I went to Utah to kill a Navajo-Churro Sheep and meet a man who would show me traditional methods of artisan tool craft, cordage, dice and gaming pieces utilizing bone, fiber, intestine, sinew, tendon, and bladders. I was able to share my skills of kill technique, food preservation methods (salted, dried and smoked meats, fermented salami) and organ and offal meat preparation and preservation.
My central concept was portrayed in two parts, the first being learning how to tan a hide using the animal’s brains. I learned how to skin, clean, truss, tie, scrape, dry, and brain-cure a sheep hide. The second part was a feast and several other meals prepared from vegetables harvested from the garden, as well as the kidneys, loins, and testicles of the sheep.
Ben Hunter is a small business owner, cook, and single father of three living in Madison, Wisconsin.