Archive for the 'howto' Category

It’s Fun to Get Wild in Class

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
Project Wild

Project Wild

This is Passport to Texas

The more children learn about nature and wildlife, the greater their potential of becoming good stewards of the land.

That’s the philosophy behind a program from Texas Parks and Wildlife called Project Wild. Project Wild is an environmental education program and conservation education program. The idea behind it is to help young people in grades K-12 learn about wildlife and understand natural resources.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Outreach and Education staff lead workshops that teach adults hands-on activities that incorporate wildlife-related concepts into the teaching of basic learning skills…like math, science, language arts and social studies.

Different types of activities take place at each workshop. Some include quiet activities like drawing, writing and coloring. Some involve activities can be somewhat physical. All activities have an environment theme. Project Wild workshops are available to anyone who works with children. Educators who complete the workshops earn 6 hours TEA-approved CPE and TEEAC Credit.

Find upcoming workshops in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our show.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Get Campy with the Kiddos

Monday, November 26th, 2018
Family camping trip at Bastrop State Park

Family camping trip at Bastrop State Park

This is Passport to Texas

When Ryan Spencer worked for Texas Parks and Wildlife, he connected people with nature through the Texas Outdoor Family Program.

I work out of a trailer and we go all over the state. It’s a unique office, but I really love it.

Ryan currently manages the Children in Nature Collaborative in Austin. But when he was with Texas Parks and Wildlife, he would…

…go from park to park and show people how to go camping for the first time.

Studies prove that when children spend time outside with their families they are healthier, happier and smarter. In addition, the family bond grows stronger.

They have better family cohesion. So that means, that children who spend more time with their parents outside, become nicer teenagers when they grow up.

Rally the family around outdoor fun and caring for our environment.

We teach about “Leave No Trace” and how to protect the environment while you’re out there enjoying it. We want to give them some skills that they can repeat on their own when they come back from the state park. So, things like cooking on a camp stove; setting up a tent.

To find a Texas Outdoor Family Workshop near you, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Out show receives support from RAM Trucks. Built to serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Field Dressing Game

Monday, January 15th, 2018
Tagging legally harvested deer.

Tagging legally harvested deer.

This is Passport to Texas

Lee Smith comes from a hunting family. This longtime Austin resident and avid home cook, says from the start, he’s hunted for meat not trophies.

Once you’ve pulled the trigger and you’ve got an animal down, the work really begins.

As soon as the animal’s down, the clock starts ticking; field dressing the animal is a race against spoilage.

Meat spoils due to three things: heat, moisture and dirt. Getting those internal organs out is going to immediately start to let that carcass cool. Second thing is: the skin. Taking that skin off is going to get that animal cooler, and also allow it to dry quicker. Once you’ve got it back [to camp], and taken the skin off, you rinse out the interior chest cavity, and get it into that cooler.

If you’re hunting on public land, or there’s no walk-in cooler at your lease, after field dressing and skinning the animal, quarter it.

That’s taking off the four quarters, the two backstraps, and the rear legs. That’s what you are legally bound to take. If you don’t take that, you can be ticketed for waste of game.

Put the quarters into tall kitchen garbage bags, and then into coolers with ice. How to handle game when you get it home – that’s tomorrow.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Learn to Cook Fish that Everyone Enjoys

Monday, January 1st, 2018
Preparing red snapper at Central Market Cooking School in Austin. Image: Bruce Biermann

Preparing red snapper at Central Market Cooking School in Austin. Image: Bruce Biermann

This is Passport to Texas

If one of your resolutions for 2018 includes catching, cooking and eating more fish, we’re here to help.

Freshwater and saltwater fish and shellfish are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, something most of us lack in our Standard American Diet…the acronym for which is SAD.

In Texas, we have fishing opportunities statewide. But once you’ve caught them, then what? Some of us don’t have much experience preparing fish. So we steer clear.

However, this month’s Texas Parks and Wildlife cooking class collaboration with Central Market cooking schools, will help get you past this aversion. It’s a hands-on class that will have you preparing fish like a pro—with a citrus twist.

The menu for this class includes Fried Oyster Tacos with Citrus Salsa; Roasted Red Snapper with Citrus & Pistachios; & Blackened Redfish with Quick Cabbage & Lemon Butter. Happy New Year, right?

Classes are Tuesday, January 9 in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Plano and Southlake. Historically, fish and seafood classes tend to fill fast.

Find registration information at passporttotexas.org [click on the links above to the school closest to you].

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Barrington Living History Farm Goes Whole Hog

Friday, January 6th, 2017
Butchering and curing workshop at Barrington Living History Farm.

Butchering and curing workshop at Barrington Living History Farm.

This is Passport to Texas

They’re going whole hog at Barrington Living History Farm January 14 & 15. That’s when they’ll present a hog butchering and curing program to the public.

Butchering is just one part of many things that we do seasonally throughout the year.

Barb King is a park interpreter at the farm, located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. The program takes place outdoors in January just as would have happened in 1850s rural Texas.

So, all the meat that will be produced, and the sausage and the fat that we will save for soap or cooking all needs to be at a constant temperature, which is cold—like your fridge. So that we can start the curing process without worrying about it spoiling.

Staff will dispatch a heritage breed hog before visitors arrive. Barb says the rest of the process is for public view, which is mostly a demonstration…

People are able to do a tiny bit if they choose—like helping us scrape the hogs. But cutting up the carcass into specific portions of meat is only done by staff. A lot of people come right at 10, and we normally have a big group waiting. And then on Sunday, we focus on more of the preservation aspect.

Visitors who return Sunday will observe how staff cures the meat for storage. The butchering and curing program at Barrington Living History Farm is January 14 & 15, from 10am – 4pm both days. Admission fees apply. Find complete details at texasstateparks.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.