QnA with DnU: Mike Prunty, the Backyard Pioneer

QnA with DnU: Mike Prunty, the Backyard Pioneer

The label, prepper, conjures up images of a mountain man living in the wilds of Montana with a basement filled with powdered milk, beef jerky, and 20-year old cans of baked beans. Mike Prunty, known to many on Facebook as “The Backyard Pioneer”, would like to change that image. His wilderness is not the midwest but the suburbia of Long Island, New York. On his website, he offers practical advice from cooking and canning to the best backup generator and wood stoves, often with a cold craft beer at hand. He focuses on “…common-sense prepping with an eye towards real-world applications, and staying away from the freak show that prepping/survivalism has become.”

Did I happen to mention he’s started dabbling in home brewing? I got to ask Mike some questions about alcohol’s place in the prepper’s world.

  1. Do you think alcohol has a fundamental place in “prepper” household?

    Cooking (and drinking) with Saranac. Photo courtesy of The Backyard Pioneer (Facebook)

    Cooking (and drinking) with Saranac. Photo courtesy of The Backyard Pioneer on Facebook

    (Mike): Only if you want to enjoy the Apocalypse! On a serious note, I think that is a point of personal choice about what is right for your family. For mine it is a resounding YES! During our most recent disasters here on Long Island: A cold beer when the downed trees were cut up after [Hurricane] Irene; a wee nip after shutting down the generator while [enduring Hurricane] Sandy; or spiking the hot chocolate after shoveling out from the blizzard of ’13. [Each] went a long way towards making a bad situation seem a little better.

  2. What alcohol do you recommend and why?

    Bourbon Brisket BBQ Sauce. Photo courtesy of The Backyard Pioneer

    “Bourbon Brisket BBQ Sauce.” Photo courtesy of The Backyard Pioneer

    A good bourbon is tops in my book. Lately, it has been Knob Creek, and I’ve been doing my damnedest to convert the unwashed masses. Bourbon is such a versatile booze; it can show up at brunch or in a dessert, goes well with mixes, makes you seem all grown up on the rocks, and livens up coffee! Plus, shooting an evil brown liquid puts hair on your chest.

  3. From the pictures on your website, you seem to enjoy craft beer. What are your favorites?

    My wife and I are big fans of Sam Adams Octoberfest and Fat Jack. Other favorites include Founders Dirty Bastard and Rogue XS Dead Guy Ale.

  4. You also cook with beer and alcohol. What are your favorite recipes?

    My “Shot and a Beer Beans” includes bourbon and a good beer. I made them for my recent aPORKalypse event, and they were a big hit. I love braising brats in a good beer, and “Venison Sauerbraten with Red Wine” is a family favorite.

  5. Cocktail olive, maraschino cherry, fancy umbrella or lemon twist?

    My inner Bond screams for the olive, but a fancy umbrella in a Mai Tai on a beach is what I’m really craving right now.

Beer Can Chicken

“Beer Can Chicken.” The only proper use of a Bud Lite. Photo courtesy of The Backyard Pioneer on Facebook.

Thanks Mike! I recommend some of his other dishes, too—“Beer Can Chicken” and his “Beer, Cheese and Sausage Soup.” Be sure to visit his Facebook page and his website, The Backyard Pioneer.