FaceBook’s an interesting place these days. It’s funny because you can start a conversation with just one sentence and 5 minutes later literally people from all over the world are joining in with their opinions on what got said. Here in Arkansas we just recently wrapped up deer season . We live in LA ( Lower Arkansas) 🙂 and hunting and fishing is a way of life for a large majority of people here. In my family it goes back so many generations it is even traced in our family’s surnames. My maiden name WAS DEER. My husband’s name is WOODS. So quite literally it is in our blood. When I was barely big enough to walk my Daddy would put me in a sleeping bag and tote me into the woods, , prop me up against a tree, and let me sleep while he waited for the deer or squirrel to come by. I didn’t realize at the time , we didn’t just do this for fun, we ate wild meat like rabbit, deer, squirrel, because it was cheap, and we were not just the richest people in the world. The funny thing is we ate so well we never noticed. But back to FaceBook. We got into a conversation about the “RIGHT” way to prepare deer meat. Practically everyone said you must, you just simply MUST skin and soak the deer meat in ice and salt water for several days before pounding it tender and thin and cooking it. Well, my husband , myself and my family had NEVER heard of such a thing! My husband can clean and skin a deer faster than just about any person I’ve ever seen . He makes those fellas in the butcher shops look like amateurs, lol. But he’s had lots of practice. When he gets a deer and hangs it to butcher , he skins it, and quarters up the tenderloins . Then I’m cutting it up in the kitchen , pounding it flat, salting and peppering it, putting a little flour on it, and frying it thin and crispy . Pour a little milk, flour, and salt back in the pan, and stir. Making the thickest creamiest white gravy you ‘ve ever seen. Just the way my Daddy used to do it. So not only does it taste out of this world, to eat it reminds me of sitting next to that old oak in my sleeping bag, waiting for Daddy to say, “I got one. We can go now.” So many memories. Food for thought. Food for the body. Food for my soul.
I’ve noticed something lately. My husband and I really like to watch cooking shows. Good Eats. Everyday Italian with Giada di Laurentiis , Mario Batali, and so forth. They cook all these wonderful looking meals and make it look so easy. Now to flash back and connect this story and help it make sense , my Daddy and I used to love to watch Norm Abram on PBS on the New Yankee Workshop , and he used to make this beautiful furniture, with all this lovely wood , book shelves, and cabinets.
And I got to thinking, Giada , and Mario and Alton have hundred thousand dollar kitchens , with many hundreds of dollars of cooking equipment, blenders, food processors, high dollar ovens, with grills, and refrigerators and freezers to keep the organically grown food at just the right temperatures. They have people on their teams who go out and shop the day of the show at the fresh fish markets, and herb shops , just to make sure that their dishes turn out magazine perfect every single time.
I’m just a home cook, I have the basics. A regular stove. A regular blender. Walmart supplies my choices of vegetables. I can’t run to the fish market and get fresh flounder. I feed my family on our old family recipes. I don’t have people that run to town every day to buy cilantro. I’m a really good cook actually, “So my husband jokes, ‘Imagine what you could cook if you had access to all the stuff that the celebrity chefs had access to?’
Now we turn to Norm in his Yankee Workshop. With his hundreds of thousands of sophisticated wood working equipment, laser guided saws, lathes, biscuit cutters, scrollwork machines. Access to thousands of dollars of exotic woods, ebony, olive, woods I have never even heard of .
Now my Dad is a carpenter and he can build beautiful cabinets , and shelves and boxes. He doesn’t have access to any of those things,so we used to make the joke while watching Norm, “Wow, Daddy , what could you build if you had all that REAL carpenter equipment?”
So you kind of have to wonder , how much of that on television is the person’s actual skill, and how much of it is the equipment, personnel help, materials, and other things that they are given access to? If all they had was the kinds of things that the common person had in their fridge or garage , what kind of product could they turn out then?