Pheasant Vegetable Soup

A good cook knows how to make use of what’s on hand. And if he or she has a fertile imagination, the possibilities are endless. That’s especially true when making soup.

soupphezThat’s the situation I found myself in after returning from a pheasant hunting trip a couple of days ago. No only did I have some nice pheasants — actually it was the meat from the backbones of about a dozen birds — the last of my garden beans, some tomatoes that had been ripening after they were picked about a week ago and some freshly dug carrots made my endeavor quite easy.

I decided on a little pearled barley as well as some egg noodles to thicken the soup. The result was a little more than 2 quarts of soup, which will make a nice lunch for three or four days.

Pheasant Vegetable Soup
2 cups cooked pheasant, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 cups green beans
½ cup pearled barley
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 tomatoes, skins removed or 1 14½-ounce can
4 cups chicken or pheasant broth
1 cup egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in stock pot and cook until vegetables are done
Note: I cooked the backbones in a pot of water, using the broth and the meat for the soup. You also could use chicken and canned broth.

Wild Rice Casserole

Tried and true family recipes, the ones that have been made for years and years, are priceless. My favorite recipes are those that have been passed on to me by my late mom.

wildricecasseroleI can’t begin to count how many of them that still grace our dining room table. Some of them were my grandmother’s recipes, such as the one for baked oysters that we have during the holidays. Or her one for pickled beets, which Mom and her family called Grandpa’s pickles, because they always were on the table when her Grandpa Burkhardt lived with them.

There also are a lot that I haven’t tried yet, such as Mom’s recipe for overnight buns, which were a favorite of ours when my brothers and I were growing up.

But it’s not just my mom’s or grandma’s recipes that have a special place in my heart. My Auntie Helen Tiedeman, who was married to my Uncle George, passed on several recipes that I love. Her recipe for barbecues (or Sloppy Joes) that were served at our school hot lunch for year, is among my favorites.

Recently, I tried another of Auntie Helen’s recipea. It’s for Wild Rice Casserole. (She called it dressing.) I made it for our upcoming elk hunting trip to Colorado. It was the first time I made it, but it won’t be the last. It’s really tasty.

Give it a try. I’m sure you’ll love it, too.

Wild Rice Casserole
1 cup wild rice, steamed 3 or 4 times
¾ pound pork sausage, browned
2 medium or 1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms
½ green pepper, diced
1 10¾-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sage
Saute onion and celery. Mix with other ingredients, including juice from mushrooms. Bake 30 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees and serve.