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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Recipe of the Day

Family, Terrific Cooking

It has been an interesting weekend.

Braumeister has been rising at 4 AM each morning in a perfectly futile hunt for the elusive wild turkey.

Me?  I've been trying not to be too preoccupied with my pop. 

Dad has been seeking the other side for a few days and I've been trying to maintain my sanity by sticking to my routine.

Early this morning my buddy Brau roused me from a very deep sleep.

Get the hell out of bed.  Do you know your Blackberry was ringing.  Jeez!  Do you know you could sleep through enough noise to wake the dead?

If he is nothing else Braumeister is prophetic.

With that the land line rings and I speak with my wife who tells me the call has finally arrived.  We exchange information and say our good nights.  Fumbling with my Blackberry I call the hospice nurse who has been tending to dad and she shares with me the news that my father died peacefully at 2 AM.  She also confirms that the Medical College of Wisconsin was coming to fetch dad's husk of remains.

If they are nothing else - Vitas Hospice is both incredibly sensitive and efficient.  God bless them.

Brau and I sit for a spell and talk.  He eventually returns to bed and I call my brother and send an email to our vast extended family.

Within moments my hunting buddy is snoring to beat the band.

Yes.  He could wake the dead.

I spend most of this morning making more calls to all parts of the country and talking with my brother.

By the time noon rolls around I finally find the time to detach from planning arrangements.  I spend a blissful afternoon working in the garden.  And earn a mild sunburn.

In keeping with the continued distraction of maintaining a routine and  keeping busy - tonight my dog and I made a giant batch of the signature chutney.

Gas Pains' Rhubarb Chutney

First you need to cut a big armful of rhubarb.

Trim the leaves and rinse.  I ended-up with about 12 cups of chopped stalks.

Add the following to a big kettle along with the chopped rhubarb:

9 C of chopped sweet onions

24 oz container of raisins

10 C of brown sugar (give or take)

6 C of apple cider vinegar

3T Kosher salt

3t ground cinnamon

3t ground ginger

1 1/2 t ground cloves

One heaping shake of ground red pepper

Bring to a boil and  simmer low and slow.  Stir frequently - roughly 3-4 hours until your sauce is good and rich and thick. 

Transfer to jars and process in your canner for about 15-20 minutes.

Makes 10 pints.

Serve as a side condiment with grilled beef steak or wild game.  You can also use this as a glaze on either grilled or braised pork.

Trust me.

It's awesome.

So was dad.

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