Nothing packaged, nothing in a box, nothing wrapped in plastic.
When you think of hunters, no doubt visions of the bearded, raving, wild-haired Duck Dynasty clan come quickly to mind.Or maybe some of the swaggering, macho types crashing through the underbrush on reality TV or You Tube videos. A former newspaper reporter who covered California politics from the state's capital in Sacramento, he'd grown up with a mom who showed him how to find and eat the beach peas, sea rocket and clams that grew in or near the waters around the small town of his youth, and a dad and step-dad who loved to fish.Almost all guys, almost all promoting an over-testosteroned, libido-driven, "conquering nature" mien. He also began to hunt, and to write about the wild things and the wilderness for various publications and for his own blog, which was around the time our paths crossed.Here's how he sums up his mission: "Honest food is what I seek."I feel a deep kinship with the animals I hunt; most hunters do.
We get to know them in a far deeper way than all but a few other sorts of human: We know their personalities, their foibles, their habits.
Where they like to live, what they like to eat, and what they might do in any given situation.
Eating locally and making good food from scratch is what I do." Hank's first book, Hunt Gather Cook, was about his own evolution from forager and eater to the person he describes above, with sections on each of the three activities in the title.
Duck Duck Goose, his second book, was about hunting the waterfowl that live in our waterways and populate the skies above us, as well as how to cook them from beak to tail feathers, to paraphrase the au courant nose-to-tail style of eating.
As a non-hunter myself, but someone who cares very much about food and cooking, I find his writing and storytelling, not to mention his recipes, engaging, compelling and approachable.
His latest, Buck Buck Moose, is just what it says in the subtitle: recipes and techniques for cooking deer, elk, moose, antelope and "other antlered things." It's no surprise that I appreciate the sense of humor in that title, as well as Hank's meditations on what it means to take a life in order to sustain your own.