Gentlemanly Retreats

So nice to come home to, so nice by the fire.

Every corner of artist Michael Coleman's studio is composed as a picture, replete with treasures from his travels and hunting trips around the world.

Every corner of artist Michael Coleman's studio is composed as a picture, replete with treasures from his travels and hunting trips around the world.

A man's study or library is a reflection of his soul. It is where his innermost being is released and he is transposed into a state of ultimate comfort and relaxation. It should be a place for both inspiration and refuge. A place to kick back with a toddy and a 1st edition African Game Trails or the latest issue of Sporting Classics. Here are some rooms where they got it right. Some famous, others fabricated, but all ready for the silk robe, slippers and Miles Davis on the phonograph.

A trophy fish carving by renowned artisan Ellen McCaleb adds to the sophistication of this sportsman's study.

A trophy fish carving by renowned artisan Ellen McCaleb adds to the sophistication of this sportsman's study.

Author William Adolf Baillie Grohman in his Austrian home, circa 1880.

Author William Adolf Baillie Grohman in his Austrian home, circa 1880.

The billiards room at Hearst Castle.

The billiards room at Hearst Castle.

The sporting room of Captain Wade Hunnicutt (Robert Mitchum) from MGM's Home From The Hill.

Theodore Roosevelt's trophy room at Sagamore Hill.

Study from the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Study from the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Celia Foote's trophy room from the set of The Help.

Celia Foote's trophy room from the set of The Help.

homedesignpics.com

homedesignpics.com

The library at the Biltmore Estate, a North Carolina national historic landmark.

The library at the Biltmore Estate, a North Carolina national historic landmark.

This room inspired by old English sporting activities was designed by Timothy Oulton. www.timothyoulton.com

This room inspired by old English sporting activities was designed by Timothy Oulton. www.timothyoulton.com

Yet another creative sporting space designed by Timothy Oulton. www.decoholic.org

Yet another creative sporting space designed by Timothy Oulton. www.decoholic.org

Christmas Wrappings

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours!

Aside from being one of the greatest and most patient deer hunters I will likely ever know, my Grandfather Newton is a remarkable bluegrass tenor and guitarist.

Below is a little ditty of him a'pickn' and a'singn' from a Christmas past.

Our Troops Are In Our Thoughts & Prayers.

We Miss You This Holiday Season.

Be Safe & Come Home Soon!

(Left) The Surprise Party and (Right) Not This Trip, Old Pal both by Arthur Davenport Fuller

(Left) The Surprise Party and (Right) Not This Trip, Old Pal both by Arthur Davenport Fuller

chessmen.jpg

I must admit, I am probably one of the toughest guys on the planet to buy a gift for. Though always gracious, I am super peculiar and have almost everything you can think up to give a sportsman. But this year my wife and girls hit one out of the park. They got me these chessmen which were cast in a very unique interpretation of the Isle of Lewis chess set. They have such a sporting look, the King sits proudly on his deeply carved throne with faithful hound at his side, the Queen has an owl perched on her arm, the Bishop is carrying a lamb, the Rook is blowing his horn into battle or to start the hunt and the Knight, in Saint George fashion, is slaying a dragon. A wonderfully unique present indeed, and an heirloom I will treasure for many, many, years to come. Queen to f8, check mate!

The Drunken Boar

Gamey, Earthy and Tart – Wild flavors abound in this tasty Holiday recipe 

Like most artistic chaps, I love to cook. And, the holidays always find me in the kitchen, creative juices flowing, conjuring up some concoction from something wild I have just killed. Christmastime, my meat of choice is wild boar. You'll be hard-pressed to find a medieval or royal yuletide feast in which either a wild boar head isn't on display or a roasted pig isn't part of the main course. These ties to ancient nobility and the sheer regality of this beast somehow make it an appropriate main course to me this time of year. And, I like my meats in wine. And, during this festive season only one wine will do, a cheery wine, a goodly wine, a port wine, the fifth essence of the Christmas spirit.  

Here's my roasted loin of wild boar with black walnut port sauce, bean sprouts with shiitake mushrooms and persimmon/cranberry relish. 

For the sauce

750 ml of a nice strong port, 1 cup rabbit stock or duck stock, 2 to 3 rosemary sprigs, 2 tablespoons of honey (wildflower if you can find it), 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup black walnuts (1/4 cup toasted for now and save a 1/4 cup raw for finished sauce. Black walnuts are not like a normal walnut, they are super aromatic and a tad oily, almost as if they have been marinating in alcohol. And they smell so good, especially in combination with the port and rosemary. But save a fresh 1/4 cup to add to the finished sauce)

toast 1/4 cup black walnuts then add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil reducing down over twenty to thirty minutes and add 1/4 cup raw black walnuts just prior to saucing.

For the Loin

rub the loin down with olive oil, rosemary and cracked black peppercorns

add a bit of olive oil to a glass baking dish and open-cook loin at 425-degrees for about an hour turning loin every 15 minutes, allow to cool before slicing

 

 

Shiitake & Bean Sprouts

sauté mushrooms adding bean sprouts (Very simple to do.  Wild boar eat mushrooms and root in the ground and for me it is almost like paying homage to the boar to pair it in this way. And, I do find the earthiness of the shrooms and sprouts to be a nice compliment to the gaminess of the boar and tartness of the cranberries )

 

Persimmon & Cranberry Relish

slice and dice 1 cup of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup ripe persimmons (I stress the term ripe here, you'll know whether they are ripe or not, they need to be sweet), add 2 teaspoons pure apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/4 cup cranberry sauce 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sporting Wish List 2012

Grab your pilot glasses, bass plugs, and left hook, we're going Christmas shopping!


Accurate and dependable, Merkel has established itself as a name you can trust. With the introduction of the new take-down RX Helix rifle, form now follows function. The Helix has the look of an Old World beauty combined with the sleek lines we have come to expect from modern firearms. New innovations like a straight-pull bolt-action and a bolt head ratio of two-to-one places a premium on rapid-fire precision. This firearm is designed to be deadly accurate and lightning fast. It is available in three action lengths and 12 calibers. $4,000 www.merkel-usa.com (Photograph by Ron Spomer)


Ideas and inspiration are certain to take flight from the cockpit of Restoration Hardware's Aviator Wing Desk. Inspired by streamlined World War II fighter planes this desk is a shining swoop of metal. Its shape mimics the bent wing of a plane. Poised for take-off, it features a polished aluminum patchwork exterior accented with steel screws, built around a solid hardwood frame. $2,195 www.restorationhardware.com

1. Have a cup of eggnog and kick back with a 1894 first edition copy of The Wild Beasts, Birds and Reptiles of the World and relive P.T. Barnum's account of his explorations and adventures while pursuing animals for both sport and his menagerie. $45-$200.       2. For around $1,300 the casual, yet elegant Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Elemental Watch in wood & steel is half James Bond, half Bear Grylls.       3. Elegant styling makes the Swarovski Optik Leather Pocket Tyrol Binoculars perfect for any occasion from the opera to the Okavango. $969 www.orvis.com       4. Carry a Dave Hoover tackle box on your next fishing trip and trout will leap into the boat from respect. Okay, probably not, but he will be sure to be the envy of all of his fishing buddies. If you can find one that is. Dave has since retired and locating one of these gems can seem as elusive as catching a new world-record largemouth.  $400-$1100.       5. Even Old Tom Morris would've been smitten with the 61 Cirac Stand Golf Bag in King Croc by Belding Golf bags. Around $600.       6. A knife for all necessities, the Wenger Giant Swiss Army Knife V1.0 weighs in at 2 pounds with 87 implements and 141 functions. $1,000-1,600 www.wengerna.com       7. Care to go a few rounds? If so the Seletti Boxitalia Punching Bag & Boxing Gloves are for you. Made from vintage-style brown leather, these professional-level training tools sport a classic design that will dress up any room from the penthouse office to the man cave. $110-$325.       8. The Beccaccia (woodcock) is a hunting jacket cool enough for James Dean. Waxed-cotton with front-loading game bag. $314 www.maremmano.it

Left to right: Swing for the fences like they did back in the day with this 1880's style vintage bat. Hand-made of professional quality northern ash wood, this bat will go the distance. $139.95 www.redenvelope.com         In a small village at the foot of the Black Forest, a few dedicated master craftsmen have been using their talent and expertise to create the most beautiful crystal in the world. So nice to come home to, so nice by the fire, Queen Lace Crystal 18 oz. Double Old Fashion is perfect for the man of distinction. $250 www.queenlacecrystal.com          Versatile Lemon Peel baseballs are as perfectly suited for stocking stuffers as they are for streetball, pepper and stickball. $34 www.huckberry.com