Man Pants… From Duluth

Despite the push in popular media, we must still agree that men and women are different. Need proof? Just catch a pair of them with their pants down. See... different! While the differences are distractingly interesting, I am here today to talk about subtler things. Most men will read this and nod their heads, but this isn't just for us guys. Stay tuned ladies, I am about to explain the mysteries of shopping from a man's point of view.

As men, we give women a hard time about their shopping habits. The gals flock to sales, buy up tons of clothes, and spend a mint on beauty products. If we ask them why, they will explain that it is so they will look pretty for us. As ogres, it is our manly responsibility to point out the fact that the new clothes will get torn up while choring, or get dirty while tilling the garden. Why do we attempt to bring down such wrath upon ourselves? Men are grounded in a utilitarian world with little room for frivolity. Now that I have yanked the bang switch that inspires many household arguments, let me point out a reality.... Men's clothes are more expensive.

PantsWhy is it that a woman can buy 3 pairs of pants on sale for $40, but each pair will cost a man the same? A man wears a pair of $200 boots, while a woman opts for 6 pairs that cost 30 bucks. A woman will have a jacket to suit every color, temp, and condition, but a man spends the same amount for 1 coat he wears until the cuffs fall off. Is it possible that men get ripped off by high priced clothes? Yep, but there is a trade-off.

Typically, men's clothes are just plain tougher. They last longer and therefore cost more. A man will buy 2 or three pairs of jeans per season. One pair can be worn for several days while the others stand by themselves in the corner of the laundry room waiting for a rinse.  That is a man's full collection of pants. Please note that men have evolved to realize that there are different seasons. OK, not as many seasons as women recognize. We tend to focus on two... Cold and warm. I am not saying that we change clothes with the seasons, we just switch from saying, "I am cold in these pants" to "Dang, these pants are hot!"

It has been a bit circuitous, but we have come to the point. Men just don't buy that many clothes. Supply and demand requires the price to be higher for rugged man pants. As manly men, we don't even want new ones! When catastrophic fabric failure requires us to purchase new leg covers, we want something that doesn't need replacement when the seasons change. Thus begins my unpaid plug for my new favorite clothing company.

Value is getting hard to find. The folks at Duluth Trading Company seem to have nailed duluthbucknakeddown a great mix of price vs. quality. My first product from Duluth was some Buck Naked underwear. The wide elastic band is comfortable, and I appreciate the support and dryness the fabric delivers. As a side benefit, my wife gets a break from seeing me prance around in "tighty-whiteys". At this point, I need to spill the beans (rhetorically). It was my wife, who was tired of the mono-colored-undie rut who actually made this first purchase from Duluth.  I decided the folks at Duluth Trading Company had some sense, and ordered some man pants. Men's Carpenter Twill pants to be exact. Perfect fit and better fashion than I expected. I ordered two more pairs as they did a great job replacing khakis in an office environment. I must lodge a small grievance at this point. I am a tall guy. Only 2 colors are offered in tall sizes for these particular pants. If I had 14 pairs of each color, ladies in the office would still assume I was a neanderthal and only owned two pairs of pants!

Duluth's long-tailed T-shirts are great for those of us above average height. The No-Polos are another great addition to the office wardrobe. I had a sizing issue with a polo shirt. A call to Duluth Trading Company, and the replacement was on the way. Speaking to someone fluent in the native language is a refreshing experience today. Let me reiterate, they have excellent customer service.

If I were to stop here, I feel I would be granting access to some good advice for manly attire purchases, but I am not done. Duluth Trading Company is stepping up their game in the women's clothing department. Anyone of the feminine persuasion should take a few minutes and peruse Duluth's women's clothing. If I am correct in my earlier hypothesis and there is a deviation in quality between men's and women's clothing, Duluth Trading Co is working hard to close that gap.

During a recent 1200 mile round trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, I fibbed a bit and told my wife that Duluth was only a few miles off from our travel route. "We need to stop at a physical, brick-and-morter Duluth Trading Company store", I prodded. It was not a hard sell. My wife had purchased some of Duluth's Dry on the Fly pants for the canoe trip. My trusty GPS led me through construction and switch-backs that would have impressed the Swiss. By the time we rolled into downtown Duluth, it was obvious that a UAV1truck and RV trailer did not fit well into the local scene. While I am sure parking is better than the days when they were headquartered on a barge, Duluth Trading's downtown store did not have enough space for those of us who "brought our house to town". We made 6 lefts, 4 rights, and ignored the cursing taxi driver as we headed South out of town.

Once back on the open road, I searched for more Duluth store options and found a new location in Ankeny Iowa. Since Ankeny was dead ahead, I stomped the accelerator and grinned as I saw someone's front bumper with the license plate "BEEMER" dislodge from the back of the toyhauler and tumble into the median. Somebody back in Duluth with the name of Beemer was probably annoyed, but I was happy to have a second chance at a visit to an actual Duluth Trading store. I was not disappointed. At the Iowa location I found enough (tall) clothes to make the earlier episode worth it. My wife purchased some shoes and a fetching Women's Crusher Packable Sun Hat. By the time we returned home, she wanted to mow the yard to test it out. Quality with added benefits!

I had concerns with releasing my women's clothing observations. We men are not well known for our expertise in this area. Just when I considered dropping the subject due to modesty and a general lack of knowledge in womanly ways, I caught a break. I found a post by Dairy Carrie on her interactions with Duluth Trading Company. Take a look and you will see that women agree. There is something for everybody at Duluth's website.

The Mustard Thieves

I have been asked for many recipes. Some I gladly remit. Others remain a secret. There is pride in being able to produce a desired product that others cannot replicate. That fact alone has fueled competition and rivalry at regional and state fairs for a couple of centuries. A slight variation can make the most mundane fare a delicacy. Using rose petals to gently flavor corn-cob jelly comes to mind. One of my favorites would be adding beef broth to anything vegetarian to make it edible. These are many insider secrets of a small degree. To really display the power of a good secret recipe, I submit the following...

It has been many years since my mother began making home-made mustard. She obtained the mustard2starter recipe from a friend and tried a few batches. After a few adjustments and some rather unappealing results, she finally nailed down her masterpiece. The tangy, and now known in certain circles as "Mom's Sweet and Hot Mustard", has become another part of local folklore. As any rural folks will acknowledge, you don't just give away special recipes. I will go ahead and let you down now. Fear for life and limb prevents me from sharing her recipe. I can however, tell you some of the trials and tribulations associated with cornering the local market with such an unusual condiment.

My father had an inclination to make the rounds every morning and attend local card games. Going to bed early allowed him to rise before the crack of dawn and be at the local garage or fraternal organization for a few hands of Pitch. For those not from the mid-west, or unfamiliar with the game of Pitch, it is a card game with the value of each card variable depending on the number of players present. In simple terms, it was modified over the years to be played by a few, or a large group. Since the game was adaptable, playing for money was not unheard of. To this day, I am unaware of where other players obtained their card playing money, but I will admit that I know where Dad got his.

From the time I was very young until the age of... let's say 30, my great aunt raised chickens. I eggs1remember her selling eggs to the local school (no, none of us died without the new regulations) and plenty of eggs were left over. Dad carried several dozen of those eggs to sell every morning as he made the rounds. This increased his available card playing money. As dear old Aunt Tiny grew older, Dad decided she should no longer be burdened with the flock… and he sold them. The shrillness of the unexpected chicken dispersal is a memory that refuses to fade. I am sure my aunt received some solace in the fact that Dad no longer had eggs to sell.

It was about this time that Dad decided Mom's mustard would be a good replacement for eggs when it came to bolstering his stake in the Pitch games. My Mother was happy to donate the custardy yellow mix, as she felt his friends enjoyed her efforts. As usual, Dad blundered in his good fortune. He made the mistake of telling Mom that several of the card players wanted the mustard, as it bartered well. "You mean they give it away?", My mother growled. For the second time in his life, my Father's bargaining provisions dried up.

Even though poor old dad was out of mustard, my mother continued to produce the condiment for bwcanthose who truly appreciated it. One family who was originally awarded small batches of mustard by my mother, still seems to have a peculiar attraction to the concoction. Our relationship with the Meyers family started with hay... they baled square bales on shares, and later we hired them for custom large round baling. As our old Gleaner combine gradually wore down it was relegated to corn picking, and the Meyers family harvested our soybeans with newer machines. In the early days, there were only one or 2 of the Meyers boys doing custom work. Although they were paid for their labor, a couple of jars of Mom's mustard ensured our hay and crops were always in before a storm.

The Meyers clan grew. To keep up, Mom increased her mustard production. It seemed that everyone who was related to, or worked with, the Meyers were impressed with the spicy stuff. Trying to supply them with a fair share of mustard became a tactical challenge. There is a saying I am fond of. "You can't take just one Baptist fishing... He will drink all of your beer". The same is true of the Meyers and their consumption of Mom's mustard. You cannot give three jars to one in the jar1group and expect the others to get any. "Give one of these to your Brother" Mom would say, doling out a couple of jars. Within a week, the brother was complaining about mustard malfeasance. The mustard hoarding grew to such a level that I began cornering each of them individually and handing them a jar as if I were dealing illegal substances on a street corner.

Before you begin to see this story as aged, let me assure you that Mom’s mustard is still in demand. Missing mustard is still a problem when it comes to the Meyers. While attending one of the Meyers brother’s birthday parties last month, Mom brought 4 jars of mustard. I stood beside her as she explained that the mustard was for all of them. I heard one brother tell a young relative to put it somewhere that no one could find it. The next day, each of the Meyers bunch reported that they later found the bag empty with no mustard.

It was this latest disappearance that motivated me to come up with a plan. I advised my mother to issue each of the Meyers family a “mustard card”. If they ask for mustard, she can punch the card to make sure all are getting their fair allotment. Of course, my mother would never be so petty. Unbeknownst to the Meyers, my mom has a good idea who has the mustard each time a thievery occurs. Whether it’s a glance, a smile, or a nervous gesture, my mother spots the culprit. You may expect me to take credit for her keen awareness, but I blame my father for honing my mother's “deductory” skills.

While it is reminiscent of the wild west, this thievery has never devolved to the level of skirmishes and brawls of old. The mustard has been used for gambling, has been produced without colcangovernment oversight, and has caused families to lie and steal from one another to keep their respective cupboards stocked. It has also provided entertainment to rural families for a couple of decades. It is this relationship between the old and new… the supplier and consumer… the wise and the oblivious, that keeps the mustard tradition alive.

So, once again, I say no. You will not get the mustard recipe from me. Those true to their roots understand the exchange rate. The demand for the mustard is created by the fact that my mother makes it. The return... in my mother's case... is that people want her to make it. For me to interfere with that particular supply chain would make me worse than any of the other devious mustard thieves.

I Have No Idea – Lightbulbs

I have written articles, blog posts, even made videos about this subject, and it just continues to get worse. I am willing to concede that “green marketing” works. I have proven over and over that it is often false, or misrepresentative, but now the “greenies” have gone too far. I can no longer evaluate products when the market is saturated with hypes and claims! How many bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb? I don’t know yet! The jury is still out.

A few years back, there was a claim that sales of filament lightbulbs would soon be outlawed in favor of heavy metal (mercury) laced “green” bulbs, as they would save energy. Environmentalists flamed the internet again and CFLs were replaced with LEDs. Each product claims a reduced wattage of energy use to provide the same amount of light as a higher wattage bulb. I understood that phase. I even embraced it.
I can run 10 LED lamps, producing a hideous off-greenish-blue light, in my camper with the same power that one warm and steady incandescent bulb requires. I installed 18 of the gizmos in my toy hauler before an elk hunting trip. They work well in a situation where you are trying to save battery power in below freezing conditions. Warm light does not make your hunting buddies look better after a week anyway. In my home, it gets a little more critical.

I recently pushed an oversized cart through large home improvement store. My goal was to buy a flush mount ceiling light, and a flush-mount ceiling fan with a lighting kit that complimented the ceiling light. The first trick is to find to similar fixtures that use the same type of bulbs. When lit, an LED powered lamp looks different from a CFL, or a traditional Edison bulb, making the pair very unlike. To my surprise, I found a ceiling light and fan lighting kit that both used 60 watt max traditional bulbs. Since bulbs were not included, I headed to the light bulb aisle.

I started at the end of the aisle that used to contain plain-old light bulbs, but soon found I had wandered into the land of half, frosted, dimmable, spiral, multi-led, compact florescent section. I walked backwards looking for the 60 watt bulbs. Nothing! Everything was “replaces 60 watt bulb – uses only 12 watts” and so on. I went back to the beginning of the aisle to start over. This is where I noticed another example of “green marketing” saving companies money while preying on the customer.

bulbsThe labels on standard light bulbs now look something like this… replacement for 60 watt bulb uses only 43 watts of energy. The tree-hugging, do-gooding, environmentalists blinded to realism may fall for this, but I do not. There is nothing saying that the 43 watt bulb puts out as much light as a 60 watt bulb. There is just a large 60 watt label on a 43 watt incandescent light bulb. Less light means more bulbs, or better glasses, needed to see in the produced light. If I caught the deception, why does it bother me? Follow along fellow consumers.

Both my fan and ceiling light fixtures claim a maximum wattage of 60 is to be used in each light receptacle. I can obviously use the “replacement” for 60 watt bulbs as they are actually only 43 watt bulbs. What about the next incandescent bulbs on the shelf… replacement for 75 watt bulb uses only 58 watts. Isn’t this an actual 60 watt traditional bulb? Who pays for the fire damage if I use a 58 watt bulb masquerading as a 75 watt bulb when only a 60 watt maximum bulb was recommended? Once again… green marketing run amuck.

Most annoying are the misconceptions concerning energy consumption that are fed to our youth. They read tablets in the dark. They play computer games with no lights on. Think back. Didn’t we visualize our grandparent’s homes as a little dark, or poorly lit? Children today believe that is the way we grew up. Turn off the 6 recessed 40 watt bulbs, hit them with a good old center of the room 100 watter and they will cringe into the corner of the room while tanning a bit. The reality is that we had better and more useable artificial light40 years ago than we have today

This is probably why manufacturers list lumens (actual light) provided by newer bulbs. I found the 60 watt "replacements" ranged anywhere from 435 to 850 lumens. I'll take 850 lumens please. I don't want to add 3 more light fixtures in an attempt to make up the difference. Before you comment to discredit my thoughts, take a look at what more obvious claims would look like. "At 40 miles per gallon, the Honda Civic is a replacement for the fuel guzzling Corvette, OR, replacing Huggies diapers with 2 ply paper towels decreases landfill waste." The new standard in light bulb labeling is just another attempt to keep consumers in the dark.

 

What Is the Best Caliber For…

One of the most overused enticements in hunting literature is the ever popular "What is the best caliber for?..." Before we get too far into this article, I will assure you that there is not a definitive answer to that question. We are not here to argue that the 30.06 is the most popular caliber ever, or that the 7mm-08 is the ideal whitetail whacker, or that it takes a 338 Lapua to kill a big buck at 600 yards. We are here because I am looking for a new rifle. In particular, a new elk rifle for grizzly country.

grizzly1I may dampen your adrenaline rush a bit by telling you that I favor the 7-08 for deer. I also think the 7mm Mag is a great choice for elk. Both 7mm calibers can do the job well out to 300 yards and, in the right hands, beyond. Since I already have these calibers, it is obvious that I am itching for a new shooting stick. If I am so sure that a 7mm Remington mag is a good elk rifle, why am I eying a possible replacement? The twist in this mix is defense. I can assure you of 2 things. First, an attack by a large predator would most likely be unexpected. Second, I would not throw down my rifle and attempt to outdraw a charging mama Grizzly with a six-shooter. If I am carrying a rifle, I intend to use it.

I hate to break this to the "Quick Draw McGraws" out there, but it a head-to-head dual with a furry carnivore, even the mild-mannered 7mm-08 can overpower the mighty 500 Smith & Wesson when it comes to close-range lethality. This is not a video game, and you cannot press the space bar to cycle through weapons. I have looked at, and lifted, both the Smith 500 and Ruger 460 wheel guns. They are impressive. They are also inherently heavy. Carrying a pack, a rifle, and a heavy pistol (even in a chest holster) is cumbersome. I did not say impossible. I recommend the chest holster from the great folks at Guides Choice if that is the approach you are looking for. The obvious choice for more defensive power in a single firearm is a large bullet at a velocity that only a long-gun can deliver.

Unlike many riflemen, Icartridge30 am not ashamed to admit that recoil becomes a factor when discussing rifles above the 300 Win mag range. The 300 Mag is a definite improvement over the 7 Mag for dangerous animals at the ranges we are discussing. The question is, how much shoulder punishment can a hunter absorb and still maintain long-range accuracy? Unless you are Superman, you have limits in this area as well. If you are Superman, I apologize. Just let the bear gnaw at you for a while, then toss it back into the woods. For the rest of us, there is a trade-off between the long-range accuracy needed for elk in open country, and the loss of precision that comes from recoil anticipation while yanking the bang switch on a fire-belching, lead foundry. A fellow hunter suggested a Browning lever action in a 358 Win. I do not disagree that this is a fine defensive caliber. Much like my 45-70 lever gun, it lacks the long-range performance I am looking for.

Let's look at two options. Both are documented performers, and have a well-earned respect in the shooting industry. First, the Weatherby 30-378. Yes, there are larger Weatherby calibers that are more bear-worthy, but the Accumark line with a muzzle break brings the recoil down to a level that is manageable in a long range rifle. The other option is the venerable 338 Win Mag. This is the go to caliber for many Alaskan guides. The performance of the 338 Win is admirable at mid to fairly long range trajectories. Once again, there are options for a muzzle brake if the recoil is above manageable levels. In case you were wondering... The recoil on these 2 calibers is very similar.

The next step in the selection process is to search the availability of rifles in these calibers. The 30-378 is simple. There are Sako,and Weatherby rifles chambered for the long range cartridge. The Weatherby options vary from the new $2600 Terra-mark, to the new Accu-guard at $950. For the 338 Win, the possibilities are huge. It seems that almost every arms manufacturer still in business has, at one time or another, chambered a rifle in the 338 Win Mag. Since I have my fair share of Winchesters and Remingtons, I would lean towards a Sako Classic, or a very reasonable Savage. So, the guns are out there. Let's get to a very real factor... the cost of ammo.

Does a hundred bucks for 20 factory cartridges seem a little high? I am being generous.The difference between a box of factory ammo for the 30-378 and the 338 is around $100, with the Winchester cartridge hovering between $35 and $50. I have no issues paying for a quality rifle that will hold its value. I do have issues with $7 flying out the barrel with every practice shot.

elk4Now for the bad news, I have not made my decision yet. Seem like a bait and switch story? Not really. As I said in the beginning, there is no perfect option. That is especially true when this decision is applied to other hunters with different abilities. The problem with my scenario is that there is a trade-off between the best long range calibers and the short range defensive varieties. If I were hunting on Kodiak Island, I would lean heavily towards a short barreled 338. If I stalked a 6x6 bull all day and never got closer than 500 yards, I would curse my choice. The opposite would hold true as well. In the unlikely event of a bear charge, my brain would be screaming, "45-70 lever!" as I attempted to swing the 26 in barrel and high magnification scope at a furry, blurry target.

There are other reasons I chose the 2 calibers above. At some point I intend to hunt for moose and bear... 338 territory. I would also like to customize a long ranger... 30-378, possibly 300 RUM. I have been debating this since the spring thaw. I have also been wearing out the "Watch This" icon over at GunBroker. Whichever I choose first, it will go in the safe for this year. It is time for some range practice, and my 7 Rem Mag is looking mighty comfy as my elk rifle again this year. I can still strap on the old 44 Mag for camp duty. There is a lot to be said for being familiar with your firearm. A wise man once said that a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. That thought applies well when comparing new rifles to your trusted favorites.

Father’s Day – Shaving

From time to time, I like to take a little trip down memory lane. This is one such time. I recently made what many would erroneously consider a step in the wrong direction with my grooming habits. I benched my 3 bladed cartridge razor in favor of the dreaded safety variety. Some of you have used this classic device before. Those who have may have just winced at the memory of nicks received from the gadget. Of those folks, many were probably introduced to the safety razor the same way I was... By sneaking it out of their Dad's medicine cabinet and trying to secretly shave the first time without assistance. This attempt was usually followed by a classic bellow from the bathroom as dear old Dad yelled, "Who has been messing with my razor?" This did not necessarily mean the young lad's actions had been detected. Moms of the time were notorious for dulling blades by secretly shaving their legs with the same razor.

Why does a simple safety razor get recognition in my discussion of Father's Day? Sure, it was used by fathers for decades, but that is just scratching the surface (pun intended). Step into the way-back machine and follow along. Years ago, men (and women) worked hard. Seems like a foreign concept today, but I mean they really worked hard. Look at black and white photos of working class familiderazores from a hundred years ago. Do these look like happy-go-lucky-people? A workday was demanding, and left the worker with evidence of their toils. Coal mining husbands were unrecognizable before washing off the day's black soot. Steel workers stank of sweat and the acrid smell of smelting burned the nose. Farmers gained the aroma of horses, mules, cows, and the piles they left behind. A shower or bath was not used to wake up after a late night out. It was necessary for health and longevity. It also kept the bed sheets from resembling the Shroud of Turin. How did our ancestors stand to stay together, in close proximity, in teeny houses, under such conditions? Once in a while, they had to spiffy up.

Let's say Ma gets her canning done a little early and decides to take a cool bath to end her day. Pa comes in from the field covered in dust and grime. Ma says, "You get in the washroom and clean up before dinner!" Pa yells from the washroom, "Who's been messing with my razor?" He lathers up with lime, sandalwood, or other exotic shave soaps from the era, and slickers off his stubble. After dinner, over a game of dominoes, Ma comments on how handsome Pa is with a clean shave. Pa questions Ma about the dullness of his razor. The old oil lantern gets turned down. "Brown chicken-Brown cow", our lineage continues. Now that we know we will eventually be born, let's move back to the present.

Why would a modern man voluntarily move backwards to a single bladed razor when there are plenty of 2, 3, or 5 bladed cartridges on the market? For starters, let's talk cost. Yes, a quality safety razor is not cheap. It will set you back $20 to $50 in initial layout. Blade cost? A pack of four Mach 3 cartridges runs around 16 dollars, while 100 safety razor blades from respected manufacturers are between 8 and 12 bucks. Next, consider the operation of the shaver. With a safety razor, the trick is to keep your face wet and use short and no-pressure strokes. The new cartridges are designed to stretch, pull, lift, cut, and confusingly the last step, lubricate in a single swipe. My observations over the last few weeks have convinced me that the single blade imerkursets actually less irritating on my face. There is no pull on the handle from the rubber ribs of the cartridge drag across your face with the simple shaver. The old style razor does take a little more time, probably due to the fact that I am trying not to ruin the experience by nicking my face. My speed is increasing as I become comfortable with the technique.

Let's not get confused and come to the conclusion that I just like doing things the hard way. An old time safety razor shave approaches spa-level service today. You can chose the brush, the shave soap, amount of lather, moisture, the scent, the razor, the blade. If your goal is to compete with the lady in your life for valuable bathroom counter space, I advise you to take a look at all of the products available at Classic Shaving. You can contemplate what weighed on your ancestor's minds as they wiped fog from the mirror. Take a simple job, a simple machine, and make it yours again. In the end, you come away with a smooth, lightly-scented face, and the possibility of a "Brown chicken-Brown cow" moment of your own. Without those, Father's day would be a moot point.

Over-Sensitized Consumers

Desensitizing. It sounds a bit militaristic. I have seen this word used over and over again in reference to killers, terrorists, and those of us who consume meat in a balanced diet. The theory is that those who are constantly around perceived objectionable practices tend to lose their disdain for them. In other words, if you grew up hunting for food, you do not feel as ashamed as others wish you did. You are desensitized to the violence known as feeding yourself. I have some bad news for the self-sufficient. This is not a theory, but a fact. We can trace this effect through past generations, and see a startling reality about food perceptions.

We, who live on this planet as a combined group of beings who consume food to live, are gradually painting ourselves into a proverbial corner. I can be condemned for eating an apple. "Sorry, no, it was not organic". What a self-aggrandizing world do we live in. A generation ago folks pealed an apple, cut out any worm holes, bruises or defects, and ate what was left. Today, those of us who eat apples grown by conventional methods are prompted to feel beneath those who only eat a couple of untouched, pristine apples from the top of each tree. As far as they are concerned, the rest are good for compost piles.

nuggetWhen you buy chicken at the store, is it in the form of fillets or boneless skinless breasts? Have your kids ever eaten bone-in meat? Many haven't. They would be appalled to realize that chicken comes from a...um... chicken. My young niece recently declared her affinity for chicken nuggets. "What part of the chicken is that", I asked. After a short sidebar with her older sister, she exclaimed, "His nuggets!"  Funny? Yes. I decided to drop the explanation until she is substantially older.

A woman recently filed a lawsuit because there was a skinned chicken foot in her store bought boneless-skinless chicken breast package. She claimed mental anguish and an inability to ever eat chicken again. The case should be thrown out. She couldn't eat chicken to start with! My grandmothers, aunts and uncles gnawed a chicken until there was nothing left but the cackle. We need to shed this belief that good food is only available after it has been industrialized.

porksteakThere is a solution. Summer is here. Instead of feeding your kids flavored yogurt and mystery meat with a brown-crust-flavored substance, toss some pork steaks or chicken thighs on the old BBQ grill. (these are still some of the cheapest proteins out there) It doesn't have to be everyday, but think of the stir you will cause in the neighborhood when that seared chicken and hickory smoke smell wafts through the sub-division. Folks will step outside and warily aim their jealous noses into the wind. More importantly, you will be passing on an appreciation for real food to the next generation.