I could just make out the silhouette of her carrying the goose decoys as the sun was setting in a brilliant display behind the tree line.
I couldn’t have been more proud of her.
Final bucket list item of 2019 checked, and, just in the nick of time for the New Year!
Well, to be completely honest this was not just a bucket list item for the past year, but rather for the past 20 years!
I TOOK MY WIFE, CHRISTINA, HUNTING . . .
FOR. THE. FIRST. TIME.
It may surprise you to learn that Christina has never been hunting. In fact, when we got married she was actually a vegetarian!
It has been a long, winding road to get to where we are now in our approach to food, diet, and health and we have learned a lot from one another along the way. I firmly believe that we are at a powerful place now in our current approach to nourishing our family, and we are continuing to learn more every day. It is important for us to share all aspects of this journey with you – both successes and struggles. After all, I believe we are all searching for the same thing – to find the safest, most nourishing, ethical and sustainable way to nourish ourselves, our families, our communities and the world and the quickest way to get there is to be real and genuine . . . so yes, the Mother of the Modern Stone Age Family just experienced her first hunt and butchered her first animal.
Finally getting Christina dressed up in camo and out into the field began about a month ago when my son, Billy, asked if he could give Christina “a hunting experience” for a Christmas gift. Before the entire question left his lips, I knew it was a great idea.
After all, she couldn’t say no to her son, on Christmas of all days, could she?
Billy and I both wanted this first hunting experience for Christina to be as positive as possible and we figured that a goose hunt would be the best option. So, Billy contacted his buddy Frank and after explaining what we were looking for and Frank, his brother Hunter, and his father Dave agreed to take the three of us out a few days after Christmas. The three Kelly guys are amazing goose hunting guides and Billy and I both knew that they could offer a more successful hunt for Christina than we could alone.
THIS WAS THE CHANCE, AND I KNEW IT!
It has been an incredibly long process; it has taken me over 20 years to fully share my views on the nourishing, ethical and sustainable elements of animal based diets with Christina.
In fact, many of my views on all of this have been shaped over the past twenty years learning as much as I could from all possible sources – from the archaeological record to indigenous groups around the world to innovative chefs in some of the top kitchens – to not only convince her but also to convince me that with the right approach an animal based diet can truly be the safest, most nutrient dense, bioavailable, delicious, satiating, sustainable, ethical and connected diet on the planet! ALL of this is even more true if you are sourcing ethically; butchering, cooking, and eating fully nose-to-tail; and are a part of the process as much as humanly possible given the constraints and opportunities of today’s modern life.
Christina is fully on-board with all of this and over the past 20 years, she has gone through most of the steps that anyone transitioning from a plant-based diet to an animal-based diet does – adding chicken, then fish, then hamburgers and bacon. Eventually she was more comfortable adding wild game and offal (organ meats). This is where we are now and I am thrilled to be able to nourish her and my family with these incredible foods that are more often than not killed and/or butchered by my or Billy.
However, I have not been able to share with her the more visceral, spiritual, and powerful connection that comes being a part of the entire process from start to finish – what I refer to as a soul-authored experience.
That is, until now . . . if Billy could organize the hunt I knew Christina would go – this was my chance to introduce her, for the first time, to hunting and the mix of emotions that go with it. These emotions are completely natural and integral part of the human experience. However, so few of us have the opportunity to work through the full range of them!
- Beginning with the excitement of the hunt,
- followed by the sense of accomplishment yet sadness and appreciation for the loss of life at your hands;
- then the sense of respect, responsibility and obligation by gutting and butchering in a manner that makes the absolute most of the animal and,
- finally, a sense of satisfaction of nourishing yourself and your family with what you have prepared and shared at your table.
This is natural.
This is beautiful.
This is what eating like a human is all about.
That is what I wanted to share with Christina, and this was my chance.
Everything went great.
It was a gorgeous evening (in fact, too nice out for goose hunting).
Christina helped set out the decoys, participated in the typical banter in the goose blind and we limited out just before dark.
ANOTHER FIRST – BUTCHERING!
Although we process our own animals at home, I wanted to give Christina the full experience of taking these birds to a local processor to get plucked. Then, we finished the processing at home where she participated in everything from cleaning the gizzards to butchering the carcasses.
FULL CIRCLE IN LESS THAN A WEEK!
Last night was New Year’s Eve and we completed the circle by serve goose liver pate with sourdough rye bread crisps, corned gizzard over lacto-fermented sauerkraut, and Italian sausage made from goose hearts and meat scraps leftover from butchering the on the wood-fired pizzas to not only our family but to the Kelly family too! The Kelly’s even brought smoked goose breasts wrapped in bacon and goose meat balls to compliment the feast! We will have to wait for the jerky and goose breast prosciutto and goose leg confit for a few days longer until they are ready!!!
Flip through the pictures below to see what we made!
RECONNECTING WITH OUR FOOD AT THIS LEVEL IS SO POWERFUL
AND WHAT IS MISSING IN OUR MODERN FOOD SYSTEM.
Thinking about the power of this sort of connection got me excited about the opportunities for you to take that next step and fill your health journey with similarly powerful experiences in the New Year – that is exactly why I wanted to share this story with you!
And, you don’t have to be in a goose blind to do it 😉
Every step you take to insert yourself closer to the source of your food in your own lives is a powerful one!
Learning to cook your favorite foods from scratch, butchering at home, and even foraging in your backyard are all significant steps that can empower you to take back control of your diet and eat like a human again!
Let 2020 be the year that you connect with your food on an entirely new level!
There are so many possibilities and we are excited to help you!