This may not be considered the most ďwoodsyĒ column
I have turned out recently, but it seems to be one of the most useful,
especially as it applies to preparing wild game and fish for the table.
Itís a good garnish for meat or fish dishes, or just as a side dish. I
even use it alone as a snack.
Cook the meat--the kind of your choice--and ditto
the manner. But use the following veggie concoction as a garnish, or a
With a pinch or two of brown sugar while it is
cooking, and ice cream or sweet cream after the fact and it becomes a yummy
and very healthy dessert.
After thinking of this application of cabbage--and
other vegetables--for some time, I decided to put my culinary skills to
the test. With a no-stick skillet (with a lid), I first put in the skillet
a glob of olive oil as large as two silver dollars and an ounce of tap
water. To that I added two cups of shredded cabbage (pieces the size of
my finger), and half-a-cup each of sliced onion, cooking-apple slices,
celery chunks, and wild mushrooms (any edible species).
A smattering of green or red pepper adds color.
Salt and pepper to taste, and if you are planning it for dessert, add two
thumb and forefinger pinches of brown sugar. Actually just about any veggie
will find a nice niche in this dish. Save an ounce of sweet wine for the
last stage of cooking.
Keep it covered--except for an occasional stirring--and
allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. Then remove cover to allow moisture
to escape. At this point the olive oil takes over, but most of the veggies
are tender. Stir in one ounce of sweet wine (any wine will work). When
the wine has gone up in steam, it is time to dine. If you want to garn
the garnish, sprinkle your dish with a few pinches of shredded cheddar
or dust it with Parmesan cheese.
Nature smiled on me again as this column took shape on my computer screen
in the form of a male (in breeding plumage) scarlet
tanager, only the second of my life. Beauty . . . sheer beauty . .
. with fire engine red head and body contrasting to midnight -black wings
We donít see a lot of tanagers in Indiana. I presumed
that the bird was migrating to some far-flung northern oak-pine woods although
we have our fair share of this habitat. My thoughts on the bird (Piranga
olivecea) are undoubtedly shaped by the only other sighting of this
bird several years ago while morel hunting in Boone County.
Whatever, wherever and whenever, the sighting
was plain, unadulterated joy.
MORE ON BIRDS--Elsewhere
with the birds, I have recently found what I believe to be the large, stick
nest of a pair of red-tailed
hawks. I have not had the right kind of camera lens for a picture--nor
have I had a good look at the birds--but the size of the nest (well over
30 inches in diameter), and its location (high in a hickory tree) has the
earmarks of a red-tail. With some luck we will see.
In yet another chapter of the bird book, a pair
of red-tails has been on the nest for some two weeks on the densely wooded
banks across the river, but I have been unable to find the nest.
be alarmed if you are seeing yellow outdoors these days. It is only the
most headed for the northlands for a round of nesting. You donít have to
have names and identities for most of them--just look and enjoy their beauty
and song. Right now the yellow tail-spotted birds seen to dominate, but
donít be surprised at anything you see. Just be grateful.