Food and Drink

Game meat. I’m not trying to talk you into it. Really.

Posted in Food and Drink on December 5th, 2007 by stormy – 6 Comments

I was wondering today why more people don’t eat game meat.   For background:

  • We eat a lot of game meat: antelope, deer, elk, and pheasant.  I don’t think I’ve left anything out.  Oh, we traded for some wild hog too.  And we had some moose.  And dove.  The duck and geese always go to somebody else.  And we always have freshly caught fish in the summer. (Fish tacos, yumm.)
  • I’m not a picky eater and I’ve never had any issues with eating game meat.  I didn’t realize what a big deal it was that Frank cooked moose steaks the first time I came over for dinner until much later.  (One exception: I think it’s really sad how little food you get out of a dove.  Maybe a dove isn’t as big or as smart as a deer but I guess I’m a little hung up on a life is a life and it’s kind of sad that 2-3 doves give their lives so you can have an appetizer.  So I tried to enjoy it as much as possible!)
  • I would never try to talk anyone into eating game meat.  Why?  Why bother?
  • I would vehemently argue that eating game meat is not bad.
    • Not bad for the environment. The Division of Wildlife carefully controls animal population numbers and doles out hunting licenses accordingly.  Anyone who has ever been to Estes Park knows we have too many elk! Plus hunting license fees go to pay for all sorts of good wildlife and nature type things.
    • Not bad for you.  Game meat is very low in fat and free of hormones.  (I have to admit that after reading Fast Food Nation, I’m more than a little afraid of the hormones in my beef, chicken and pork.  They really do put them in.  You can ask my dad.)
    • Not bad for your tastebuds.  Just cook it right.  Ask Frank for advice or follow this blog.  Our favorite cookbook is Amazing Venison Recipes.

I think the main reasons people don’t eat game meat are these but let me know if I’ve missed yours!

  • "It doesn’t taste good."  Then it wasn’t cooked right or it was a bad piece of meat.  In the past five years I’ve only had one or two meals that I didn’t like because of the game meat.  I’d invite you over to dinner but I’d have to ask Frank first … People at work keep oohing and aahing over my leftovers for lunch and Frank says there are fights over his leftovers if he decides to go out to lunch.  I’ve been trying to talk him into going into the hot lunch catering business … In the meantime, you can get a copy of our favorite cookbook, Amazing Venison Recipes.
  • "It’s bambi!"  Have you ever seen a baby calf?  Or piglet?  Or chick?  They are pretty darn cute too! (If you’re a vegetarian, I understand.  Otherwise, I don’t get it.)
  • "It was free."  Let’s see – you are ok with keeping a calf in a small crowded space for a year and then killing it but not with letting a deer roam free for a couple of years and then killing it?
  • "It’s expensive."  If you don’t hunt, it’s definitely expensive.

One reason often given to eat game meat that is not really true is "it’s cheaper."  If we added up all of Frank’s hunting costs and the cost of processing meat, it’s not cheaper for us.  Maybe if we processed it ourselves it would be but then you’d have to figure in the time and days off work to process it.

So why don’t you eat game meat?  Or if you do, what’s the most common reason you hear from those that don’t?

New Year’s Eve Lobster Dinner

Posted in appetizer, celebration, cooking, Food and Drink, lobster, New Year's Eve, seafood, traditions on January 5th, 2007 by stormy – Be the first to comment

New Year's Eve Dinner

Usually we have our big seafood dinner on Christmas Eve but this year we had it on New Year’s Eve.  It was scrumptious!  I’ll be posting all the food and recipes but here’s a teaser:

As usual, everything was awesome.  (I didn’t do anything but taste it!)  Frank even added candle light this year and some really great presentation ideas like putting the ceviche in martini glasses.

Seafood Dinner

Posted in Christmas Eve, Food and Drink, lobster, New Year's Eve, seafood, traditions on December 14th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

P1010147

Frank and I have a terrific Christmas Eve tradition.  We stay at home and have an awesome seafood dinner.  Planning and cooking it is part of the fun.  Then we sit around and eat for hours and afterwards we open our gifts to each other.  Last year we had mussels, shrimp and lobster tails. 

This year the plan is to have our seafood dinner on New Year’s Eve and Frank has already started planning the menu:

  • lobster
  • mussels
  • shrimp
  • asparagus
  • crab

He also shops around for the best place to buy it including ordering it live.  (We order live crayfish every year for our big party – last time they got shipped from Minnesota of all places!)

Smoking a turkey, part 2

Posted in cooking, Food and Drink on December 11th, 2006 by stormy – 1 Comment

Img_0909_1
The turkey marinated all of Thursday night and Friday day.  When we got home on Friday Frank wrapped it in cheese cloth and then he put it on our traeger grill at about 10:30pm.  The cheese cloth, which we picked up at Ace Hardware, is to make sure the turkey doesn’t get too much smoke. 

Frank then checked on the turkey every hour all night long.  I thought that was going to really bother me. However, it became a moot point.  Sometime between the midnight check and the 1am check, somebody stole our ATV!  So we ended up being up most of the night anyway. 
Everytime Frank checked on it, he checked temperature – the goal was for the turkey to keep heating up until it hit 180.  We took a break on Saturday morning to go cut a Christmas tree and the grill went out.  The turkey’s temperature dropped fast!  It was 7 o’clock on Saturday night before the turkey hit the required 180!  (Frank called Traeger to see why the grill went out a couple of times.)

The turkey was excellent and Frank made a creole barbeque sauce to go with it.  We served it along with sweet potatoes and green beans.  (I made the sweet potatoes.  I doused them with butter, sugar and cinnamon and baked them at 350 degrees for an hour.)  We did decide that we are smoking a couple of chickens instead of a turkey for Christmas though.  The chicken took six hours instead of 21 hours to cook!

Smoking a Turkey

Posted in Food and Drink on December 8th, 2006 by stormy – Be the first to comment

We are smoking a turkey!  Since my favorite thing we’ve smoked on our Traeger grill so far is a chicken, I volunteered to smoke a turkey for Christmas.  Or rather, I volunteered Frank to smoke a turkey for Christmas!

Frank said a turkey might not turn out the same as a chicken and he didn’t want to end up without a turkey on Christmas day, so we are doing a trial run this weekend.  It just so happens we have friends that are moving this month and they had a turkey in their freezer that they wanted to get rid of.  So now they are going to be our guinea pigs for smoked turkey on Saturday night!

Frank started with the "Worth-the-Wait Turkey" recipe in Smoke & Spice.  I read the recipe and I’m still a little worried about the "mop every 30 minutes" for the last six hours of cook time part!  Hopefully we time this right – getting up at 3 am to feed the baby is enough middle of the night activity for me.

We started last night.  First we went to the store to get all of the ingredients.  The one thing we couldn’t find was garlic-flavored oil even though we went to two stores.  Frank plans to improvise, something he does well.

When we got home, Frank mixed up all the ingredients in the blender.  (And mentioned that he’d like a small food processor for Christmas. :)  And then he took a very big (kitchen?) syringe and injected the mixture throughout the turkey.  It is now marinating in our fridgerator.

More to come tomorrow …