That's Not Very Nice!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's That Time Of Year Again

It is starting to get chilly at night up here in Minnesota. I wouldn't trade the harsh Minnesota/Wisconsin winters for anything. I get warm fuzzies at the thought of -20 degrees, and my cozy house nice and toasty with a big ol pot of baked beans going all day in the oven. There is something strangely satisfying about smelling something slowly cook all day long, and then enjoying a meal that can never really be duplicated again. I have to make sure I get all the baking done before those beans go in, because they require a good 8 to 10 hours in a slow oven.

Nothing beats a fresh pumpkin cake, or apple cake with loads of homemade cream cheese frosting. Or a stack of banana bread loaves cooling on the counter. Amish friendship cake/bread is unbelievable, however it takes 5 (or maybe 7? it has been a while) days of fiddling with until it is ready to bake.

There is also something to be said of venison stew. A crock pot full of that done right is worth its weight in gold. I brought some to my father one time when he was at the bar (yes he used to spend a lot of time there) and he had the whole crew jealous and drooling. Hands down better than beef if it is done right. Better for you too.

The trick to good venison starts right in the woods. If you are going for good meat, don't have your heart set on a big old buck. Get yourself a good healthy average sized corn fed doe, or maybe even a spike buck. Shoot to kill on the first shot. Adrenaline skunks up the meat. No gut shots either. Don't hunt where there is no access to a corn field. An old deer taste like goat meat. Bleah. Another factor in the quality of meat has to do with how quickly it was processed. Some folks have their deer hanging up in the tree for a good 2 weeks. Hang it up to drain *YES* Leave it there forever to get skunky *No Thanks*. Good venison should never have to be soaked in soy sauce (aaah! Blasphemy), or slathered in tomato sauce after being torched so bad in the fry pan you can't even eat it. Shame!

If there is no struggle to keep my existence on this planet I seem to not be happy. I think I like the satisfaction of making something from start to finish. I think that's why folks like me were planted in the region of the snow and cold. There are many more things to say about the wonders of a Minnesota winter....Another day.

Note to Fathers: Have your daughters drag their own deer out of the woods. A little work won't kill them. They are stronger that you think. It did me a world of good emotionally. (part of the start to finish thing)