(A column, whereas, you the reader may ask Ben questions about camping, cooking, hunting, fishing, or other questions on living in our Great Outdoors.)
Q – I want to take my son fishing for the first time; he’s ten. What kind of bait do I use and what kind of rod and reel do you suggest that I buy. I won’t be fishing.
A – I take it that you aren’t a fisherperson! I started out teaching my own kids to fish by buying a two-piece cane pole. I found them in the Boy Scout catalog and sometimes they have them at the Boy Scout store on Jefferson. It has a fishing line already attached along with a hook, bobber, and a sinker. Buy a container of bee moths and you’re all set to start a kid on one of the greatest adventures he will ever have. Go for bluegills at the pond at Franke Park, at Fox Island, or in the St. Mary’s River (I wouldn’t eat the fish from the St. Mary’s though – just throw them back.). You might want to take some Wet Naps along for cleanup. Another piece of advice, – look for someone that is fishing and ask them for tips on how to bait your hook. I’m sure anyone fishing would be glad to help break in a newcomer to the sport. Good luck.
Q – Dear Ben and to all you hunters who kill animals for food, shame on you; you ought to go to the store and buy the meat that was made there, where no animals were harmed.
A – Does anyone want to bring this person into reality with an answer?
Q – I found a giant puffball in the woods; how do I cook it?
A – First make sure it’s fresh and white. As a puffball ages it turns tan and then to brown. Only the white ones are good to eat. Cut off the bottom (the dirty part) and then peel away the thick skin. Look it over good for any signs of bug holes. If you find any, cut them away until you have a nice solid piece of white mushroom. Slice down through the puffball lengthwise. Dip each piece in beaten egg, roll in cornmeal, flour, or cracker crumbs and fry in a little butter or Canola oil. Another way, is to cut each piece of sliced puffball into 1-inch squares and fry in a little butter. The pieces will shrink up to about half their size and turn golden yellow. At this point I like to eat as is or mix them in with scrambled eggs. Salt and pepper to taste.
Q – I hunted Salamonie Reservoir last year and the DNR served up a lunch of Ham and Beans with cornbread and a bottomless cup of coffee for FREE to all the deer hunters in the area on opening day of deer (gun) season. Are they going to do that again this year? I heard a rumor that they were not going to do it anymore.
A – I got a call from Laura Whiteleather and she said that they are planning to serve the annual FREE lunch. Recently I made a call to the Salamonie Reservoir Office and talked to Teresa Rody and got some more information. The FREE lunch will consist of Ham and Beans with cornbread and a bottomless cup of coffee. There will be bottled water and pop available for 50-cents. The lunch is FREE to all hunters in the area and yes they will have a container there for donations. My sons and nephews always chip in a few bucks each because it’s easier than going back to camp and heating up something out of a can and it tastes a whole lot better. Last year it was so good I had a second bowl and threw in another dollar or two. The camaraderie with the DNR boys, Conservation Officers, and other hunters is something I look forward to. The food is usually served up by Teresa Rody, Laura Whiteleather, Rex Whiteleather, Max Whiteleather, and Betty Whiteleather (we just call her Mom – and incidentally she makes delicious cornbread).
So here’s the facts:
What? – Ham & Beans with cornbread & coffee and if we’re lucky maybe brownies or cookies?
When? – Saturday, November 14th (opening day of gun season for deer) from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM or until food runs out.
Who? - Upper Wabash Interpretive Services and volunteers
Where? - Salamonie Reservoir Nature Center, Lost Bridge West (West off of 105), Andrews, Indiana
Why? - The Opening Day Traditional Deer Hunters’ Lunch
Cost? – FREE (Bottled water and pop available for 50-cents)
Hey, hope to see you there.