Not having the dogs around has given me a little more time to read -- which is always nice.
Ingredient #1: I just finished Joe Augustine's Feathered Tales -- this is Joe's first book and replays his quest for the North American gamebird 'grand slam'. This wouldn't be half as fun a read if Joe hadn't been committed to taking all 20 species over his own dogs, his two English setters, Jacy and Ranger. As of right now, the book seems only to be available through his publisher, Bonasa Press.
Ingredient #2: While I quoted a passage from this book in a much earlier post about the 'ballet' between man and dog, I finally read Donald McCaig's Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men. I'll put up some quotes as time goes by, but it's a wondeful book about McCaig's trip to Scotland to look for a new Border Collie pup.
Ingredient #3: Had an interview with a very nice DEC Enforcement Officer last night about my application to become a volunter hunter safety instructor in New York. My feeling is that hunting has given me a far greater appreciation for the natural environment and the pressures so much game habitat faces due to increasing human development -- and that, by hopefully doing my part to educate subsequent generations of hunters, I may be able to have some kind of positive impact on habitat conservation and safe, responsible firearm use.
Ingredient #4: In a word, hops!! Here's a recent NYT article about 'extreme' beer . Dogfish 90Minute IPA came out their favorite, although I am not that extreme and actually prefer the 60Minute IPA. I will be looking out for the Oskar Blues Gordon and the Lagunitas Maximus having tasted and liked their other, less-extreme beers.