It Always Ends This Way !

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Since grouse season started a couple weeks back, our evenings have fallen into a bit of a schedule. As I close up shop at work, Andy stops at home to get a snack and fill up the water bottles. Then he heads over to work and we set out on evening ruffed grouse reconnaissance. Some nights we bump around in the pickup truck on gravel roads. Other nights we stretch our legs on nearby snowmobile or ski trails, enjoying the sweet musty smell of decaying leaves, the way the setting sun sinks into the horizon this time of year, and the last lingering wildflowers. The grouse have been plentiful this year and we’ve already had three grouse dinners.

I also spend a decent amount of our evenings out in the woods hoping we don’t run into a moose. The moose are in rut right now which makes them plenty cranky (Andy’s experiences a few years back are a perfect case in point) and the fact that it’s also moose hunting season gives me just one more reason why I don’t need our paths to cross with a moose. After last year's experience I’ve had enough fun moose experiences to last me a while.

Mama and Baby outside Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center: August 2010

People always think I’m being a jerk when I say “I only see moose when I don’t want to see them.” (Well, I might be being a bit of jerk, but I am sick of being asked “where’s the best place to see moose?” and then receiving incredulous looks when I explain that there is no rhyme or reason, people see moose all over at any time of day.) But it’s true: I rarely see moose in a situation where I have the luxury of observing the moose. More often than not, moose and I run into each other because one of us is in the wrong place.

On Sunday night, we’d almost back to the truck when Andy motioned for me to stop. “There’s a huge bull moose up there,” he whispered. I gulped. Once we were back in the truck, we tried to figure out what the moose were up to. There were definitely two moose moving about in the woods, but it was hard to tell what they were doing. They obviously weren’t too terribly concerned with us.

Then on Monday night, while Andy and I had paused in a wooded clearing, a wolf let out a long low howl. It sounded like to came from right behind me. “Here take my knife,” Andy whispered. We tiptoed back to the truck. Of course nothing happened.

But: dang it! These fabulous autumn hikes of ours always end like this!

Luckily, our evenings also often end with yummy grouse dinner (usually consumed around 9 p.m.) like homemade grouse noodle soup. You can make it with chicken too.

Homemade Grouse (Chicken) Noodle Soup
4-5 grouse breast or 1 whole chicken
12 cups water
2 teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 ½ cup carrot slices
1 recipe homemade noodles

In a small saucepan, cover grouse with water and boil 20 minutes. Remove grouse from pot, cool and cut into bite sized pieces. Simmer in a large soup pot with all the remaining ingredients except the noodles for a ½ hour. Start noodles while soup is simmering.

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup water

Mix flour and salt together. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and water. Mix into flour. Turn dough out onto a floured countertop: knead for eight to ten minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide dough in half. Roll each dough piece until 1/16-1/8 inch thick. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 20 minute to relax gluten. Slice dough into strips 3/8 inch wide. Drop noodles, one at a time, into simmering soup. Cook until tender: about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to the soup to taste: Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Homemade chicken soup is one of my fav! You see more moose as you care for and I have not yet seen one in my life! Looks like I have to vacation in Minnesota!
    Thanks for wishing Skip well today. Just called him and left a message. It is weird being apart for so long! Thanks for checking in on our blog. Hugs across the pond


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