The saturated blue night sky dilates rapidly to chambray like an old TV coming to life. After color, we get sound. The first shot from the woods detonates from a distance, sounding like the low beat of a pillow-stuffed bass drum; the next two, as sharp as rim shots, crack off a lot closer to the house. A bolt of excitement rolls through me, equal parts greed and reverence, two feelings that merge during our annual deer hunting weekend as naturally as sour mix and whiskey, and I think, I hope that was one of ours.

Our band of deer campers, as I call our hunting party, have been settled in their cold, open tree stands for over an hour, so it’s possible. I’ve been awake much longer, having risen before dawn on the most ceremonious of days, the deer hunting firearm-season opener, to send them off with a proper breakfast. I don’t get up to cook this early unless it’s a holiday, which is telling; after seven ritualistic seasons that’s pretty much what this weekend has become. In true holiday fashion, the morning meal contains enough riches to raise the body temperature by a few degrees: a couple of skeins of smoked sausage that I pan-steam until the bottoms darken and the juices evaporate

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Saveur

Saveur2 min readFood & Wine
Food Moves Us Closer
WE CAN NEVER LEARN ENOUGH about one another’s cultures. Although there is beauty in our individuality as nations, regions, and families, making an effort to know more about each other is the ultimate path toward kinship and unity. What we’ve already
Saveur7 min read
The Real Pad Thai
PAD THAI MIGHT JUST BE Thailand’s most famous export. The lightly sweet, peanut-topped noodle dish can be found in nearly every Thai restaurant around the world. And while it has been endlessly adapted (some might say bastardized) to appeal to the gl
Saveur3 min readFood & Wine
A Long And Winding Road
In my kitchen in Oakland, California, I preheated my cast-iron comal and slipped a pat of butter onto the surface. I’d just gotten home from New Orleans, where at an artisanal bakery I’d purchased a mallorca, a sweet spiral bun made by a baker from P