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Monday, November 24, 2008

Different Day, Same Old Grind...

Well - yesterday, 23 November 2008 - was the end of the Fall Rifle Season for Deer.
We ended up with two more deer given to us , for a grand total of SIX!

We both thank God for the delicious fresh meat that now resides in our freezer and pantry.

We don't "hang" a deer like most people do, we usually have some fresh off the bone for supper the night it was shot. I found out long ago that hanging it only causes it to start rotting. All those enzymes that people talk about that makes the meat more tender, are the very ones that cause the meat to rot.

FRESH deer (or beef or chicken...) tastes SO MUCH better then "aged" meat. It might be a little "chewier", but the flavor is better.

We ended up grinding about 100 pounds of the meat. I like it just plain deer meat, but Deb likes to have a little Beef hamburger mixed in for flavor. We don't ruin it by adding pork to it. I hope to be able to make some jerky from some of it, too.

We bought a small electric grinder this past summer in anticipation of Deer Season. It was made (in China of course...) by a company name "Nesco". We purchased it at the local Orschlen's Farm and Home Store.

It proved to be not one of our best buys....

The first time we used it, (last Monday) we made it through about 10 pounds of meat before it just stopped grinding. We took it apart and found that the cutter blade had broken in three places. It was a REALLY thin piece of metal. We found all the pieces and called the store to see if there was anything they could do.

I talked to the manager for a few minutes, and he determined that that model was no longer available. He asked "I suppose you're right in the middle of grinding"?

That being the case, I told him that we were. He put me on hold for a couple minutes and said to bring the grinder in and he'd swap it our for a different one they had on hand. It ended up being a more expensive - and better - grinder. He got us up and running again so we could finish, which we did this morning.

I can't say enough about this Orschlen's store, they have gone out of their way to help us on SEVERAL occasions. We'd have been in trouble, if they hadn't come through for us.

At any rate, the freezer is pretty full, the pantry is full, the neighbor's are happy we gave them some, and the "fast & furiousness" of Deer Season is at an end for this fall.

I also learned a new trick for cleaning a carcass after skinning the hide off. The last deer was cleaned up, except for the hind feet when I went to pick it up. The man who gave it to me grabbed his butane torch and headed toward the deer. He quickly zapped any hairs that were left on the meat. It didn't affect the meat any, just fried the hairs off. It worked really well.

This afternoon, I cleaned out a spreader full of straw and manure from the barn.
All of a sudden there was a POWERFUL smell coming from one of the stalls.

Nope. Not THAT smell.....

It was sweet and spicy - PEPPERMINT!

There must have been some wild peppermint (or spearmint) growing in the hay field last summer, and it made it's way into the hay. It was on the bottom, close to the floor, and covered with straw. When I turned the straw with the pitch fork, it brought the mint to the top where I could smell it.

MUCH better then smelling a goat....

Rascal, is disappointed that there will be no more deer this year. He has a pretty good sized "Deer Gut", though.

Yani has been busy hiding bones all over the pasture. It's to the point where she doesn't eat her dog food. She'll figure it out soon enough that she's not gonna get deer all the time.

Even the cats balk at the mere MENTION of cat food. When I put some out for them in the morning, they come running. As soon as they see what it is, they turn up their noses and look up at me as if to say "You expect us to eat THAT"?

At least the chickens still eat their feed.

Here's one who loves to get "into" her work...

Vultures will eat anything.

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