because it's a book full of instructions for lots of different projects, like making your own soap. Or mustard. Or beer. Or whatever*. This is the reason I currently have a large bunch of sage suspended over the woodstove, drying so I can powder it and mix it with baking soda to brush my teeth. It will no doubt taste disgusting, but sage is apparently good for, in their words, "troubled gums," which I sometimes have, so I figured it can't hurt to try.

Sound weird to you? Then you probably shouldn't read these books. But I think you should. They might make you more radical. In a good way.

* Some of it's way too out there even for me--I don't think I'm going to be composting our, ahem, "humanure" anytime soon--but I appreciate their willingness to share it all.

Monday, November 17, 2014

We Can All Relax Now

Saturday was the first day of rifle season for deer. In other words, the pressure was on for A. to get his deer. I don't know why he feels this pressure, but he does. The family must have meat, after all. *

He got up at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning to drive 45 minutes to public lands up in the hills. Up, where it is colder. A lot colder. It was about 15 degrees, with a snow cover. He stayed out for about three hours and didn't see a single deer, returning shame-faced (and freezing) to answer in the negative when the children asked if he got anything.

After several hours of jittering around, he decided to go back out around 3 p.m. This time he just walked up back onto our neighbor's property and camped out in the gully. He returned around 5 p.m. dragging a very fat doe.

This is pretty much what he did last year, so I think he's getting the idea that if shooting a deer is the objective, there is very little reason to get up in the dark and cold and drive anywhere. Obviously the hunting is better half a mile from our house.


Charlie in particular was excited about this deer, shouting "Hooray, Daddy!" and subjecting the deer to a minute examination. I like to think I encourage scientific curiosity, but it was still pretty gross to see him poking at eyeballs and pulling on the tongue.

Also gross is how surprisingly long a deer's tongue is. Ew.

Anyway again.

So the first deer of the season is now hanging in the barn aging, to be butchered this weekend. Due to my not-very-functional hands at the moment, I will not be participating in the butchering this year. I suggested to A. that he just cut the whole thing up into stew meat and turn it all into a gigantic batch of chili to be frozen.

Is this not how most people go about preparing freezer meals for after the baby is born?

A. has two more tags, meaning he can still take one more doe and a buck. So we could end up with the world's largest supply of chili in our freezer. Works for me.

* Joke. We still have quite a bit of our half cow in the freezer, so I think anemia will be held at bay for awhile yet.