As a fledgling member of the blog community, I can only assume that if you are reading this post, there is a strong possibility that you have watched the movie “Julie and Julia.” However, if this assumption is like a majority of the ones I make, allow me to explain. The 2009 movie, directed by Nora Ephron, features Julie (Amy Adams) who vows to cook and blog her way through Julia Child’s first book “”Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. With each recipe, Julie is challenged to stretch farther, venture deeper, and whisk faster. The end result is a journey that leaves a young woman forever changed. If you haven’t gotten the chance to enjoy this movie, do yourself a favor and check it out. Okay, so now you are asking yourself, “Why is someone who lures me in with talks of guns, survival, zombies, and bush-craft now rambling on about Julia Childs and classic French cuisine?” Well stop thinking so much and let me finish!
For the last eight years, Field and Stream Magazine has been hosting the “Total Outdoorsman Challenge.” People from every crevice of the country compete for $25,000 and the bragging rights of being the baddest outdoorsman (or ourdoorswoman) in the land. Recently, Field and Stream teamed up with outdoor writer T. Edward Nickens to produce a companion guide, titled “The Total Outdoorsman Manual: 374 Skills You Need”. The hardcover gem includes tips for better camping, fishing, hunting, and survival. It covers everything from choosing the right knife to taking the best fish photo, to safely drinking your own peepee. No stone is left unturned in this literary feast for the outdoorsman’s soul. So what does this have to do with Julia Childs, you ask?
This is where my quest begins. The plan is to create my own dirt covered, fishy smelling, fire kindling version of Nora Ephron’s idea. I will complete all 374 “essential skills” that Field and Stream and Ed Nickens tells me I need to know, with some exceptions. Due to the layout of the book and the fact that I am no relation to Michael Waddell, it isn’t feasible for me to hunt bull elk one day and fish for steelheads in Colorado the next. That being said, my goal is to complete each task in a timely manner, and provide you, the reader, with the gory, gritty details. If you are connecting the dots, you are now realizing that at some point, this means I’m going to have to drink my own urine. Yeah, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one too.
Well folks, there it is…my plan of action. I encourage you to offer me words of encouragement, advice, and a sense of humor along the way. I will definitely need that last one by the end. Oh yeah, and for those of you who think hunting and fishing is a morally reprehensible act undertaken by barbarians and monsters, let me point you in the right direction. I’m sure if you hit your “back” button a few times and type “classic French cuisine” in the search bar, you will find something more to your liking. For everyone else, buckle up. It’s may be a bumpy ride…