Dear friends

  • A tasty holiday meal - made from nutria, a South American rodent

    Louisiana Department of Wildlife
 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM HCN

Thanks to all our friends and subscribers for attending HCN’s annual holiday open house on Dec. 7. Thanks also to those who brought a holiday treat.

The HCN staff is taking a much-needed break for two weeks, to bake fruitcake, guzzle eggnog, and celebrate with family and friends. The next issue of HCN will be in your hands around Jan. 23.

FESTIVE RECIPES

In keeping with this issue’s "local food" theme, we’ve dug up some recipes old and new to serve at holiday gatherings. Back in 1970, when High Country News was still Camping News Weekly, the "Mrs. Nimrod’s Cookbook" column, written by Jessie French, explained how to prepare such Western delicacies as dandelion salad and wild turkey tetrazzini. The column got its name, explains HCN founder Tom Bell, from Nimrod, a biblical figure known for his hunting prowess. Here are two favorites:

Antelope Hamburger

        2 lb. lean antelope
        1/2 lb. beef suet
        1 tsp. ground nutmeg
        1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Grind the antelope and the suet together. Mix in the nutmeg and cloves to remove the gamey taste.

Roast Wild Goose with Apricot Stuffing

        1 young wild goose
        juice of 1 lemon
        3 tbl. butter
        1/4 c. chopped onion
        1 c. chopped tart apple
        1 c. chopped dried apricots
        3 c. soft bread crumbs
        4 slices parboiled bacon

Sprinkle goose inside and out with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook onion in butter until tender, stir in apple, apricots, and bread crumbs. Spoon stuffing into goose, close opening with skewers. Cover breast with bacon slices. Roast at 325 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Baste frequently with pan drippings. If age of goose is uncertain, pour 1 c. water into pan and cover during last hour of cooking.

And for those of you living in coastal areas, here’s a way to put a destructive invasive species to a good — and tasty — use. The Sept. 10 issue of New Scientist urges readers to "take on the nutria … with meat grinders and stockpots," and provides this recipe:

Slow-cooked Nutria

        2 hind saddle portions of nutria meat
        1 small onion, sliced thinly
        1 tomato, cut into wedges
        2 potatoes, sliced thinly
        2 carrots, sliced thinly
        8 Brussels sprouts
        1/4 glass white wine
        1 c. water
        2 tsp. chopped garlic

Layer vegetables in slow cooker. Season nutria with salt, pepper and garlic and place on vegetables. Add wine and water, cook on low heat until meat is tender (approximately 1 1/2 hours). Serves four.

Bon appétit!

BRAVO, JUAN BUTRON

The New Mexico Community Foundation and the North American Institute have awarded Juan Butron the third Michael S. Currier Environmental Service Award. Butron, a native of Sonora, Mexico, received the $20,000 award for his efforts to protect a wetland in the Colorado River Delta that’s a major stopover for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds (HCN, 7/3/00: A river resurrected).

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