Andrew Nixon
Andrew Nixon

Of late we are smitten with a rather homely blog whose content is so good, and its straightforwardness so compelling, that it overcomes its strangely distracting design and ads for cutting down belly fat. Hunter Angler Gardener Cook is Hank Shaws site about being just that:

“I fish. I dig earth, raise plants, live for food and kill wild animals…But most of all I think daily about new ways to cook and eat anything that walks, flies, swims, crawls, skitters, jumps – or grows…Honest food is what I’m seeking…I am especially interested in those meats and veggies that people don’t eat much any more, like pigeons or shad or cardoons.”

Shaw blogs his “wanderings in the edible world” and explorations of foods that strike his fancy – explorations that invariably lead to improvising and figuring things out himself. The blog is a good place for learning about what’s REALLY in season, and what to do with foods you’ve foraged one way or another, or have just wondered about. We like his step-by-step instructions (with photos) of how to break down a (game) bird, and make bottarga (salt-cured fish roe), and are impressed with his thoughts on Wild Game Fat and Flavor, which we haven’t seen written about elsewhere. And even though we can’t get with his use of garlic powder and Instacure No.2 (sodium nitrite) in what looks like an otherwise fine recipe for Lardo, we love his original voice and take and insights into the process of sussing out a new ingredient; the guy is game to learn and get his hands dirty.

The blog is a fine reminder of what is out there, from acorns and borage, to elderflower and shad: all the fabulous possibilities for eating in the natural world…We want some of Shaw’s nettle risotto

Holly A. Heyser
Holly A. Heyser

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3 replies on “want to be a: hunter angler gardener cook?

  1. Another great blog about hunting, foraging and gardening is Tamar Haspel’s Starving off the Land. Read it at or read monthly excerpts at

  2. Hey there,

    Thanks for the kind words, although I am sorry you don’t like the design or ads; the ads do help pay the mortgage, though. I am slowly moving to ads more relevant to my site, but it’s a work in progress…

    As for the lardo, garlic powder works its way into the meat better – I’ve done it with fresh garlic, too, and it’s good, but not as effective as the powder. As for the Instacure, it is for a) safety and b) color. I don’t always use it for lardo, but it is pretty necessary in most other charcuterie (but here is not the place to get into it about the whole nitrate thing)

    If you ever come by the house, I will be happy to make you some nettle risotto! Or a risotto of whatever happens to be in season at the moment…



    PS – Tamar and I compare notes a lot. She is good people.

  3. Hi Hank, Thank you for the SWELL invitation.

    My reasons for mentioning the design was to encourage readers to keep reading despite some possibly off-putting visuals BECAUSE YOUR MESSAGE AND CONTENT IS SO GREAT..That your great message might be suffering a bit from the design is a common problem (something we are still struggling with). I TOTALLY understand the need to pay the rent. The question is: How to design a blog that so your content, which is what is driving everything, doesn’t suffer?

    And of course, we could go on and on about using nitrites or not, and this is not the place…I’ve spent a fair amount of time curing hams in my NYC apartment, taking a non-nitrite route but at lower temperatures (in a fridge)… For liability’s sake, a concern when publishing stuff, nitrites are a good protection….Maybe one day we can talk about it over nettle (or other risotto) and a lot of wine/bourbon/homemade something…

    Wishing you every good thing, Sally

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