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For me, alcohol has this endless fascination that there's this substance that can enhance life so beautifully and destroy it so completely.
A mourning dove's beauty is an understated one: the colors of its feathers ranging through various shades of gray and drab violet, often with a striking splash of turquoise around the eyes.
Havana is one of the great cities of the world, sublimely tawdry yet stubbornly graceful, like tarnished chrome - a city, as a young Winston Churchill once wrote, where 'anything might happen.'
Except for a very few elite pro racers up front, the Dakar Rally is not, at heart, a contest among the competitors; the battle, instead, is between mankind - more precisely, Western mankind, with all its fire-breathing machinery and inexorable arrogance - and Africa, which has been proving itself untamable for centuries now.
With the notable exceptions of rum drinks, black beans, fat brown cigars, the smiles of pretty girls, hot yellow sunlight, and fat men with guitars and bongos playing mambos, rumbas, and boleros late into the night, nothing in Cuba comes easily.
More often than not, punches underwhelm - too fizzy, too fruity, too sherbet-y, and/or too baroque, the flavors all muddled into the boozy equivalent of the water left over from cleaning watercolor brushes.
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio; raised primarily in Phoenix, Arizona; and, after running away from home in my teens to play music and bouncing around a bit, settled in Oxford, Mississippi, which I consider more my home than anywhere else in the world.
Ask any deer camp old-timer for a foolproof recipe, and you're likely to encounter a lot of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. There is a reason for that: Mushrooms plus cream plus game meat adds up to a perfect trinity of flavors.
Poems, unlike songs, are written to be read and, thus, come equipped with their own rhythms and melodies; they're self-contained entities, the whole shebang.
A hot, deep bowl of venison chili is as close to manna from Heaven as you're likely to find in deer camp.
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In the South, dove hunts do not draw quietly to a close. Sometimes, at the simplest end, a grill and cooler are hauled to the edge of the field, and the doves' breasts are grilled - usually swaddled in bacon, maybe with a jalapeno tucked inside - as the hunters tell and retell tales of the day's shooting.
It drives me crazy to throw something out. I find planned obsolescence revolting.
For whatever reason, I encounter Canadian whiskey at hunting camps way more often than I do in restaurants, bars, or homes. Could be the lower price. Could be the mellow character, which lends itself to long hours of fireside sipping. Or it could just be tradition.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with deer burgers and venison chili, but with a little gusto, those stalwarts can go from satisfying to sublime.
Grilling grapes may sound crazy, but the smoky, blistered char they get from a few minutes on the fire gives them a deep, winelike character.
The best largemouth bass fishing I've ever encountered was at Lake Huites, a vast impoundment on the outskirts of the Sierra Madre Occidentals in Sinaloa, Mexico.
The perfect way for an angler who loves to cook to show off his fish is serving it whole, fresh off the grill, with crispy skin and moist flesh. Problem is, that's not usually how it happens.
Without strenuous preplanning, road food is almost always bad food, sad food, chain food, clown food.
The mint julep may be sacred in the South, but so is college football, and that doesn't stop us from enjoying it.
Driving a race car isn't too far a cry from driving any other sports car, but driving one through Africa in the middle of the night offers a wide scree of new sensations.
The booming popularity of alligator hunting, sparked by reality shows like the History Channel's 'Swamp People,' is easy to understand: It's an exotic blast of adrenaline. But there's a culinary upside as well, with gator boasting a delicate light-pink meat that, to me, falls somewhere between veal and wild turkey.
The spectacle of a good bar fight, properly executed and healthily ended, is not merely annoying boorishness. The best of them - an admittedly minor slice - are shaded with the elements of high art.
There is a mammalian side to all of us; on occasion, it rears its head, snarls, makes a mess, acts the fool, howls at the moon, gives or gets a black eye.
Young men feel they have much to prove; older men, as a very general rule, tend to feel more comfortable in their skins.
Bullies are bullies, and they're always uninteresting.
David Benioff can hardly be classified as an underdog. The 2002 film adaptation of his first novel, 'The 25th Hour,' was directed by Spike Lee and starred Edward Norton.
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