Where the Buck Really Stops

deer rug

The rest of him lives in the freezer.

With all this talk about local eating, 'food-miles,' and carbon footprints, this cook can't help but look inward and reexamine his own habits. It turns out I've got some nasty ones. I drink two cups of coffee each morning. Coffee is not grown anywhere near New York. I'm known to have a dram of Scotch after dinner. West Coast oysters are my bivalves of choice. I cook most things in olive oil and I love-love-love French cheese. If there were a Betty Ford Locavore Clinic, I would have a lot of 12-stepping to do. (A note to the good people at Betty Ford: the name Mayo Clinic has already been taken, but you might think along those lines.)

Lucky me, I've got one saving grace: My meat comes from close by. I know this for a fact because my freezer is full of a wild animal that I shot and killed last week.

Whitetail deer are ruminants, meaning they have more than one stomach to help them digest things like acorns, mushrooms, and grass. That makes them closer relatives to cows than horses, but by the way they reproduce you might guess they're in the rabbit family. The Knauer farm was crawling with them as my uncle and I climbed trees in the dark and waited for morning light. There was venison to be had.

Back in the kitchen the meat was tender and juicy at medium rare. A quick sauté of wild mushrooms in butter completed the perfect local meal.

Ok, the wine was from California, but we're taking baby steps here.

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