Friday, October 28, 2011

Jerky Man

Look it's Davy Crockett! Oh no wait, that's just my brother in a coon skin cap. Okay, he hasn't donned the coon hat since childhood (that I know of), but he is inching mighty close to owning the title "King of the wild frontier." After recently killing, field dressing and butchering a few antelope, Ben discovered the art of jerky. I might say he's become obsessed. As with anything this raw and pure in its interconnection to survival based on the rugged offerings of mother nature, Ben has rekindled the primal delights of intimately knowing his food. And it hasn't stopped at antelope. He has since dry rubbed and cured thin slices of all types of wild flesh, including goose and turkey.
I was lucky enough to see him for a brief visit recently, and like a fine guest, he came bearing gifts in the form of dried and perfectly spiced wild game taken down with his own hands from the plentiful mountains of Colorado's remaining wilderness. I was proud and utterly impressed with his new found culinary arousal. The jerky is good. Real good. Presented with three types: antelope two ways and goose, I honestly cannot figure out which is my favorite. The antelope has a grassy undertone due to a strict diet of prairie grasses. The goose is dark in color and has a hint of iron. Delicious.
Rehydrating the strips with eager mouth juices reconnects us with kin of centuries past. This type of food sustained humans from the earliest times, and continues to do so today thanks to the efforts and unearthed passion of someone whom I am honored to call blood as we chew on tradition, food obsession and sense-of-place in each flavorful, leathery strip.

Ben enjoying a piece of his goose jerky

Napping babies like jerky too.

Ben talking about jerky and his smokehouse construction plans

The End.

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