I glared at the wine colored flesh of fresh spruce hen laying nonchalantly in the bowl, the breast still attached to the rib cage. To say the least, after attempting to cook authentic French cuisine for almost two hours I was not impressed with having to carve the fowl as well. Digging through the knife drawer all I could find to use was a very dull filet knife that would just have to do the job. Bloodied, with leather handle in fist I followed the breast along the rib cage with as fluid a motion as I could manage. I frowned at my clumsy job, it was disappointing, the terrible look of my mangled meat as it was now bound to ruin the beauty of my meal.
I couldn’t help but think to myself that the French must have a lot more time to prepare their meals then I, staring a bit nervously at the extensive amount of preparation for each of the three dishes I aimed to make. But the excitement of having a new cookbook did not wear off quickly and I set to blanching almonds. I had set my mind to the task of making our spruce hen as tasty as possible, considering its bland tough taste. They were as fresh as meat could be, fetched for the intention of dinner earlier in the day.
There is a certain satisfaction that is obtained when I can prepare the food that was hunted. It makes me feel as though we can mange on our own without the assistance of others. I have been told that I should be ashamed that I have taken the life of such a precious spruce hen or any bird that is brought home for me to prepare. In response I say that at least I know where my fowl is “fetched” from.
Being self sustainable and having the courage and knowledge to humanely harvest an animal and accordingly prepare the meat to be eaten is nothing to be ashamed. It makes me proud to know and admit to the world that my family has the ability to live off the land.
I know where my meat was “fetched” from, I know how it was hunted and how the meat was cared for. I currently know three times more about my meat than what most can say about theirs from any farmers market or grocery store. Thus, I will remain proud with the recognition that my lifestyle is filled with whole food. As for my little friends in the wilderness, run free, run free! At least for now, enjoy your sweet freedom for I will certainly enjoy your sweet flesh.