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Day: January 31, 2012

“Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time” by Georgia Pellegrini

“Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time” by Georgia Pellegrini

c.2012, Da Capo LifeLong
$24.00 / $28.00 Canada
248 pages, includes index

By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

Dinner last night was delicious.

The salad was crispy and fresh, with all the right additions and your favorite dressing. There was the slightest tease of a comfort-food memory from the main dish, which was created with a mini-bite of spice nipping your tongue. And the side dishes? You had seconds of those, followed by dessert that must’ve been made by angels.

So where did it all come from?  To say “a restaurant” or “the grocery store” is cheating, especially after you’ve read “Girl Hunter” by Georgia Pellegrini.

One day not long ago, after looking up from the trading floor of a Wall Street firm and wondering how she got there, Georgia Pellegrini suddenly knew that a life in finance was not where she belonged. Determined to “nourish [her] soul again,” she set out to become a chef.

Still, there was something missing. She was working at a high-end restaurant, serving the same people she had formerly toiled beside, but pretension marred her job, presentation was more important than nutrition, and food was being wasted.

Then the head chef gave her an “unusual order:” she was told to slaughter five turkeys for the evening’s dinner. The experience opened her eyes to a part of her that she never knew existed, and sent her on a journey far away from the meat aisle in the grocery store.

“Is it possible to eat only the meat that you kill?” she asked.

Pellegrini’s first answer came in the Arkansas Delta where she joined silver-haired men at a hunting camp they called the Village. They were out for turkeys then, and after a quick tutorial on guns, Pellegrini bagged two gobblers with one shot. Later, she hunted there for doves, deer, and wild boar.

In Texas, she shot a javelina, then had to explain to airport security why she was toting “frozen animal parts” in her luggage. She hunted for grouse in Montana, and spent an edgy week with a rancher in Wyoming who wasn’t who he said he was. She missed “harvesting” axis deer in Texas, traveled to England for a “social hunt,” to New Orleans for ducks, and to upstate New York to hunt squirrel.

“I… have looked my food in the eye and made a choice…” says Pellegrini. “It was all amazing.”

Think life’s best spent gun-toting in wilds, woods, or weeds? Then you’re going to love this thoughtful, meaningful, surprisingly gentle book.

With a poet’s eye toward a conscious dinner, author Georgia Pellegrini takes her readers on a search, not just for wild game but for what she calls a “primal part” of one’s being.  I couldn’t stop reading as Pellegrini dug into this foray with gusto and blood, which gives her book an occasional Lord of the Flies feel that’s almost always abutted by thoughts so beautiful that you almost want to weep.

Because of that, and because of the easy-to-follow gourmet recipes included, this memoir will firmly ensnare hunters and eaters alike. If that describes you, then, “Girl Hunter” is a book to shoot for.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.

Library closing until February 13

KEIZERTIMES/File Photo

The Keizer Community Library will nearly double in size and expand hours as part of upcoming changes at the Keizer Heritage Center.

In the meantime the library is closed until Monday, February 13. Upon reopening the library will be open on selected evenings and Sundays for the first time. New hours will be as follows:

• Mondays 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

• Tuesday-Thursday 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

• Fridays 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

• Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Sundays 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Library Director Steve Prothero said the all-volunteer library has grown to the point that it’s bursting at the seams: Not enough room for their books, too little space for public Internet access, no comfortable places to sit, no ideal place for children to relax and learn. It relies solely on membership dues and other donations to survive; its modest stipend from the City of Keizer was eliminated several years ago in a round of budget cuts.

In the move their space will double from 625 square feet to about 1,350. The library will expand into the area where the Keizer Heritage Museum is, and the museum will move elsewhere in the building.

“We get lots of donations, and we can’t shelve everything we would like to shelf,” Prothero said. “There’s no space here.”

The strategy so far has been to focus on keeping popular items in stock, but Prothero believes the expansion will allow them to keep in stock less popular items, like reference materials, that are nevertheless part and parcel of a library.

“When you’re a library person you see all these wonderful reference works – we get all kinds of offers to donate them but they don’t circulate as well,” Prothero said.

But if you’re more interested in Anne Rice than atlases and almanacs, don’t worry: The expansion will also allow the library to stock more copies of their most popular works.

A children’s area will allow for a regular storytime program to develop. And one of the most important elements is expanding Internet access to the public. They have public wi-fi, as does the Keizer Civic Center nearby, for anyone with a laptop.
But Prothero wants to do more to serve residents who don’t have Internet-connected computers at home.

”We have a lot of people who come in and are looking for jobs, or to work on resumes,” Prothero said.

It’s all part of a reorganization at the heritage center, housed in the former Keizer School. The building houses the museum, Keizer Art Association, Keizer Chamber of Commerce, the library and offices for Keizer Young Life.

Sue Miletta, a member of the museum’s board, said moving into the chamber’s former offices gives them modest room to expand, but has lots more wall space for hanging items of local historical interest.

“We’ll play it by ear, but we have no specific complaints,” Miletta said.

It will allow the museum to establish a separate research area, she said.

Gym faces investigation by Ore. Dept. of Justice

Platinum Sports and Fitness closed late last year. The Department of Justice is investigating what happened to member dues. (Keizertimes File Photo)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

The Oregon Department of Justice is investigating a Keizer gym that closed abruptly in December of last year, leaving members wondering where their membership dues went.

Corey Ahrens, the gym’s owner, told the Keizertimes then that his customers would have their memberships transferred to another gym – which state law allows him to do so long as it happens promptly.

But the customers we spoke with said that offer never materialized, and the company Ahrens told us would be transferring memberships told us a different story. He told the Keizertimes then he made the decision to close on December 22, and had been selling memberships up until then.

“We are a third-party company. We have no affiliation with (Platinum Sports and Fitness) whatsoever,” said a representative from All-State Financial Group, who declined to give her name. The firm provides membership services to gyms, including Platinum.

Ahrens declined to answer specific questions by email, saying “you guys took what I said last time and twisted my words to make your story better.

“I took over a business that was going bankrupt,” Ahrens said. “I tried to live the American dream and own my own business in the worse [sic] economy we’ve seen in a very long time. Business [sic] across america closing daily and going bankrupt. I tried to stay open for as long as I could.

Bottom line is I couldn’t make it work.”

“Why don’t you do your story when all the REAL AND TRUE [sic] facts come out instead of making people look bad,” Ahrens added.

The DOJ has received at least 26 complaints about Platinum Sports, said Kate Medema, who handles constituent and public affairs for the department. Although she said she couldn’t reveal which laws the department suspects may have been broken, she said the agency can work with customers for dispute resolution through the Consumer Protection Section. It also has civil authority to enforce laws under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act.

“We’re looking into the business beyond our normal processing of consumer complaints,” Medema said.

The DOJ asks anyone with a grievance against the company to file a formal complaint at doj.state.or.us.

Some former members told us they could see the closure coming.

Todd Flint, a Keizer resident, told us he saw problems at the gym and admitted to being surprised when he would come in to find the doors open.

“It’s common for gyms to (fold),” Flint said. “It’s one of those things where they eventually run out of clientele and money … I was just waiting.”