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When the triumphant hunters return to Pemberton, the
animal(s?) is hung to dry in my in-laws’ shed on a medieval-looking hook and
chain. I think of Bullwinkle as it hangs there lifelessly above the sawdust.
For our dog, butchering time is better than Christmas. He
gets all the scraps. I was the proudest mother a few years ago when he was just
four months old; he growled the neighbour’s much-bigger dog away who dared to
venture near his pile of entrails. My puppy became a dog that day. During
hunting season he gets rounder with each butchering session. At the peak of the
season he resembles a furry blimp with a tiny head. His usual bowl of kibble
sits untouched. (That’s for city dogs.) In the shed, he is thrown so much raw
meat that he starts haphazardly “burying” it into the sawdust on the floor. Not
much of a hide job but after a while he is overwhelmed with the sheer quantity
of food. It is not unusual for fall visitors to our house to be greeted at the
front door with a half-chewed deer leg on the welcome mat.
I dislike meat-packing time, when we gather around the big
wooden shed table to weigh and pack cuts of meat for the freezer. Never in my
city-girl life did I expect to write “moose roast” on brown butcher paper over
and over and over again. That said, moose meat is delicious – far tastier
than beef – so I must do my part.
Fall is, of course, harvest time in Pemberton as well. You
need some spuds to go with that moose roast. Tractors lumber up and down
Pemberton Meadows Road, making one realize that for some Pembertonians the
morning commute is not the daily grind to Whistler but a day in the back field.
Our in-laws get a big bag of spuds from the Beks’ farm and we do too, along
with a sack of carrots from the Hellevangs. Devotees of the Slow Food Movement
would be impressed with our dinners of local spuds, moose steaks, beets and
Swiss chard from my in-laws garden, and a pie made from our own rhubarb and
raspberries. Just a typical fall dinner in Pemberton.
But there is no time to savour the meal or victory for long.
I hear some more scurrying down the hall…
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Eight candidates were nominated for three positions on the Board More...