Monday, November 14, 2011

Carcass Soup

(Warning: This post contains harvesting images that may be disturbing to some. If you are squeamish and don’t like seeing fluffy animals  all covered in blood as a result of a well placed headshot, you’d better move onto this entry where there are some photos of some very cute puppies.  But heck if you’re going to eat meat, you might as well face it sooner or later that a living creature had to die because you wanted to have a hamburger. At least the creatures in these photos had a life frolicking about the land, free from factory farms and didn’t have a clue what corn-based food pellets tastes like. Anyways, 'salad' is just a nice way of saying ‘vegetable massacre’.)

There are still plenty of  critters are still out there, however the odd storm event mades it tricky to catch anything but frostbite.  Kevin caught some really swell photos along with dinner.

wolf paws compared to husband`s gorilla paw
There were a number of wolves and other big fluffies other there this week. Kevin even saw woodland caribou and a moose cow with two newbies.

I don’t know who’s going to break it to the children of Inuvik but next year’s Easter Egg Hunt may have to be cancelled due to the lack of Easter Egg delivery bunnies thanks to dear, dashingly handsome, darling husband. Apparently he has a vendetta against the bunny tribe.

Most of these went to his grandmother who is actively encouraging this vendetta. 

It was a crazy whirlwind long weekend for me (as if there is such a thing as a calm, quiet long weekend around here :P )

I made ‘Carcass Soup’ to sustain us through this chilly weekend. (Recipe below.) Carcass Soup is my response to folks that tell me that the only parts worth eating on a upland bird is the breast meat and that there`s not enough meat on the rest of the bird to be worth the effort.
Seven Hells! If you`re gonna snuff out a creature`s light with you`re own two hands, you do it the courtesy of using as much of the creature as possible. I have an army of elders to back me up on this one.
I will admit, it`s a pain to be dealing with the tiny slivers of tendons that are found in the drumstick but there are ways around it .Carcass Soup is one easy way of seperating the meat from the bones for small birds.  The basic premise is to simmer it until the meat falls off the bones.  The tendons just slip right out.
Check out this video showing a slick trick for removing tendons from game birds.

A good chunk of this weekend was spent getting ready for the Great Northern Arts Festival Christmas Craft Fair (November 25-27th at MSRC). Yes, it`s that time already. I`ve rented a table to sell my handspun and hand-dyed yarns. My house looks like a muppet slaughterhouse with a gzillion skeins of newly dyed yarn hanging all over the place to dry.

The rest of my weekend was spent playing outside. Whee! My friends and I, with a pack of dogs in tow, went for a ski along the East Channel just outside of town.  There was just enough snow on the river to make for good skiing. There weren`t many skidoo trails and so there was a quite a bit of trailbreaking involved. The fun ended when I broke a ski in an attempt to  gain higher ground which sucks musk ox balls.  I hobbled back with my transverse fractured ski and a long face. However, it`s next to impossible to be too sad for long when you have these two running around you:

Afterwards, my friends and I had a big doggie biscuit baking afternoon. We had volunteered to bake dog cookies for the SPCA`s craft fair table. We made liver biscotti, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal and molasses treats and cheesy biscuits. Conservatively, I think we made over 1000 cookies.

The doggie biscuit baking crew

This week started off with a sharp cold slap to the face.  It was around -30C this morning when I trudged off to work. I walked home for lunch and arrived looking like this from my 15 minute walk from the office:
armed with beaver mitts

Frost tipped eyelashes! No winter outfit is complete without this icy bling.
Have a great week!

Carcass Soup

3-4 ptarmigan or grouse skinned carcasses (basically everything but the breasts)
water, stock, wine
couple bunchs of spinach, kale or chard (shredded) or 1 box of frozen spinach (thawed)
1 can of white kidney beans or whatever bean you feel like

  • Dump the birds into a crockpot. Top with water or stock or wine or any combination of the three.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until the meat begins to fall off the bone.
  • Remove the bird from the broth and set aside to cool.
  • Dump in the other ingredients.
  • Shred the meat off the bones. Careful to slip all the tendons out of the drumstick meat. You should get about 2 cups or more of meat.
  • Return meat to the soup. Let simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Serve.
This is a basic broth. You can add all the culinary bells and whistles. I added some red chili flakes and a couple shots of soy sauce. I wanted to taste the bird and the greens.  The beans provided some earthiness to the soup. Simple and tasty!

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