Monday, July 30, 2012

Sportsman's Daughter

My oldest is once again working as a Counselor at a YMCA camp on the Eastern Shore. This Summer she is a water-ski instructor and works on the Waterfront with the kids. She is having a tough Summer in some respects because there have been some serious thunder storms that swept thru the region and the camp sustained some serious damage. Her last session campers were boy-crazy and this made her cabin duties an adventure.

However, she still loves the place and the people. This weekend she was home for time off with 3 co-counselors. One of the girls was from Wales...the Camp has many foreign exchange counselors and it really enhances the experience for all this kids. The girls enjoyed a cook-out with us and we took them to see the new Batman film. They departed bright and early Sunday to get back for the start of a new session and I miss my daughter already! We will get some time together in the Adirondacks in a few weeks but she leaves for her Sophmore year of College shortly after we get back.

I love this photo of her sent to me by one of her captures her million kilowatt smile and her love of water skiing and watersports...she is a great kid and a joy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buddies With Benefits

One unique benefit of hanging around other sportsmen and hunters is the gift of game meat. There are many tired old jokes about not being able to give away extra fish one has caught. Such is never the case when one of your gang kills a wild boar.

Recently my fellow sportsman and attorney Marc was fortunate enough to stalk and shoot a large wild pig. There was copious amounts of meat butchered off this monster and I was the lucky receipient of nearly 40 lbs. of prime wild swine. I grilled some of the tastier and more tender cuts this weekend. Last night I set about making a Wild Boar Ragu with some of the less desirable cuts. This recipe is based on a Northern Italian peasant recipe and is served over Paperdelle pasta. The process requires about 3 hours of slow simmering after construction but the resultant rich and flavorful ragu is just devastatingly delicious.

The process is as follows:

Procure some wild boar(if you are a non-hunting candy ass or do not know a boar slayer,you can use pork shoulder or order boar from D'Artagnan but it ain't the same.)

This reminds me of a joke about Albanians told to me by an Albanian bartender: The recipe for roast lamb, the National dish of Albania, begins as follows: First, steal a lamb.....

Chop 2 large yellow onions and saute in olive oil in a Le Cruesette or other suitable cast iron vessel. Add 5 cloves of chopped garlic and then add the cubed pig. I add a few of the bones(to be removed later) in order to impart more rich flavor to the dish.

After browning all the meat add 2 cans of chopped tomatoes followed by bay leaves(5)sage, basil, oregano and salt and pepper. Next a few anchovy filets. Then add about 2 cups of decent red wine. I used a Chianti.

As the mixture begins to simmer add 2 or 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and a few cloves. Toss in some red pepper flakes and then reduce heat to simmer. Place a lid on the vessel but leave it a tad ajar so steam can escape and so the mixture reduces.

Simmer for 3 hours or until the meat is falling apart and much of the liquid is reduced. If you have a kitchen "wand" with a strong motor you can whack the mixture a few times to foster a smoothness while still leaving a fair amount of chunks. Plate this sauce over wide paperdelle pasta and give each serving a healthy crown of freshly grated Parmagianno.

Serve with quality Itailian Bread...Sarcone's from Philly is best on the planet....some good Red Wine and a Ceasar salad.

I suggest a Nocella or Limoncella with an Espresso afterward to ward off the food coma symptomatic of your urge to gorge on this entree...perhaps a cigar as well. . This Wild Boar ragu knocks the crap out of any wimpy Bolognese you may have ingested in the past...there is really no comparison.

So when some hipster or city dweller or non-hunter asks if I actually eat what I kill....I smile and say yes....and describe this meal as an example....and advise that they would pay 28 bucks a plate for the pleasure in a restaurant....but it would not be the same since the boar would be farm raised and not wild.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sports Advice

This inspirational poster was featured on the Facebook page of a local youth lacrosse team..the Dukes. I am searching for a method to impart this wisdom to my son. I have first tried by example...but he seems to miss the message.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boxing News

I have not given you much in the way of boxing news of late. However, I am thrilled to report the Heavyweight I manage, Joey Cusumano, was victorious last evening. He scored a 1st round Knockout at a small boxing venue in North Carolina. He is now 4-1 and this was another small step on the path to a shot at a World Title. stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Canine Commandments

One of the Sporting/Hunting sites I follow posted this very relevant list of rules. particularly relevant are No.s 4 and 10. Many dog owners like the concept but not the responsiblity. They take no time to train the dog or spend sufficient time interacting. Then they wonder why the dog is ill-mannered and misbehaves. If you do not know how to train a dog...LEARN. Most areas have dog training classes and clubs to teach you how to teach your dog.

No. 10 made me choke up. As you may recal I posted a while back about holding my dear Dixie when she was put down at age 16. My other hunting dog Archie is now retired at 11 but still spry and healthy. I am working with Genna as posted yesterday. I ahve commented on the special bond between hunter and hunting dog....but these rules apply equally to any dog/master relationship. Take the time and nurture the bond between you and your dog.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mud and Sunflowers

I had to drive my Son back to Camp on the Eastern Shore yesterday. It was "changeover weekend" and he also had a Lacrosse tournament in Jersey on Saturday. Going to the Eastern Shore provides an excuse to shoot East from there and go to the Duck Hunting club for some off-season dog training.

It was a scorching and humid day but standing in the shade along the river near the Point Blind provided a bit of relief....enough to throw a duck bumper for Genna for about 20 minutes. She did about 20 water retrives and swam her yellow lab ass off. She was having more fun than anyone hitting that water. I enjoyed watching her and squishing my bare feet in the cool tidal mud along the bank. We did some field retrieves and she performed well the whole time. She is going to be ready for hunting season.

We then drove around the farm and checked on the Sunflower fields. Despite the recent drought the field looks good. We plant this feed lot to attract doves for our Club dove hunt when the season opens in Spetember. The shooting is a real challenge and the reward is succulent grilled dove breasts washed down with icy cold beer from and old galvanized the way...try adding salt to the ice in the vessel in which you chill beer . The same action that takes place on your driveway in Winter operates on your brewskies and gets them colder than cold. Trust me it works and is worth it. Careful when guzzling....can lead to brain freeze headache.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bulls,Boxers or Briefs

Most people first encounter the Running of the Bulls in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises." If,like me, you are a devotee of Hemingway, the idol of many a sportsman, you have a romanticized idea of going to Pamplona, donning a red scarf and boozing for 9 days with a few gory jogs and bullfights mixed in. Readers in 1971 were again treated to a romp through the festival of San Fermin in the 1971 Michener novel. '"The Drifters." This book sowed seeds for new generations to embrace this event.I read this later fictional account while in Law School and could not help but feel that the Pamplona scenes constituted a sort of literary piracy due to the similar manner in which Michener used the festival as a catalyst in his group of protagonists.

Like one of the Michener characters, some wine fueled putz always gets into International headlines for tripping on the route and having a horn jammed into his sternum. This year we see a kilted runner having his naughty bits tickled by one of the doomed Bulls and some other wanker running about with his briefs adorned with what looks to be the corporate symbol for a 2nd rate retailer or a taunt to have his junk poked with a horn. Another unlucky chap is seen being flung into the air and having his light blue boxers exposed by one of the angry beasts.

The festival celebrates a Roman named Fermin who was converted to Christianity, ordained and came to Pamplona as its first Bishop. He was later beheaded and martyred in France. To honor St. Fermin, the Spaniards party for 9 straight days and the enthusiasts dress in white and scarf-up to run in front of the bulls released for that day's slaughter in the Bull ring. There are many other events and facets of the celebration but nothing captures the imagination like the running thanks to the literary accounts.

I admit that one day I would like to go to Pamplona for this gig. It would be a cliche Hemingway pilgrimage, but it looks like a great time nonetheless. I think I would rather limit the morning activity to early drinking and kissing like the one couple we see pictured in the post-running streets. That, or I would rather chase that fetching blonde than run in front of 2000 lbs of angry bull ring fodder.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Marrying a SEAL.

One of my best friends from Law School has a daughter that I have known since she was a toddler. Since then, she has finished Columbia, received a Macarthur Fellowship and hit it out of the park at Oxford. She is engaged to a fine Annapolis grad who she met at Oxford when he was there on a Rhodes scholarship. Their wedding is in Brooklyn in August and my wife and I are proud to be included. The groom -to- be is finishing his SEAL training right now. After the wedding and honeymoon he will be deployed doing what SEALs do. The bride will start Yale Law school. The level of accomplishment and talent of these two is astonishing.

I advised my law school buddy(also a Yale grad) that I suspect him of selective breeding. The offspring of these two promise to be super-beings.

Meanwhile another old friend from Hgh School who trains Navy SEALs in obscure knife fighting techniques sent me the amusing posted joke above.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Keep paddlin' Mate...he's gainin' on you.

Friday, July 6, 2012

4th and Rum

With the last kid dropped of at camp, the wife and I headed North to enjoy a few days on Block Island. We have done Nantucket but never made it to this beautiful spot off the coast of Rhode Island.
We hopped on the ferry and arrived for our stay at the Springhouse Hotel. After checking in to a lovely suite in the annex building, we had lunch and beers on the porch of the National Hotel and then rented a Moped for a tour of the island. The Island is a breathtaking collection of stunning homes and rock wall lined fields and it seems each ocean view is prettier than the last. Sadly, I cannot say the same for some of the day-trippers and visitors who seem to pack the ferry for the sole purpose of hitting the booze too hard and showing off their tacky ink and bad beach togs. Seriously, for an island that reeks of old New England money and class, the clientele one encounters on Ballard's beach and in Town appeared fairly low brow to my surprise.
This is not to say we did not enjoy ourselves thoroughly. We gorged on Lobster rolls and fried clams and enjoyed the views at Mohegan Bluffs and the chilly Ocean swimming. We saw spectacular fireworks from our Suite and liked the lighthouses and natural preserves scattered around the Island. One photo above shows the bar on the porch of the Springhouse. I was parked here at about 5:30 P.M. on Tuesday sampling their quality Rum selection and I may venture a statement that this is one of the best views and happy hour locations in the Western Hemisphere. I have downed crisp Rum and Tonics in many locations and many situations, but the confluence of weather, affable guests, my wife's company and competent attentive barmen made this a particularly memorable cocktail hour.
We returned to Philadelphia and plan to hit the Phillie's game tonite. The Phil's are playing like crap and it is , as Chick from Deer Camp would say:" Hotter'en Dutch Love;" indeed hot enough for a fan to poach his eggs on the sun baked plastic seats of Citizen's Bank Park. Perhaps Kyle Kendrick can cool thinks off by fanning a few Braves. Not likely.