It is a busy morning getting hubby off to work, my daughter off to school, and myself off to work as well. So this means making breakfast for every one, making lunch for my daughter and I (where hubby works they serve lunch), so I thought to insure a relaxing evening (which I will definitely need) I’ll just get dinner going too.
All I do is throw in about 6 cut up carrots and 5 potatoes in chunks, and two nice pieces of chuck eye into the crock pot. I add some minced garlic, some dehydrated onions, cut up sprigs of chives, salt, pepper, about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a whole can of beer. It feels kind of weird cracking open a beer at 8:00 a.m. then going off to work in a church, but hey! I throw the can in the recycling bin, put the lid on the pot, turn it to LOW, pet the kitty good bye and take off in my trusty old ’78 Ford pick-up
Working at a church is one of the most exciting and enjoyable jobs I’ve ever had. You wouldn’t think it could be but there are many facets involved in running a church. The team of wonderful people I work with help manage these facets with knowledge, kindness, patience, and love…and I love and trust each of them beyond measure. I’m one of two secretaries at our church and Friday is the busiest day dealing with some of those facets plus making sure the Sunday bulletin and all of its information for the service are put together with several hundred copies printed before 10:00 a.m.
With its dozens of ministries and hundreds of people who turn to the church for help and answers, I never know what to expect when I answer the phone. Often it’s just a member needing to know another member’s phone number, or what time the such and such meeting is, but sometimes it is a person who needs someone to pray with or a person who needs help with a personal problem. There are even some times when it gets weird. Angry and desperate people can be very unpredictable but even those people need a place to turn. A church is a good place.
There is a graveyard adjacent to the church with graves from as far back as 1843 and occasionally I get a call from someone looking for an ancestor to fill in their genealogical gaps. This is my favorite part of the job. Since our church is 170 years old there is a lot of exciting history to which I have access allowing me to answer some of those questions or at least guide people to a place they can get more information. Church records are a great source for birth names and dates, marriages and deaths of whole families. It is very satisfying work exploring the old files and helping locate someone’s relatives from the 1800’s
So, after a long day of connecting people, meeting deadlines, dotting I’s and crossing T’s, I’m so glad I decided to make dinner before I left the house. When I come home, hubby and daughter are waiting for me with the table already set. All we need to do is thank our dear Lord for what he provides and tuck on in to a bowl of delicious stew. The meat and vegetables are so tender, it only takes a spoon to cut everything up, and of course drink the tasty broth. On a cool October evening this ready made meal does a great job warming us all up inside and out. Now we’re ready to relax and watch the Cardinals play some NLCS baseball.
The first things most anti-venison folks say is that it tastes gamey and everyone says “You have to know how to cook it”. Admittedly there some parts that have a strong liver flavor and need special preparation but if I were to introduce a skeptic to this kind of meat, I would prepare them a piece of tenderloin prepared as follows.
First the meat should come from a reliable hunter who knows a good meat processor/butcher. A reliable hunter will remove the entrails (full of it’s waste) promptly after bringing the animal down. If this is not done quickly it will taint the meat. This is true of any meat product from the field, stream, or store.
Now that the gross part is out of the way, I would skip this information for the benefit of the previously mentioned skeptic. With a couple of steaks of tenderloin sliced to a thickness of 3/4″ I heat up the skillet with a spot of olive oil, I place the small steaks (these are butterflied) in the skillet and season them with a good bold steak seasoning. They get a nice searing on both sides (about 3 minutes on each). It is not usually wise to add liquid while cooking steaks but I did add a mere splash to cool the pan and keep the brown juice from going black and charred. This will be my gravy later. The water was just enough to evaporate very quickly in the high heat.
I removed the steaks to a plate to rest and shut off the fire while I prepared a mushroom gravy. I added another dash of olive oil to the pan of brownness, and quickly added sliced mushrooms, about 3/4 cup of water, salt, and pepper, then turned the heat back on medium high. I mixed a tablespoon of flour with another 1/4 cup of water until it was perfectly smooth and poured this into the broth and mushrooms. This took about two minutes to thicken and make a lovely rich brown sauce to pour over the steaks.
Since my husband skeptic was at work, Julia, who had a snow day, and I ate these deliciously tender steaks for breakfast (you gotta do something different on a snow day, right?). This was not a bad meal for any time of the day, and with the cost of about four mushrooms, a pinch of spice, and a handful of flour, I’d say it was pretty budget friendly. My brother in law was pretty friendly in giving me the best part of the deer as well.
I have a few more steaks in the freezer to whip out on my dear (deer) skeptic some day…maybe it will get his attention when he sees these pictures on the computer wallpaper…he he.
You don’t have to go to a soup kitchen for free soup…at least I didn’t have to today. I just went to my trusty old refrigerator and cleaned out the leftovers. In there I found all the ingredients in the title of this entry, added a few spices like minced garlic, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of salt.
The green beans were already cooked with onions and bacon which seasoned them nicely. The potatoes were left over boiled and peeled russets, and the tomatoes were from a partially used can of Ro-tel tomatoes with green chilies… plenty of heat and flavor there. I added a splash each of cream and milk , mashed it all together with the potato masher, heated it in the microwave, and this lovely and delicious soup was the result. Just what is needed on this cool day.
In the old days folks had to store up food for the winter in order to get by. Drying meats, storing things in root cellars, utilizing the freezing temperatures, and canning got them by before modern refrigeration. Drying meat from larger game was and is a great way to store meats for people all over the world in any climate.
My brother in law is an avid hunter and has acreage deep in the woods of Missouri. He purchases his deer tags every year and is always successful bringing in a few each year either during bow season or gun season. My brother in law got a couple of deer to process and freeze this year. He is a generous man and shared with us several packages of venison tenderloin, the deer version of fillet mignon.
Yesterday I thawed a package, made two steaks that the kids and I shared for lunch and with the rest I sliced it very thinly, gave it a good salting, added some teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and steak sauce…just enough to coat the meat well…about a tablespoon of each. I let the meat sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes then broke out the dehydrator. The meat soaked up most of the marinate which is what I wanted, and I laid the meat out on the trays, set the temperature for 95°, and let it do its magic overnight. Just before bedtime, I turned the meat over to allow the other side to get thoroughly dry. I probably didn’t have to do this but my gut told me to do so anyway.
Well, today I shut off the machine (a Harvest Maid dehydrator which a few years ago we got off Craig’s List for $15) and removed the perfectly dry jerky. My son and I gave it a taste this morning and it was absolutely delicious! It gives bacon a run for the money as it is much leaner, full of protein, and just as tasty. My husband though, doesn’t agree. He doesn’t like deer meat at all! Some folks just plain don’t like it. I don’t understand it. One can’t expect it to taste like beef because it is an entirely different animal, but to each his own. Being a native Missouri girl, where deer are abundant, even to the point of pesky, I’m glad to enjoy this ecological, economical, and natural source of food.
Dried meat stores for years especially if kept out of the elements. We’ve got a gadget that attaches to our vacuum sealing machine (Food Saver) that hooks by hose to the lid of a wide mouth Mason jar and vacuums out the air in the jar. This will help this jerky store for years and years. I hope to put up more of this in our stores but it will take a lot of will power because this stuff is sooo good!
As you all may read in previous posts, I’m likely the world’s worst java junkie. I have at least three coffee making machines and I’ve recently acquired a Keureg machine that really makes a great cup of coffee…but just one cup at at time. That’s probably a good thing for me and I have found that “Newman’s Own” is my favorite kind that comes in the little K-cups. Since I’m also the world’s worst cheap skate, I don’t go out and purchase them unless company is coming or unless I find a really good sale.
I have taken to grinding my own coffee from whole beans for my morning cup. Freshly ground coffee is the best. The machine is conveniently set to be ready right when I wake up. The trouble there is, that the Keureg machine has a tiny little basket that needs cleaned between each cup and
it seems to take a good amount of coffee for that one cup…almost the same amount my little six cup Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker used to make. It really tastes great though, but since it was a
gift, I feel like I’m cheating on my Keureg by making coffee any other way. With the K-cups coffee is ready in less than a minute, and it is always freshly brewed. That’s the best part but the owner’s manual is as big as the TV Guide, and the machine takes up a good bit
of counter space. I love it and I love and adore the people who gave it to me, but I’m afraid this is just too fancy of an appliance for me.
Though I claim to be this Diva, I really lead a simple lifestyle. I make most things from scratch, I own one dress and a suit (I’m all about the blue jeans), I drive a 1978 Ford F-150 ( runs like a top and the oil is just as amber as you please), I hate and dread going shopping, my dishwasher is on the fritz and I don’t care (I’d rather do them by hand anyway. It’s faster and I do a better job). I don’t even wear make-up unless I’m going somewhere special, and the best darn coffee comes
from an old beat up coffee pot my grandmother used and I inherited. It was made by the Enterprise Aluminum Company of Massillon Ohio in the 1930’s (an era I’m fascinated by). It’s called the Drip-O-lator. No filter is required and all one needs to do is boil about two cups of water. In five minutes the water is boiled and the dripping is done. There are five tiny holes in the upper reservoir that allow the water to drip at just the right rate. In the end, three cups of the most delicious coffee I’ve ever tasted is ready.
With the holidays and company coming and going, I’ll use this lovely Keureg. I’ll purchase a big box of Newman’s Own K-cups but after they are gone, I’ll probably put this expensive and lovely machine away. I’m really the only one in the house that drinks coffee (and I probably drink enough for the five of us), but I’m finding it hard to adjust to modernity of it all.