Monday, October 05, 2015

Hank Shaw's Guide to Cooking "Antlered Things"

On a weekend at the beach I started reading Hank Shaw's first book, Hunt, Gather, Cook, and was moved to write this:

"After reading the first couple of chapters, my usual single-minded march to the beach turned into a completely different experience. I slowed down and started scanning those patches of green with different eyes, wondering what that blooming shrub might be, whether its bell-shaped blossoms would turn into berries in the next few weeks and if they might be edible. What would I make with them?"

Yes, I'd foraged mushrooms and knew the names of a few edible plants, but Hank's way of writing about the landscape made it come alive in a way that I hadn't experienced before. And that's what makes his new book on hunting and cooking "deer, elk antelope, moose and other antlered things" so intriguing. You see, I'm not a hunter. But I have been gifted with a few care packages of venison in my day, and I know that Hank's advice on pulling the maximum amount of flavor from the meat, while not burying it under a mound of cheffy acrobatics, is going to make that next gift package—hint, hint, all you hunters—a meal to remember.

And even if those care packages are few and far between (sniff!) I know I'll gain a unique perspective I'd never get any other way, from a humane, thoughtful and, to my mind, incomparable writer on the natural world. So watch the video above if you care to, but please consider a donation to make this book a reality. You'll be supporting a great cook and writer in his effort to teach people more about their food and where it comes from, a mission I can totally get behind.

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Update from Hank:

Floored. Astonished. Gobsmacked. In less than 13 hours, we made our initial goal - the one that determines whether Buck, Buck, Moose will live or die. Not sure if we set a Kickstarter speed record, but it must be close. I am not an emotional man, but I gotta say I am genuinely choked up at the outpouring of support for Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and this venison cookbook.

Your efforts are a loud and forceful message to anyone who cares to listen about where the real priorities of North American hunters lie: Our trophies are at the table. Food is why we hunt, and your support of this book can be no louder affirmation of that fact. I salute you.

Now what?

The initial $30,000 goal makes Buck, Buck, Moose a reality. Every dollar spent beyond that goal helps us print more books, pay our subcontractors, save money for a second print run and to market the book when it comes out - without a big-name publisher to do that, we're on our own. And PR ain't cheap.

Finally, if we do really well, I'll squirrel away some cash to fund my book tour, which will start around Labor Day 2016. Every dollar chipped in now allows me to come to your town when the book is released next year. Visiting you was the highlight of my tour for Duck, Duck, Goose. Let me do it one more time!

So keep spreading the word. There are more than 14 million deer hunters in the US and Canada. We have a long road ahead of us to reach them. But it all starts with you telling your deer-hunting friends about Buck, Buck, Moose.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

~ Hank

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