My first duck. Sort of.

I shot a duck. Here’s how it went down. Yesterday was the most astonishingly beautiful January day Cape Cod has ever seen. Temperatures rose into the high 50s, and there was a light breeze out of the southwest. We outfitted our oyster boat, a 17-foot Carolina Skiff, for duck hunting, by which I mean we […]

Duck, duck, dinner

This is what I was afraid of. It’s October, and the pain in the ass that is a flock of live ducks is a hazy distant memory. The joy that is a smoked, deep-fried duck is vivid and lasting. Back in June, when we slaughtered our flock, our smokehouse wasn’t finished yet. We wanted smoked […]

Lessons of Duck Day

I know that death is a part of my life when going from killing sick chickens to killing healthy ducks feels like a step into the light. There’s a difference between killing a sick animal because you don’t want to it to suffer or contaminate the rest of your flock, and killing a healthy animal […]

Dumb chicken jokes reprised

I believe in editors. I’ve had the good fortune to be edited by some of the best in the business. My books were read, amended, and read again by Tracy Bernstein at Penguin and, before that, by Maria Guarnaschelli (then) at Scribner. My magazine and newspaper work has almost always been made better by the smart, […]

Mark Zuckerberg and me

Seems I have a lot in common with the founder of Facebook. He’s young, famous, and unfathomably rich. I’m … well … Okay, maybe “a lot” overstates it. But when the one thing you have in common is that you’re slitting the throats of animals, it seems like more than if, say, you’re both Libras. […]