Having been raised in a cattle farming family, the meats on our plates were far more likely to be the result of breeding and raising, as opposed to hunting. Perhaps it’s ironic then that my brother and I were taught to shoot and — thanks to our former Army sharpshooting dad — quickly got to a marksmanship level of never meeting a target, tin can or milk carton we couldn’t take out on the first try. It’s one thing however to be a crack shot when the bull’s-eye is stationary and quite another to hit the mark when faced with a moving target. Skeet shooting is of course a way to measure one’s worth in that department, but the closest we ever came to that is tossing bottles as high in the air as we could manage and opening fire.
This may or may not have been a practice honed on a friend’s ranch during our sometimes misspent youth using bottles from freshly-consumed beer, but that’s not something we have to go into here and also, don’t do that, y’all. While we lack in the department of hunting stories, our plates runneth over with friends who hunt and they are generous with their bounty.
Our friend Zach falls into that category. He is an avid hunter and always a welcome addition to dinner parties. When he brings his homemade duck poppers however, he is the most popular person in the place. The duck is the most tender and flavorful I’ve ever eaten and is always fresh from that morning or at most, a hunt the day before the party.
The closest to a duck hunt I’ve ever gotten is hunting for the best restaurant serving it. After seeing Denny Culbert’s images for the “La Chasse au Canard” duck hunting feature on page 40, I’m game to try it out. Culbert’s otherworldly photos and accompanying essay about his own experiences will certainly strike a chord with those who, like me, have never been on the hunt, and those who live for it. Our thanks to the troop who allowed us to tag along and to Jo Vidrine (a.k.a. The Freelance Cajun) for sharing his recipe for duck gumbo, which is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party. Don’t forget to save a little of that meat for a platter of poppers. I promise your guests will be grateful and you’ll get invited to a lot of gatherings this duck season.
Cheers to many fruitful hunts, both for those willing to go out into the wilds of Acadiana to acquire it and those who are searching for it in their favorite eateries and meateries. Either way it’s a win-win, because at the end of the day, you get a belly full of duck.
Melanie Warner Spencer, Managing Editor
(504) 830-7239 | Melanie@AcadianaProfile.com
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The new Rock ‘n’ Bowl at 905 Jefferson St. in downtown Lafayette is the talk of the town. Owner John Blancher flung open the doors in July with a soft opening party featuring live music by Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-Stars. Much like at the original New Orleans location, music will play a large role in the offerings at the entertainment complex. There is a stage and a dance floor in the middle of the bowling lanes and later, Blancher will open the second-floor ballroom and the Sinte Marie restaurant. therocknbowl.com
There’s still time to view the realist works of famed regionalist painter Andrew Wyeth. The Pennsylvania-born Wyeth focused on the land and people and was one of the best-known artists of the mid-20th century. There are seven collotypes in the exhibit, which is at the Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, 1001 Ryan St., Lake Charles until Sept. 15. Admission is free. cityoflakecharles.com