This past weekend was opening season for dove hunting in Texas. So begins 6 months of nearly continuous hunting seasons open in the state. It starts with dove season, and only a brief break in November will divide it with whitetail season. So what, you may ask? I’ll tell you so what.
Hunting season in Texas is practically a religion. Hunters spend much time, money, and energy readying themselves with an almost ritualistic fervor. They will be properly outfitted in the vestments of the hunt—Real Tree Camo shirts, pants, hats, and boots. Depending on the level of testosterone and obsession, there may even be camo-colored face paints, and spray on doe scent. Yes, that’s right–female deer hormone smell. Sexy.
Hunting rigs are tuned up, tires aired, and oil checked. Guns are cleaned, oiled, and prepared for battle. Scopes are calibrated, and ammo is stockpiled in zombie apocalyptic proportions. Feeders are checked for proper function, and their timers are checked for proper function. Blinds are cleaned of the owl droppings and hornets’ nests that have accumulated since the last whitetail season closed in January. Hog traps are tested, greased, and moved to the most covert position allowable.
Beer begins to chill, and ample supplies of canned sardines, chili, and beef stew are procured. There may even be an errant can of Spam, or potted meat. Because, by God, that’s what real men eat when they are roughing it.
And what of the women that they will leave behind? The hunting season widows, sending their men off as they fulfill their innate need to be hunter gatherers. Waving goodbye to the boys, the dogs, the trucks, these ladies will retreat quietly back into their homes…………….and do the happy dance.
Yep, the happy dance. This entails wiggling your hips, eyes to Heaven, fists raised above your head in victorious celebration. There will be screaming, in whispers, so as not to disturb the now quiet solitude of the home. After a quick but thorough round of ritualistic cleaning, the hunting season widow will now bask in the quiet, super clean, ultra tidy palace that she will enjoy in solitude. No, she is not sad. She knows her boys will return home soon enough. Rather, she is joyous at the thought of taking long, uninterrupted bubble baths and watching the Lifetime channel 24/7. She will be free of burping contests, armpit farts, and other crude noises for days on end. She will be free to eat chicken salad to her heart’s content, and to add cranberries to her mixed greens with reckless abandon. Yes, cranberries to her mixed greens.
A fruity adult beverage, a stack of gossip magazines, and some fuzzy slippers, and her bliss will be complete. Ahhhhhh. Hunting Season, how I do love thee…
Smoked Chicken Salad
Serves 8 as salad, or 12 as sandwiches
- 6 large chicken breasts, salted and grilled over medium high flame until done OR 1 whole smoked chicken from your grocery deli
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 cup grapes, cut in half
- ½ cup chopped parsley, packed
Remove chicken from bone and shred or chop into small bite sized pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and chill until ready to serve. Serve on a bed of mixed greens, or on croissants for sandwiches.
Broccoli Bacon and Cranberry Salad
- 8 cups broccoli florets
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 cup almond slivers
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Place broccoli in a large bowl. Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, drain and crumble. Place in ziplock bag or small covered container. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from pan. Over medium heat, cook almonds in bacon drippings until toasted and golden. Remove from heat to a bowl to cool. Add with bacon into zip bag or covered container.
Combine all remaining ingredients and pour over broccoli. Stir to coat well. When ready to serve, stir in almonds, and bacon.
Raspberry Champagne Bliss
- 1 bottle Asti Spumante Ballatore, or other sweet sparkling wine
- 1 bottle Ocean Spray Cran Raspberry juice
- 1 ½ cups raspberry schnapps
Mix, chill, and enjoy responsibly!