The beginning of December is still holding with above normal temperatures and some beautiful sunny days. Here on the Northern Plains we don’t have great expectations for warmth as we enter December, but we’ve had days up in the forties with lows in the twenties-above normal for here.
Ice fisherman can still be seen creeping out onto still-thin ice on area lakes in pursuit of early-ice walleyes. It looks like a somewhat perilous endeavor as I notice parts of the lakes still open and late-migrating geese finding water to land on after feeding in the harvested fields.
As much as I would love a fresh meal of fish, I think I’ll wait a bit. We know that the cold, and along with it the thick ice of winter will never let us down. It always seems to arrive. On the food-front the good news is that the fields are still free of deep snow and an occasional upland bird can be bagged.
The food of Flyover Country is pure and blessed with simplicity in my opinion. My humble cooking is inspired by the season and what is available. Don’t look for complicated recipes that require lots of measuring and preparation. I usually suggest seasonings and cooking methods and let your taste guide you on amounts. Since we seem to be on a bit of a wild pheasant kick, today seems like the perfect day to put a nice fillet of pheasant breast on the grill out on the deck.
I like to marinate the meat in balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and brown sugar, with maybe a touch of Worchester sauce. I add some salt, pepper, and sage and grill until done but not vulcanized. It’s such a nice day, I think I’ll cut a squash in half, take out the seeds and throw the halves on the grill. The other day I made a batch of black beans which were recently harvested from the garden and stored in jars for the winter. Using our own beans means some soaking and cooking but the flavor is terrific. More on the bean recipe another time.