I love to cook, especially things I have caught, killed or grown. Mama was a fantastic cook, making big meals every day on the farm for daddy, my brother and me and three or four farm workers. She taught me to cook like her, country farm cooking, and used to laughingly say I needed to learn to cook since I would never find a woman to cook for me.
She was wrong in that, Linda is a great cook, but she really does not like to, so I do most of the cooking at home. We set that routine when, in our first year of marriage, Linda taught school while I finished my last year at UGA. She got home late and I was home early every day, much less tired than her, so I did the cooking.
I have cooked most anything I could catch or kill over the years. While in college I shot a raccoon and cooked it for dinner. I thought BBQed coon was good but Linda not so much. The same for a beaver I cooked a few years ago. I will never do that again, not because it did not taste good to me, but because it was the most difficult animal I have ever tried to skin.
Gar taste good but are hard to clean, you start with tin snips. Carp and shiners are ok if you like a mouth full of bones in every bite. I have at least ten ways to cook bass filets, from fried to nuked with picante sauce to baked with wine and cheese sauce, and like them all.
I cook a lot of venison. Each day I get recipes in email from Taste of Home magazine and try many of them. Some are great and I cook them often, others are ok but either a lot of trouble or not a favorite. They are usually one hit wonders.
In the past few weeks I have cooked Bobotie, a South African dish that has ground meat. It falls into the second category in two ways, it is difficult to cook and has a flavor that is just ok. It is the sweet spices in it, tamarind and raisins, that remind me of the pigeon pie with cinnamon and raisins I had in Marrakech, Morocco. Sweet meat is not that good to me.
Others in the first category include cabbage roll casserole, a simple way to make cabbage rolls if you do not like rolling the leaves. It is a one dish meal, just add a little cornbread. That is a great meal when camping – just heat a bowl of leftovers in the microwave.
Asian noodle casserole is very simple, with ground meat, ramen noodles and a bag of broccoli stir fry veggies. Another one dish meal. Roast in the crockpot with ranch and au jus dressing is delicious and very simple.
I use the crock pot a lot for everything from venison steak with peppers and onions or mushroom soup to venison stew meat with BBQ sauce. It is a simple way to cook and keeps venison moist.
On fishing trips, most guys stay in motels and eat in restaurants, but I much prefer camping and grilling. Venison is too dry to grill, so I always do chicken, steak and pork chops on the grill, and am usually done eating before the guys in the restaurant can get their order.
I never order steak when I do go out – I have not found one that taste as good as what I grill. I try to find fried scallops, my favorite, and I have never been able to cook them just right at home.
I’m hungry, I am going to cook something.