Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Note on the Importance of Using It All

You already know how I am about separated eggs: the half that isn't called for in one recipe will always get used in another, whether I really need six crème brulées in my fridge or not. You can see now that my use-it-all fanaticism is worse than you thought. Yes, those are grouse feet and yes, I have made them into earrings. And worn them. With pride. I actually find them quite beautiful and believe by making and wearing them I am showing some sort of respect for the animal who was killed and most gratefully eaten.

Grouse Foot Earrings

makes one pair

  • one pair fresh grouse feet
  • salt to cover well
  • Form loops in two pieces of wire, leaving a long end on each. Poke the wires into the ends of each leg until the loops meet the flesh and carefully position each loop in the same orientation. Place your grouse feet in a ziplock bag and pour salt over them until they are well covered. Close bag and set aside.
  • Several months later break them out of the salt and, using a brush you might otherwise use to clean mushrooms, remove any salt that clings to the feet. Remove any remaining feathers or material you find unsightly.
  • Wrap the ankles in wire. Using another two pieces of wire, attach hooks to the loops you made when you put the feet up to cure.
I can recommend these particularly to those who work with the public in a service capacity and wake up feeling their personal bubble needs an extra ounce of reinforcement any given day. And if they fail to provide it, if someone manages to get through anyway, you can always take one out of your ear and see what those little grouse claws are capable of.


sarah said...


onewoman2020 said...

This must be somewhat hereditary. Your great-grandfather had a mini-farm on the edge of town. Now and then Daddy would come home with a live chicken, cut off it's head and let it run around the backyard. The proper parts went to the kitchen for dinner, but the chicken feet became great entertainment for us kids. He would tie a string to the tendon so we could make the foot open and close. Perhaps not so respectful as your use, but it was great fun and gave us what's now referred to as street cred.