It’s starting to get hot and this means a change in the way we eat and drink. Stews aren’t made as often because they are too heavy for the hot weather and people need a lighter taste. The good news is that fishing trips are great for the chef and his/her family/friends/etc.
This issue, however, I decided to see what the other side was up to. By this I mean the cowboys. My mom recently returned from a road trip passing through some of the cowboy states in the U.S. and brought me home the All-American Cowboy Cookbook. It has an interesting bunch of recipes that include venison. Whenever I come across a venision recipe I always substitute caribou and it seems to work out just fine. I may include a few of these recipes later on.
Some of the recipes from the Cowboy Cookbook may be slightly modified or I may have added my own comments. The recipes from the All-American Cowboy Cookbook, by Ken Beck and Jim Clark, are used by permission of Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, Tennessee. To order please visit www.rutledgehillpress.com or call 1-800-251-4000 ext. 1485. If that doesn’t work try phoning (615) 902-2482. For those of you’n with an hankering for cowboy grub, The good folks there will be glad to help y’all out.
Strawberry Rum Slush
This is not for everyone. Just for those overgrown parents and friends, who usually look on in envy as the kids enjoy their slushies.
1 (12 oz.) condensed lemonade
1 (16-20 oz.) frozen strawberries (thawed and puréed)
3 c. water with 1 cup fruit sugar dissolved in it
1 c. rum
1. Mix all ingredients (except 7Up) together.
2. Put into freezer safe container and freeze.
3. Scoop slush into glass and add 7 up to fill, mix well and serve.
Tex Maltin’s Cantaloupe Punch
A non-alcoholic one for the road.
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons fruit sugar
Cut the cantaloupe in two. Spoon out seeds.
Now scoop out the cantaloupe and put into blender with 1 1/ 2 cup water and fruit sugar.
Blend on high for 20 seconds.
Pour one cup of water into a pitcher and add the stuff from the blender. Mix well and add nine ice cubes.
Susan’s Broccoli Salad
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup fruit sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 bunches of broccoli cut into small florets
1/2 cup crumbled bacon
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cut into squares
1. At least four hours before mealtime, combine the first three ingredients to make dressing.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour the dressing (see 1) over the salad (see 2) 30 minutes before serving.
Tracy Byrd’s Beer Battered Bass
First you tie a can of beer to a string and wait by the water for the fish to get close to the surface… Just joking. But seriously, this recipe is great. I substituted walleye and nearly died from tastebud overload.
1 can/bottle of beer (I can imagine some of you may want to substitute a non-alcoholic beer but don’t worry if you don’t as the alcohol burns off)
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
4 tablespoons yellow mustard salt and pepper to taste
5 pounds (2 kilos) fish fillets (preferably Bass, but I guess any fish will do)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 packages cornbread mix Vegetable oil or shortening
1. Catch fish or if you can’t then buy some.
2. Mix beer, Tabasco and mustard in a large bowl.
3. Salt and pepper the fillets before coating them with beer batter.
4. Put the cornmeal and cornbread mix in a bag. Put the battered fillets in and shake until they are thoroughly coated.
5. Fry in hot oil (360 degrees) until golden brown
Okie Dokie Sliced Baked Potatoes
These are more than Okie Dokie and something I see both adults and kids liking. I used parsley and chives as the herbs. I also added a little grated Swiss and mozzarella cheese I had left over and they were fantastic.
4 medium potatos 1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, thyme or sage
4 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese 11/4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Peel the potatos if the skin is tough, otherwise just scrub and rinse them.
3. Cut the potatos into thin slices but don’t cut all the way through the potato.
4. Put potatoes in a baking dish and fan out the slices slightly.
5. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with melted butter/marga-rine. Sprinkle on herbs.
6. Put in oven and bake for 50 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheeses.
8. Put back in oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes until lightly browned, cheeses are melted and potatos are soft inside. Check with fork.
It’s kind of corny but…
You know that the early harvest corn is coming but what the best way to cook it? Below you might find a few surprises.
Boiling: The length of cooking time depends on the freshness of the corn. If the corn is young, fresh and tender (picked that morning for you lucky mothers and fathers who live near a farmer), remove the husks and cook for two minutes maximum in rapidly boiling unsalted water (salt makes the kernels tough. That one surprised me tool). And forget the sugar, the corn should be sweet enough. If the corn is a bit older or has been refrigerated, boil it for 4 minutes.
Microwave: Best for cooking only one or two ears of corn. Cook with husks off at the highest setting (one ear for 2 minutes, two ears for 5). Rub ears with butter or olive oil before cooking, if desired. I prefer to spray mine lightly with cold pressed virgin olive oil. Yum Yum.
Roasting on the grill: Husks on or off, there’s really no need to soak the ears or remove the silks (they’ll come off with the husk). Place on hot grill. If husks are on, let them char a bit to impart a wonderfully smoky flavor to the corn and grill six to eight minutes. Or remove husks for beautiful colour and taste (the heat caramelizes the sugar in the corn) and grill for 3 minutes.
Roasting in the oven: Set temperature to 450 degrees and roast six to eight minutes with husk on. If you desire seasoning, first pull back the husk, rub with flavored butter or olive oil and pull the husks back over the tops.
Burning down the house
It’s the last thing you want to do when barbecuing. Remember if you own a gas grill to check all the connections to see there are no leaks.
If you are unsure of anything ask either your local fire department or take a dish of soapy water and bath all the connections and hoses. Bubbles will form if there is a leak. Replace whatever is wrong. One can never be too safe. What may be common sense to some is news to others so if you see your neighbour doing something you consider stupid like pouring BBQ fluid on live coals have a talk with the lad about safety.
Position the grill on level ground. An unstable grill could fall or tip; make sure the legs and frame are not rusted or bent.
The grills should not be under a balcony or deck; smoke or heat build-up is hazardous. If the balcony or deck is wood, a spark or grill flare-up of fumes can ignite.
When cooking on a grill or hearth, keep fire extinguishers handy. It can be water from a bucket or garden hose will stamp out that charcoal. A commercial fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand will extinguish most gas grill fires, and baking soda controls grease fires.
One last safety tip is that an extinguished grill remains hot for several hours. Keep children away from the grill and don’t attempt to move it until the grill is no longer warm.
You still have to deal with the ants but..
You’re planning a quick shore lunch or a family picnic and as usual you’ve forgotten something. Well change that with a little pre-planning and you’ll come out ahead. Here are a few ideas that’ll help.
Cook all cold-meat dishes the night before then place them in the refrigerator. For hot-meat dishes, marinate them in the refrigerator the night before, and cook them picnic morning.
Cut meats, vegetables, fruit, and cakes, wrap in plastic, put in zip locks or store in plastic containers.
Wash and cut salad ingredients, make dressings, keep in refrigerator. Toss together before leaving the next day.
Make tea, lemonade, or other mixed drinks the night before. If you know that you’ll need some for the late afternoon or evening freeze one of the drinks so it’ll be cold when you get to it. You can always take it out of the cooler if it isn’t thawing fast enough to suit you but in the meantime it’ll help keep your perishable cool.
Check the ice and ice pack supply. Fill extra ice trays or freeze more packs if you expect it to be a scorcher. Another idea is to fill a plastic bottle (i.e., a one-litre pop bottle) and freeze that. It’s cheap and you can drink it later.
Go over the picnic-pack list. Bring out the cooler, utensils, and thermoses and clean them.
For those who need a laugh
Great truths about life little children have learnt:
1) No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your three-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandpa’s lap.
Great truths about life adults have learnt:
1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don’t hurt.
3) Families are like fudge .. .mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fibre, not the joy.
Great truths about growing old:
1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.
4) It’s frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
5) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.