Uncategorized

Hunter’s Broth from Breakfast at Covertside

Those new to witnessing the grandeur and pageantry of a foxhunt are often transported back a century or more to a long lost time.  This is no more so than in France, where mounted followers still pursue stag, roebuck, wild boar, hare and rabbit with different packs of hounds.  Even the French hounds look a bit from a bygone era, as they still have a sliver of wolf-blood breed into many of the French breeds.  But the riders are in their full glory with sabers and French hunting horns, accompanying their long frock coats and boots turned up to protect the knee.

Sometimes cooking also takes you back to a bygone era, an era when things were made simply and at home, before commercialization took over everything including much of our cooking.  This recipe takes us back not only to the era when soups didn’t come from a can or box, but for us, it also takes us back to Le Château de Champchevrier in the Loire valley where the Bizard family, who has lived in this grand palace in the forest, has been hunting stag there since 1728.  They serve a version of this hunter’s broth in a gathering room next to the stables after hunts where it can often be cold and damp, as a way of refreshing and warming the hunters who stand by the fire where it is kept warm in a hanging caldron.

In French cooking, a consommé is a type of clear soup made from richly flavored stock that has been clarified, a process which uses egg whites to remove fat and sediment.   A broth is a liquid in which meat, fish or vegetables have cooked when the goal is also to […]

By |October 14th, 2013|Foxhunting, Recipes, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Hunter’s Broth from Breakfast at Covertside

Welcome to the New Sporting Road, Have a Look Around

We hope you all enjoy the adventures, photographs, and recipes on our new and improved site!  Come take a look around.

 

By |June 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Welcome to the New Sporting Road, Have a Look Around

The Kluge Picnic Hamper

The ultimate picnic hamper was featured in the 2005 Christy’s auction of the contents of Albemarle House, Patricia Kluge’s estate in Virginia.  This is the ultimate picnic hamper.

Lindaraxa.blogspot.com writes, “Commissioned in the 1980’s by the Kluges from the London firm of Asprey, jewellers and silversmith to the British Royal Family, this picnic hamper is the pinnacle of sophistication. Containing a full service of just about everything imaginable for a party of sixteen, the hamper can be towed to the perfect picnic location by hooking it to the back of a tractor. The wicker trailer holds about 15 wicker cases, each fitted with brass handles and leather straps, with battery-powered hot and cold boxes and a water pump, cases for Bernardaud Limoges china, Baccarat crystal, Asprey silver cutlery, a staghorn bar service, two folding mahogany tables and 16 chairs, each with the monogram “K.” The set was estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 and sold for a whopping $144,000.  Although day-trippers have used wicker carryalls since the 1700s, the true picnic basket was born in 1901, when British luxury-goods retailers like Asprey started stocking hampers filled with tableware for motorists to enjoy on country drives.”

By |April 21st, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Kluge Picnic Hamper

How to Build a Fire

Wikihow has a very pretty and elaborate page on How to Build a Fire Edited by Michael, Jack Herrick, Lisa Radon, Ben Rubenstein and 121 others.  It reads” Lighting a fire is only half the battle. The way you build a fire – that is, how you arrange the wood – can affect how long the fire will last and the amount of heat it’ll give off during that time. This article will provide an overview of how to build a fire in any setting.”  It goes on for several pages, with illustrations and every possibility imaginable.

Having grown up in Minnesota, I learned how to build fires from an early age.  In fact, one of my chores was to bring in firewood and to build a fire (nearly every night from about October until April), so I have made a few fires in my lifetime.  My father, being an engineer, and my step-father, being a Marine Corps Sargeant always had a few things to say about it, to put it politely.

I can definitely say now, they were all wrong.  Ok, they weren’t wrong, but we were living in the cave man days.  It wasn’t until college that I discovered a Duraflame log.  They were great, except they cost $3.00 and they last about 15 minutes.  But they were great for starting fires.  Throw one in the fireplace, light the ends, and then throw some real fire wood on top of them.  Gone were the days of stuffing newspaper under the fireplace grate, gathering tinder, starting with small logs and building up to big ones, etc.  One Duraflame log and you could be assured that even the greenest wood would catch fire heaped on top […]

By |March 9th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to Build a Fire

I See You

“I See You (Theme from Avatar)” (also shortened as “I See You”) is a pop ballad performed by British singer Leona Lewis. But sometimes “I see you,” just means that, it is not a song but just a question–something of a koan you might say.  When you honestly offer “I can see you,” it may mean nothing more than that, and horses seem to be born with that gift for honestly returning the favor, seeing us for what we are, nothing more nothing less.  If you are kind, they see that.  If you are mean, they see that too.  If you have good intentions, they see that.  If you have bad intentions, they see that too.  Sometimes we have to just look each other in the eye first before asking anything of the other and see what there is to be seen of the other, if it is all good then we can progress from there with more questions and the request for more answers.  We hope that all of us on two legs can come to see that which four-legged animals seem to take for granted.  Children also seem to have the same gift, one that is often hard to accept by adults, as the answers remain unknown until the question is honestly asked from the heart.  I find myself at the same cross-roads, as I always try to be planned out years in advance, but, perhaps for the first time, I am attempting to look at the others around me and simply state, “I see you,” and I hope that they can honestly see me in return, without an answer in mind.  I hope to offer the same in return, perhaps for […]

By |October 26th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on I See You

Falconry

My friend Hal Webster, who is co-author of one of the most famous books on falconry with Frank Beebe), entitled  North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks, is 92 this year and introduced me to some falconry friends many years back.  I had the initial idea of grandeur that a falcon might replace my side-by-side in a poetic sort of way, but I quickly realized in hunting ducks with one of his Master Falconer friends that this was real work, and a lifetime of dedication to the birds they fly and live with, year round.  I can’t wait to see them soar again, but this is not a something that one takes up casually, as I quickly realized it involves a life-time of education, dedication, breeding, and training.

By |October 26th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Falconry

Yerba Mate

Our new friends from Argentina are going home, as summer polo season is about over here in the West and they left with us a special gift this year, a matero (a bag for holding a the mate gourd, the yerba mate and a thermos).  The also left a leather covered mate gourd, which we added to our small collection, but this mate is the one we reach for every morning now, as it is the perfect size and it is of the best quality.

Yerba mate is consumed all over South America in place of tea or coffee, or in addition to it.  It has an earthy taste, like green tea, though sometimes slightly more bitter taste due to the high tannin content of the leaves, which are a member of the holly family.  We were introduced to it at polo from the Argentines, and I love it.  Oprah’s doctor promotes it as the only healthy caffinated beverage and studies seem to indicate it significantly reduces cholesterol, especially when brewed with hot water, but not boiling, as is the traditional way.  Yerba mate con polo, with a higher amount of sticks and stems, will typically have more of a woodsy taste than pure leaf mate.  Some add sugar and milk, particularly for children.

You add hot water (never boiling) to the yerba mate, which is traditionally drunk from a gourd with a bombilla straw, and as the tea and be steeped multiple times, it is perfect for sharing with friends.  Each cup is consumed and then the gourd is passed back to the maker of the tea for a refill of hot water and then it is passed on to the next drinker, when the […]

By |July 26th, 2012|polo, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Yerba Mate

The Frugal Fly Fisherman

The Frugal Fly Fisherman by Patrick Straub is a title that I would love just from the cover.  But, in getting into the merits of the work, it is bit long on theory and short on content.  It recommends saving money where possible with brands such as Redington, but at the same time recommending you invest as much as you can afford in a quality rod.  This doesn’t seem to help the newbie angler with actual recommendations.  I understand the concept of not promoting brands over concepts, but it still leaves the angler with the dilemma of “what to buy?”

I liked the quotes, particularly of Norman Maclean from A River Runs Through It, such as, “My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe.   To him, all good things–trout as well as eternal salvation–come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.”

From mentions of silk lines and split cane to Gore-tex and carbon-fibers, the book covers it all.  There is certainly an art to getting the most for your dollar.  The reccomendations to avoid The 5-Weight Shootout and lists and focusing on disk drag versus click and prawl, among others are well on point.  As well as the fact that tying your own flies and making do it yourself trips will save money in the long run, but it doesn’t overcome the standard advice of 5-weight rods for everything and what flies are most effective, which misses the mark of a died in the wool frugal fisherman who benefits from other’s experiences.

By |June 22nd, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Frugal Fly Fisherman

The 10 Famous Chinese Teas

Tea is not as popular as espresso at our dinner parties, but I enjoy it at breakfast.  While Ireland and England are known for their breakfast teas, I prefer the rich depth of choices in Chinese teas.  There is an infamous list of the ten most famous Chinese teas, which varies depending on who you ask.  Having spent some time in the tea cafes of Hong Kong, it is simply something not to be missed and these teas we try to enjoy, along with some of the lessor known teas, on a daily basis, when not partaking in espresso or cafe au lait.  More on Chinese tea pots in a subsequent post.

1) Dragon Well Tea
Dragon Well Tea is called Long Jing in Chinese. This green tea originates in Dragon Well Village near the city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province.

2) Bi Luo Chun Tea
The literal translation of Bi Luo Chun Tea is Green Snail Spring Tea, grown around the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. This green tea has an imperial history and is the source of wonderful legends.

3) Tieguanyin Tea
The English name for Tieguanyin is Iron Goddess Tea. This Oolong tea hails from Anxi in Fujian Province. It has a complex fermented taste.
4) Huangshan Mao Feng Tea
The literal English translation for Huangshan Mao Feng is Yellow Mountain Fur Peak Tea, from the area surrounding Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) in Anhui Province. This green tea gets its name from the small hairs that cover the leaves and the shape of the leaves which resemble a mountain peak.

5) Junshan Yinzhen Tea
Of all the famous Chinese Teas, this tea has received a lot of attention lately due to its health benefits. The Silver Needle Tea is Junshan Yinzhen. […]

By |February 5th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The 10 Famous Chinese Teas

How to Fireproof your Christmas Tree

Adapted from an Eastman Chemical Company employee newsletter, December, 1996

Choose a fresh tree — find a “bad” spot on the tree and bend a branch.  It shouldn’t snap; if so, find another one.  Ideally, you should be buying one at least 10 days before Christmas.

Make a fresh cut 1” above the bottom of the trunk

Immediately after you make your fresh cut, mix up the following ingredients in a 2 gallon bucket filled almost to the top with HOT water to make your home made preservative:

2 cups of Karo syrup
2 ounces of liquid chlorine bleach
2 pinches of Epsom salt
1/2 teaspoon Boraxo
1 teaspoon of chelated iron (pronounced “keylated” and found in the garden section)

All of these ingredients should be found in either a grocery store or Wal-Mart.

Stir the ingredients thoroughly in the bucket, then immediately stand the trunk of the tree in this solution.  Leave the tree in the bucket until you are ready to decorate inside.

When the tree goes indoors, stand the trunk in the tree stand and decorate as you always do.  Then get the bucket filled with your ingredients, draw off the mixture from the bucket and fill the tree stand right up to the top.

How does it work?

The Karo syrup provides the sugar; it is only in the presence of sugar that tremendous amounts of water will be taken up by the exposed tissue at the base of the tree trunk.  Without the sugar, only the smallest bit of water will be absorbed.  However, in the presence of the sugar, you can expect more than one and a half gallons of the water to be absorbed by the tree during the 10 to 14-day period that the […]

By |December 22nd, 2011|Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to Fireproof your Christmas Tree