Hits and Misses

Hits and Misses

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Girl Hunter, by Georgia Pellegrini

Georgia Pellegrini's Girl Hunter:  Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time (Da Capo, 2011) recounts a year's road trip devoted to eating only the meat that she herself had hunted and killed.  She is quite clear that her path may not be for everyone:  when people tell her that they don't think they could hunt, she tells them, "If you want to feel what it is like to be human again, you should hunt, even if just once."  Her reason?  The understanding of that experience will change how you interact with the world and thus affect who you are and what you eat.

Pellegrini's purpose, in short, was to discover what it means to be a responsible, ethical omnivore in today's world.  To this end, abetted by friends and their friends, she learns how to use both a shotgun and a rifle.  She then hunts, dresses, and cooks game ranging from wild turkeys, javelin, grouse, chukars, doves and ducks to wild boar, deer, and squirrels (this last, in fact, affords one of her best chapters).

She is candid about her own inadequacies, forthright about her mistakes, and she bears up under some trying conditions and one absolutely appalling host (see the chapter "Calamity Jane").  She takes the bloody bits in stride, neither pretending they don't exist nor being appalled by them. 

And my, oh my, the recipes she provides!  I made a note to myself to try three of them:  "Whiskey-Glazed Turkey Breast"; a Provencal version of "Pheasant Tagine"; and "Braised Rabbit with Olives and Preserved Lemon." 

My only negative reaction concerns Georgia Pellegrini's title: Girl Hunter?  Give me a break!  As an older white male, I can only deplore any term that trivializes women, no matter how replete with ironic emphasis that term may be currently. That aside, this book is a keeper.

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