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When I was a little girl, one day I came home from kindergarten after learning about the pilgrims and asked my dad if I could join him on the hunt for our Thanksgiving turkey that year. I vaguely remember a friendly chuckle and an explanation that the hunt would only require a short drive and a shopping cart. It seemed a normal conclusion on my part since camouflage and guns were a regular part of the landscape in our neck of the woods.
Over time I came to understand that what was once a way to procure food, deter damage to fields and crops, or even as protection, had grown into more of a sport for many. It was good to see some using the game for culinary purposes and even donating large amounts of meat to local food banks, but what I watched play out on the sides of the highways, more oft than not, were the big boys, with their camo-clad big toys flexing their testosterone for claim to a mount to proudly display over their fireplace.
Many years later when my son was kindergarten age, he asked if he could go deer hunting. I told him that if he wanted to hunt, he should be ready and willing to eat what he killed, because it wasn’t a game. He thought for a minute and then replied, “Can we go chicken hunting?” Yeah, we laughed, but I felt that the harvest should be used for more than just a good story to tell others about. But to be honest, the game that I had tasted up to that point was less than palatable.
So when I learned my friend, chef and author, Georgia Pellegrini was a hunter I was intrigued.
Someone with the culinary know-how to take food from field and stream, to the plate with flavor?
And a girl?
What a most perfect combination.
And now, Georgia has a new book called Girl Hunter, full of stories from some of her hunting outings. I was locked in, from start to finish. So was my husband. Georgia has a splendid way with words, and makes you feel like you’re sitting right next to her freezing your tookus off in a duck blind. She shares her thoughts from the field, along with recipes, and how to prepare a variety of game, all the while, weaving throughout the book the relationship between food and our responsibility regarding it.
“I will know while I eat. I will know how it all went down. And I still think that is better. Because it makes me a more conscious chef, a more careful hunter, and a more awake human being.”
I get it.
And while there will be no chicken hunting in these parts, I am hoping to one day (sooner than later) hunt my own turkey for our Thanksgiving table with no grocery carts involved.
Meet the Girl Hunter herself, Georgia Pellegrini in this video…
Video created by Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple.
Kinda makes you wanna grab a shotgun and a skillet, and get to cooking huh?
Girl Hunter would make a perfect gift, and not just for the hunters in your life. It’s certainly is on my gift giving list this year. I think you’ll enjoy it too. For availability, be sure to check your local bookseller or order online.
Merry Christmas y’all! xoxoxoxo