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The goose pit gourmet: a hot hubcap and white devil meat make for fine blind dining.

"FOR ME, COOKING is an expression of the land where you are, and the culture of that place," says famous chef Wolfgang Puck.

I've often wondered what Mr. Wolfgang would think of the Preacher's old rusted Chevy hubcap and propane burner in our goose pit? I don't know if it was an expression of our land or culture, but on a chilly morning, black eggs and luke-warm coffee sure hit the spot. The Preacher could make anything taste good in a goose pit, but in the 10 years I'd known him, I don't recall him ever cleaning that rusty hubcap. "Awe, just gives it flavor!" he'd say. "Sometimes, I like to let them eggs marinate on the hubcap a bit before I give it the heat."

It never got old seeing a new guy's face when the Preacher busted out the hubcap and propane tank. He'd make a big announcement, "Welcome to the Hubcap Grill ... You Kill It, I Grill It!" It was even funnier when the Preacher would hand him a paper plate with a rust-colored pancake with the Chevrolet logo imprinted on it.

Now don't get me wrong. The Preacher wasn't your ordinary weekend hash slinger. This man had legit culinary skill. It didn't matter what ingredients he started with, you were in for a goose pit gourmet dining experience when he was finished. To this day, the very best road kill breakfast burrito I ever had was from a yearling whitetail doe cooked at the Hubcap Grill.

Food in the goose pit was just part of the experience. And I realize normal folk settle for things like last season's gooseromi sticks, top ramen, or even a brisket biscuit from the Arbys. Every once in awhile you'll have one of those jackwagons show up with a bag of just add water "space food," like he has watched one too many episodes of "Battlestar Galactica."

But not the Preacher! He just wouldn't stand for that "packaged crap" in the blind. He'd point his spatula at you and start to cackling about how he shouldn't have even let you come hunting.

Then he'd settle down a bit, bust out his hubcap and start working on a thing of beauty like his white devil hash. Talk about culinary skills. Give that man a couple of Vidalia onions, a half rack of eggs, nasty old snow goose, jalapeno, and jar of chili verde and he would work his magic. I can still see him now, leaning over the hubcap, glasses steaming up, breathing in that white devil hash ... "Boys, that right there is gonna make your tongue slap your brains out, it's gonna be so good ..."

And wouldn't you know it, just as we polished off a heaping bowl of goose-pit goodness, a big flock of the white devils themselves started circling. We all hit the calls as the excitement started to build. After three passes it was clear they weren't going to fully commit so the Preacher yelled "take'em" as they came screaming overhead. Quick as a whistle, I threw off the pit cover and smacked a big eagle-head blue. That thing was high and moving fast when I hit him. And I'm here to tell you he was coming down at Mach 111 with his feathers on fire. That dam thing came screaming right in the pit and almost impaled the Preacher as it knocked over the propane tank and landed right in the hubcap. The Preacher let out a big belly laugh and said, "Do y'all want seconds?"

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Title Annotation:FOWL THOUGHTS
Author:Fryhover, Jeff
Publication:Wildfowl
Date:Oct 28, 2016
Words:589
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