Girl Hunter by Georgia Pellegrini

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Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time by Georgia Pellegrini was the September Kitchen Reader selection and was chosen by me.

The concept of this book is fascinating: is it “truly possible today to live off the best your hands can produce. Is it possible to eat only the meat that you kill? And is that kind of kill more humane than the rest of it?”  Based on this description, I hoped that Girl Hunter would be the more meat-focused counterpart to one of my favorite books, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  Every time I read even a portion of Kingsolver’s book, I come away inspired to plant something new in the Savvy Garden, to freeze some more vegetables for winter or to visit the co-op for new local ingredients.  Would Girl Hunter inspire me to learn to hunt, or at least to get a little closer to where our meat comes from?

I eagerly followed along as Pellegrini moved across the country (and occasionally across the ocean) hunting turkey, then dove, then javelina and so on.  I shared her unease about her elk hunt host, and cheered when she finally got her wished-for chukar.  But each chapter read more as its own installment or story, rather than a part of a larger whole, making it difficult for me to parse whether or not it is actually possible to live off only what you can produce and hunt yourself.  For the premise stated in the introduction to the book, I would have rather seen Pellegrini settle in a single location and try to eat only the meat that she hunted herself.  Would she find enough variety to keep herself from getting tired of her meal choices? There was mention of using all the edible parts of the animals, but how would she do it? 

Despite the incongruity between the goal and the actual content of the book, this memoir was well-written, just like Georgia’s blog, of which I am a regular reader.  The recipes look interesting and diverse, and offer suggestions of other meat that could be substituted for the non-hunting readers who may not have access to wild game.

 

Overall, I give this memoir 3 stars out of 5.

More of my book reviews can be found here.

Pear Salsa and Fall Fruit Sangria

Fall Fruit Sangria

My favorite place to spend an afternoon is a U-Pick farm, gathering fruit and vegetables and enjoying the upstate New York views. I have a spreadsheet in my head of which farms have what and when and how much they charge.

For strawberries, I split my time between the tidy organization of Brookside Berry Farm and the wide selection at Silver Queen Farm. Grisamore Farms has the most beautiful cherries (except for this year when everyone’s crop got wiped out) and the juiciest blueberries, though I’ll occasionally spread the love and go to Farmer’s Choice Blueberries. Grisamore and Littletree Orchards are where I get bushels of apples, and I get pears and even more apples at Indian Creek Farm.

Indian Creek is closest to me, and I love that they offer U-Pick-nearly-anything: peaches, pears, apples, raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, even flowers.  For $3, I can have two vases of beautiful zinnias in the house every week.  If I’m already at Indian Creek for Orchard Ambrosia (the best apple and pear cider) or vegetables, which happens about once every 10 days, I may pick a quart of raspberries. If not, I head back up to Silver Queen to snag both golden and red raspberries for fairly cheap.

Between the Savvy Garden, Ithaca Farmers’ Market and U-Pick farms, we are never at a loss for fresh produce spring through autumn.  I do my best to make the most of it with a mix of recipes to eat right now and some to save to later.  This week, we’re sipping some fall fruit sangria.  This winter, we’ll have five pints of pear salsa to add a little fall flavor back into our meals.

Fall Fruit Sangria 2

Fall Fruit Sangria

Prep Time: 5 minutes

5 minutes

Yield: 12

Fall Fruit Sangria

This sangria is best when made in advance. Cover and refrigerate this sangria for at least 3 hours so that the flavors meld completely.

Ingredients

  • 2 small apples
  • 2 Bartlett pears
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 750 mL bottle dry white wine
  • 1 750 mL bottle hard cider (I used Bellwether Cider)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
http://www.savvyeat.com/the-little-things-62-and-fall-recipes/

Pear Salsa
Pear Salsa

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 5 pints

Pear Salsa

Without the traditional tomatoes and cilantro, this salsa is best suited for serving with chicken or pork.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds Bartlett pears
  • 3 bell peppers

Instructions

  1. Prepare for canning. Wash the jars and flat lids with hot, soapy water. Put the jars in the canning pot and fill the pot with hot water. Heat over medium-high heat to keep the jars hot. Place the lids in a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Whisk the vinegar, honey, salt, mustard, allspice and black pepper in a large stockpot. Core and dice the pears, tossing the pieces into the vinegar as you chop so that they don't brown.
  3. Core and dice the bell peppers and add them to the vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Move some of the boiling water from the canning pot into the heat-proof bowl containing the lids. Line the hot jars up on a folded towel, then pour the water out of the heat-proof bowl and off the lids.
  5. Fill the jars with pears and peppers up to 1/2” below the rim, then top with the liquid from the pot. Slide a chopstick around the inside edges of each jar to get rid of any air bubbles, then adjust the amount of liquid so that there is still 1/2" headspace below the rim.
  6. Use a clean towel to wipe any salsa off the rims, then top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring. Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes. Place the jars on a folded towel and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.
http://www.savvyeat.com/the-little-things-62-and-fall-recipes/