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Ramble with Storm: Cleaning pheasants, baseball, ZipVac & parenting

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

Parenting is like an at-bat in baseball.

If you make contact once in three swings, you have a chance.

Hit safely once in three contacts, you are on the way to the Hall of Fame.

I slapped a double to the gap in left center last night.

After helping a buddy put up a deer stand last night, we had half an hour to go pheasant hunting, and put two birds in the bag.

Another spectacular fall morning. A heavy frost, so heavy there was even an icy fog. I hoped the fog was thick enough to hang hoarfrost on the trees around the town pond, but I couldn't find any.

Just enough cloud wisps again to paint some red in the dawn as the meathead and I stretched out an extended ramble.

Last night, I couldn't get to cleaning the birds until after we came home from youth group. Because of the darkness, I did it inside on newspapers spread around the kitchen.

My wife stumped off and hid upstairs, but the two youngest--our 8-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter--wanted to watch and help.

I debated, worrying them might get grossed out; then decided to take a chance.

Well, what do you think was the first thing they wanted to do? That's right, cut off the heads.

So they did. Then I breasted them out. At first, they kind of left the room, but the oddity of opening the crops intrigued them enough to pull them back. There was something about the corn kernels spilling out that is pretty cool.

I figured if they enjoyed that, they might want to see the heart, gizzard and liver pulled out too. My daughter was so excited she asked to have one of the hearts to eat. So she gets one when I cook them up.

Since they handled seeing the contents of the crops spill out, I decided to slice open a gizzard so they could see how that muscle grinds food down.

Then it was time for the freezer bags. I have the ZipVac system for vacuum-sealing game. The kids just love running the vacuum pumps, both the hand-pulled one and the battery-powered one.

Of course, they often get sidetracked on using the pumps on each other or their clothing.

We finally got the bag sealed. Now, two bone-in pheasant breasts and two hearts are in the freezer.

Finally saw some wildlife back in town. Two flocks of Canada geese flew over a block west of downtown. Just before home, three geese flew lower overhead.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

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1 Comment

Never hesitated in including my daughters on the whole cleaning process. Kids are naturally curious about these things anyway. Had the oldest helping me with fish by the time she was three. The younger would just as soon be a vegetarian, no moral issue, just doesn't like the taste of meat. But she likes to poke around anyway.

I think I got this from helping my mom cook when I was a kid and wanted to pass it on to them. You have to know the whole process, right down to how it all feels and smells before you cook it all up. To this day I get a kick out of making hamburgers. Squish all the ingredients together, let it all ooze out from between your fingers. Mash it into a burger and grill it on up. It's a meal.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 15, 2012 8:01 AM.

Illinois Hunting Report: Deer season was the previous entry in this blog.

WWW Chicago outdoors: Deer & perch, old favorites is the next entry in this blog.

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