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Deer Camp Dinner Diaries
Gwin's Alaska-sized Breakfast Burrito
The only thing worse than falling headfirst into the Russian River is falling headfirst into the Russian River while surrounded by brown bears and a wife who told you so. In September of 2006, Allyson and I went on a do-it-yourself fly fishing adventure in Cooper Landing, Alaska, experiencing sublime fishing in the nearby streams for salmon, char and trout. On Day One, salmon fishermen had crowded the confluence of the Russian and Kenai Rivers, so we hiked nearly three miles upstream to a secluded section renowned for giant rainbow trout and enormous brown bears. I’d brought along a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun for peace of mind, but this didn’t ease the mind of my nervous wife who’d noticed dinner plate-sized paw prints in the mud. When a fisherman’s warning shot to a grizzly echoed through the alders, Allyson was anxious to leave. But I was too close to trout heaven to turn back now, so I coaxed her onward. “No worries! Probably just a hunter.” Moments later, a retreating moose hunter didn’t help my cause as he hurried down the trail, huffing and puffing, “I’m getting the **** out of here. These ****ing bears are everywhere.” “Gee, thanks, buddy,” I said, knowin... More

Bear Camp's Magic Moments
Recently, while cleaning out my hunting closet, I found my journal from a black bear camp. It's dated May 1997. The memories of Saskatchewan came flooding back when I opened the first page. I'd forgotten how much fun this hunting trip was, my first as a Buc...
 

Midnight Mac & Cheese
I've just learned that my great aunt Lendol Bryan passed away at the age of 96. She was one of the sweetest, most gracious ladies I've ever known. Aunt Lendol was well-known around my little hometown in north Alabama for her good humor, her breathtaking ro...
 

Cajun-Style Venison Tenderloins
Via Alabama, via Illinois, Via Missouri, via Louisiana... For those who love to eat wild game, hunting lodges can be far better sources for collecting recipes than cookbooks. Where else do you have full access to a chef or cook who specializes in preparing ...
 

Off-the-Grid S'mores
Making s'mores around a campfire should be a fun and simple activity, but the kids all too often end up with charred marshmallows, grit in their teeth and singed eyebrows. Raise your hand if you've ever gotten impatient and stuck your marshmallows too clos...
 

Creole Chicken & Okra
Sometimes I buy a cookbook just for one or two recipes. When I heard about "Cooking Up a Storm," I knew there would be dozens of recipes I'd like, which proved to be true. After Hurricane Katrina, there was risk of losing much of the old Louisiana food cul...
 

Tim's 'Mater Gravy
Before you country cookin' traditionalists look at these ingredients and start throwing tomatoes at me, I confess my recipe is a bit different than what most mawmaws make. Leave out the hot sauce, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper to make it more...
 

Alabama Red Beans & Rice
I've had a couple of friends from New Orleans ask me what made these "Alabama" red beans and rice. I reminded them that Louisiana isn't the only state with Cajun and Creole culture.  Alabama has plenty of Cajuns, too, down in our own bayou country. In ...
 

Winters Day Etouffee
Nothing Inspires a Heart-Warming Recipe Like an Icy Brush With Death. Cabin fever can be a dangerous thing, especially to a whitetail hunter who’s been cooped up for three days, waiting out an ice storm. Gale force winds were continuing to rip down ice-cove...
 

Sourdough Bread
A little ceramic crock sits on my kitchen counter, filled with sourdough bread starter from a recipe given to me by my mother many years ago. Once a week, I take a dipper of its content, mix it with flour, oil, yeast and sugar to begin filling the kitchen w...
 

White Chicken Chili
They say the sense of smell is the most powerful for recalling memories. That certainly seems to be the case whenever I make white chicken chili. Each step of the cooking process brings back fond memories of a happy day in October of 2001. That’s the day I...
 
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