Monday, December 8, 2014

Life on the Farm 120814: Bits and Bobs

Dawn and Dan
The final bell hasn’t rung on hunting season– but my husband Dan has taken a bow-doe, a very delicious grouse; and his brother Denis bagged a 6-pointer during rifle.

I ate wild harvested grilled venison heart for the first time at Thanksgiving.  I’m proud that I prepared it without freaking out.

Though, not all guests wanted to try it.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with offal, and with curing and dry-aging various meaty bits and parts. 

The most successful trials?  

Dry-aged venison loin (think, thin flexible jerky); veal ham, and venison pastrami. 

My venture into gravlax didn’t turn out so well.  It was sticky like candy, and gave me the “go-fasts” in the middle of the night.

I have sidelined ruining perfectly good fish for the time being.

(I don’t know why, but the experience reminded of when I was first married.  I would threaten Dan with “laxative brownies” whenever he tried to insert his personality and tell me what to do. “When you least expect it – expect it”, I said. I never actually did it, but I kept in in my back pocket as an option.)

The beef tongue venture was a bust.  Far too grassy in flavor – but silky smooth and so tender I could cut it with a plastic fork!  I’ll be working with that again, but as there’s only one per steer it’s going to take a while to perfect.

Now that another holiday looms, my attention was drawn from kitchen witching to: what to get a hunter hubby for Christmas?

Orange mittens?  A compass? More of those little heat-pack thingies I find here and there?

Better question: what do you get someone who buys whatever he wants and exclaims, “This is my Christmas present” at any time of the year.

Kudos to him for man shopping and easing the holiday chores, but I have to shake my head whenever I hear it - because it means another lethal weapon is coming through the door.

Not this year.

I bought him something.  Take a guess. 


Well, most likely you were wrong.  Congratulations, if you were right.

I am sending him to Pennsylvania on a boar hunt.

My reasoning is that the wild hogs – like the killer bees and the zombies - will finally reach Northern Vermont.

He should be prepared to defend me and the cats.

At the prospect of filling the freezer with pork – I’m all giddy. There are house-cured hams, bacon, and smoked ribs in my future.

He said, “I haven’t even shot it, and you’ve already cooked it!”

Yes, yes I have. (Smiles to self)

I bought my own Christmas gift.