It's Bear Time!

This is it, bear time. Hunter and his friend are leaving for a week-long bear hunting trip at the end of the week. They're both experienced hunters and the chances of them coming home empty game-bagged are pretty slim. I have to face it, I'm going to have to eat a bear.

This Alaskatarian diet was pretty easy when moose, salmon, scallops, clams, cod and a bit of spruce hen were on the menu. But a bear? I've been assured that bear tastes very good but somehow, I'm struggling to get my head around it.

Is it because bear is bear? Bear doesn't become something else, the way Bambi becomes venison. I don't know why I have no qualms about eating a moose but feel a bit of unease about a bear on my plate.

The deal I made with Hunter when we were first together is that if he hunts it, we have to eat it. For better or for worse, I'm committed to this. Time to put my big girl apron on and get into that kitchen.

So here's my plan for the bear:

One thing about being Alaskatarian is that there's no bacon in my house anymore. I loved bacon. So upon hearing that bear tastes like pork, I hustled over to the Alaska Outdoors Forum on the Web and found out that yes, I can make bacon out of bear meat. SCORE!

The good thing about being pregnant is that I'm expected to put on some weight. So bring on the bacon!

I like sausage. It must be my German ancestry. I'm going to have to come up with a sausage that cooks well since I'm not exactly game for a bout of trichinosis. I was thinking about andouille - I can make me a great Alaskatarian gumbo when Tanner crab season opens up. I was thinking Bratwurst, too. We can grill those on the firepit in the backyard this summer. I plan to make good use of my new fire pit. Only two more feet of snow to melt before it surfaces!

Cinnamon Rolls
What do cinnamon rolls have to do with bear? Well, according to my very cool Texan friend, rendered bear fat makes for a fantastic batch of cinnamon rolls. Since Hunter considers himself an aficionado of the cinnamon roll, I'll definitely make a batch or two for him.

Low and Slow 
Apparently, a bear roast is a tasty roast. I've been reading up on marinades and rubs and have a few to try out. The key is to cook it well done: a rare bear is bad bear.

I think I can do this. For now, my garage is a state of controlled chaos as Hunter gets himself ready to go. They're flying into a remote "spot" across the bay to set up camp. Flying in means they can only bring so much gear since bush planes have weight limits. All over my house, printed on the backs of envelopes, are lists of hunting essentials and their corresponding weights.

In a moment of Alaskatarianism that surprised even me, I asked hunter to remember to bring his saw. I hear that rib meat is where the tasty bacon comes from.

Five years ago, I never would have thought that never mind said it aloud.

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