Wild Game Cookery
A recent CTV news item suggests government incentives to use more food from the land, or “country food”.[i] Presently chronic food insecurity and hunger is a miserable fact of life for many Inuit and other Indigenous peoples in Canada’s Far North. The supply of commercial foods is unreliable in cost, quality and availability and the cost of hunting has risen substantially over the years. The Caribou Marketing Board sees improved regulations and supplies as a way to improve eating and health for Inuit.
Wild game cookery has been an important part of the Canadian cookbook landscape for many years. An example of this is Windermere Cookery (1956), an unassuming Cerlox-bound cookbook produced as a fundraiser by the Windermere Ladies Hospital Aid[ii].
The community of Windermere, British Columbia, is on the east side of Lake Windermere, not really a lake, but a widening of the Columbia River. First Nations peoples lived in and travelled through the Columbia River Valley in the southeast corner of BC for thousands of years before newcomers arrived, in the early and late 19th century, first, fur traders and then British and European settlers. With mild, snowy winters and hot summers, it’s an excellent growing area, and its early industries were farming, gold panning and logging. And it appears wild game cookery was still important in the 1950s, as Windermere Cookery contains 21 wild game recipes including pheasant, marinades, Canada goose, venison, grouse, moose chili con carne, bear, wild duck, mountain goat and Indian curry of wild meat. Three hints for cooking game were provided: “Trim off fat as it is strong; Use salt pork strips to lard game: and Marinate meat from all old animals” (n.p.). One contributor of several game recipes was married to the Provincial Game Warden[iii].
Is an increase in hunting a viable solution to food insecurity? That’s not my area of knowledge and the thought of my hunting my own food is about as realistic as arming teachers. It’s still something to think about.
[iii] The Provincial Game Warden at the time was Jack Mackill. His wife was listed only as “Mrs. Jack Mackill”.