As the caribou thaws…

I got to leave my meat and fish overnight in someone’s freezer last night and now it’s in my cooler, which is now all souped up with reflectix. I thought the cooler was going to be a pain in the ass to have in the van. When I first set everything up, I didn’t want anything to sit on. It would just take up space and clutter up the 4 x 2 feet of floor space that I actually have. Plus, chairs are totally unecessary. I can sit on the floor. Duh.

Well, after a while I started using a crate I had to sit on. It changed my whole world. Suddenly I could hang out in the back of the van and DO things back there, instead of always being in the front of the van if I wasn’t sleeping. It was great. But then I set up that kitchen tent this summer and got all carried away thinking I was going to spend all my time at this spot. To convince myself, I took my crate out of the van and put it next to the the kitchen tent where I planned to sit every morning while eating breakfast. It turns out I’m not really that stationary. Not voluntarily anyways. So I hardly sat on the crate all summer, and I had nothing back there to sit on in my van. To top it all off, when I removed the crate I realized what a valuable function it had been performing holding things in place and keeping me from throwing stuff on the floor.

So all this time I’ve been crate-less. The sudden acquisition of all that caribou the other day inspired me to run out and get a cooler. It’s one of those square ones. Big, but not huge. Heavy when fully packed, though. Guess what? It’s even more perfect for sitting on. My cooler makes me so happy. I can’t believe I didn’t have one all this time. Maybe if I had I wouldn’t be appreciating it so much now. I know it’s just a cheap plastic cooler, but I swear it’s like the best thing I’ve ever owned, besides the van and that red dress I wear at work that has the sheer fabric over my boobs and holds them up at the same time.

Despite all it’s wonderful qualities, there is only so much time it can keep things frozen. So I’m off to my sister’s house in the little big city (and I guess I’m missing bluegrass) to can, dry, and can some more. I’m so lucky to have a sister with a four burner stove and the tolerance to let my dog run around in her house while I run a noisy pressure cooker for hours in her kitchen. Also she’s got one of those new fangled electric smoker things that works really fast. Has anyone ever dried sausage? Not just smoked it a little, but completely dried it so it didn’t need to be refridgerated? Is it good? I might try to dry more than can, because I think it’ll be more space and weight efficient, but I’ve never smoked caribou before.

I’m gonna drive reeeaaally slow and see if I can find some blueberries along the way, and maybe some crowberries too (but I think those are best after first frost, but if I was just canning them anyways maybe it wouldn’t be much of a difference). Then I can can those too. Oh, and potentilla. It was all over last time I was up that way, but I didn’t get any.

I wish I had a bigger pressure cooker, like one that could do twenty jars at a time instead of five. Maybe I’ll buy one for my sister so I can use it when I come over. Man, that’d be almost as awesome as the cooler.


  1. I also have a square cooler. I keep it under my tonneau cover. I am NEVER without a cold water to drink. It helps that I get free ice at work.hehe

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