Wednesday, February 24


In defense of my hunting husband (who provides all our red meat) and on behalf of all my friends who cringe when they see email from me during hunting season (what dead animal will be pictured next?), I had to tell the world that I draw the line at eating roadkill.

I just finished Mika Brzezinski's book, All Things at Once, a memoir that I picked up to read about balancing work and motherhood. Turns out I had more in common with Mika's mother than Mika (MSNBC host of Morning Joe - had to look that up as I don't get cable). Mika's dad was Jimmy Carter's national security advisor so the family moved to the Washington, D.C., area where her mother tried to balance her individualism and art with a political husband and three teenage children.

Her mom's art medium was wood sculpture so she must have been pretty handy with sharp instruments. One day before an upcoming DC dinner party, her mom was driving to pick up Mika at school when she came across a dead deer on the side of the road. "Naturally, she got out to check if the carcass was still warm. It was. So she started hacking it up right there...Some guy in a truck pulled over and helped her, and they ended up splitting the deer, and she brought her half home in the trunk of her car, thinking about how she might prepare it for her guests. To her, this was normal... Mom was a wonderful, resourceful, and courageous cook, and she especially like to cook venison, so she counted herself lucky to have stumbled across this great find. It was like winning some wild-game lottery... When (the guests) sat down to dinner, they took turns marveling at the venison... They wondered aloud who the caterer was, and where my mother got her venison. Mrs. (Pamela) Harriman was just bringing her fork to her mouth when my mother blurted out her response. 'Oh,' she said, 'I found it on Old Dominion Road. It had been hit by a car just moments before I pulled up! Isn't it wonderful?' ... She went on with her story, as mouths dropped all around the table. 'I couldn't believe my good luck,' she continued. 'I gutted the thing right there, and skinned it, and brought the best part home for my guests.' ... What happened next was like a spit take scene from an old Honeymooners episode. Pamela Harriman--midbite, midsentence--spit her mouthful on her plate and turned ashen white. This proud, grand, refined woman, who had been married to Winston Churchill's son, who had dined at the finest restaurants and banquets and receptions all over the world, who would go on to become the U.S. ambassador to France, was simply aghast. And my mother, God bless her, couldn't understand the commotion. The story made the gossip section of the newspaper. Something about the Brzezinskis serving roadkill."

No way would I do that for a deer, but an antelope or an elk, well, I guess I better say, "never say never." But I'll wait until after dinner to reveal my sources!

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