Vicky Mullaney is a chef and author of the Lodge at Black Pearl Cookbook, which is filled with fish and game recipes from her family’s waterfowl hunting lodge on the Chesapeake Bay. In this episode, we talk about what it means to raise a family in the field, and how that helps keep family close into adulthood. Plus, tips on cooking waterfowl (duck spring rolls, ya’ll!) and shotgun savvy.

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  • 3:00 – Anyone else do a Covid freezer clean-out? Amazing what you find in there. Especially if you share freezer space with family
  • 5:20 – Vicky is the chef and manager at her family’s waterfowl hunting lodge on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • 8:00 – Waterfowl hunting… the beauty of the birds is just phenomenal
  • 10:00 – Those early mornings in a fishing boat or a duck blind? It can be cold. Bring a thermos, layer up, be comfy to enjoy it.
  • 11:30 – Hunting offers kids so much in the way of life skills: You need to show up, be patient, be quiet, build your own blind, train your dog — these lessons add up to meaningful character. It’s not easy, but it’s huge.
  • 14:30 – Raising your kids outside means they don’t fall into that group of people who don’t know things like the fact that pickles are cucumbers. Put up a bird feeder. Ask them to find a white rock — all of this gets kids in the habit of paying attention to what’s round them
  • 20:00 – Ages and stages: Is it easier to get kids out when they’re little than trying to teach them as teenagers?
  • 23:00 – The burden of getting little kids out definitely falls on parents. You need to pack more, never run dry on treats, etc…. but eventually, the kids learn to do it all! 
  • 26:00 – It’s exciting out there for kids! Example: There’s only one way to learn what happens when you feed a Labrador retriever a bucket of slugs. 
  • 27:00 – The Lodge at Black Pearl – with recipes like duck spring rolls and French onion soup, game-style
  • 27:30 – Cooking ducks (and other game) — don’t overcook it. That’s where game meat starts tasting ‘gamey’
  • 30:00 – Goose leg confit… [we’re doing an Italian lip-smacking gesture over here]… low and slow, baby
  • 34:30 – “If you shoot it, you eat it” household rule… this has led to some interesting eating! Ask Vicky about turtle recipes. Or the time her son shot a squirrel before school and had to clean it before getting on the bus.
  • 39:00 – (This is a book not sold on Amazon, everyone!) and on Insta @blackpearlcookbook
  • 40:00 – Hunting keeps a family close, even into adulthood
  • 45:00 – If you’re totally new to shotgunning, it’s worth spending the $50 for a lesson at a clays course to learn how to mount the gun, move to target, etc. 
  • 51:00 – Cooking rockfish (or any fish!) – sometimes simple is hard to beat