by Caroline

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Yes, it’s true: the vegetarian food blogger is offering you a recipe for bison jerky, courtesy of her even-more-stringently vegetarian nine year-old son.

I am trapped in a head cold that makes me uninterested in much besides tea and toast.

My son, however, is embarked on a multi-week westward migration game in his third grade classroom. The kids have divided into families, been assigned jobs, built covered wagons, bought supplies, and, just this week, started heading to California from Missouri. This week’s homework has involved some research projects: cholera; snake bite remedies; and, tonight, jerky. My husband tried to suggest that Ben, who has frustrated his classroom family a little bit by refusing to imaginary-hunt or eat meat on the journey, come up with a recipe for tofu jerky, but he demurred. He was interested to hear that his late grandfather had once built a backyard smoker, and of course a herd of bison grazes in Golden Gate Park, just a few blocks from our house, but thankfully those bison and that smoker have never met. He wasn’t interested in the recipe I found in my copy of Sarah Hale’s The Good Housekeeper (first published in 1841). She doesn’t offer jerky, exactly, but has a variety of recipes for smoked, pickled, and salted meats, and even one for a meat preserved in snow: “the meat remains as fresh and juicy when it is taken out to be cooked, as when it was first killed.” Mmm. Instead, he adapted a recipe from our current bedtime book, Little House in the Big Woods. Let me know if you try it!