Saturday, November 27, 2010

Not So Traditional

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving with my in-laws.  We alternate years now.  Since my Mom and Brother flew solo on Thanksgiving Day, I went a little out of the ordinary with a Not So Traditional Thanksgiving Breakfast this morning instead.

The menu?  Biscuits and Gravy!  Venison style.
We gobbled it right up!  I had made homemade butter for Thanksgiving Day and saved all the yummy buttermilk just for this.  I've never made real buttermilk biscuits before, so this was a new one.  Usually I pick a winner.  But actually, I wasn't impressed with the recipe.  So that was a little disappointing.

Wednesday night, we were up until 3:30am processing our deer.  Then it was back up at 7ish :) to go to my SIL, Jen's to help prepare the bird and fixings for Eric and my Turkey Throw Down 

He deep fries and I do the traditional.  Jenny has an aversion to raw poultry.  So I get to feel the bird up and dress it out.   And might I add...I always "Call Carcass".  Turkey noodle soup is in short order!  They think I'm off my rocker!  And the Throw Down was a tie by the way.  I'll get him next time!!!

Then it was back home to get the butter and green bean casserole made up so we could get back over.  I had to throw in a quick shower too.  I was one pooped out puppy.  Thanksgiving Night we celebrated our Anniversary with a whole lot a nothing!  I have it on good authority that he must take me out to dinner however.

For our Anniversary I got him an oh so romantic Freezer Paper Dispenser.  He got me a necklace.  Heehehe!

Friday we worked on more deer processing until about 2:30am.  We ended with roughly 4 roasts, 8 lbs of back straps (my favorite), 14 lbs of burger, 15 lbs of Breakfast Sausage, 3 lbs of Breakfast links, 9 lbs of Italian Sausage links, 9 lbs of Maple Sausage links and 3 lbs of Maple ground.

Sausage making was an experience!  It's alot of work but I am very glad we went to the trouble!  The Maple was a kit (Blech!)  Pig Pen insisted on trying it.  I told him I could mimic any ole kit better and pronounce all the ingredients!  I think it is counter-productive to add things you can't pronounce to unadulterated meat.  It's bad enough we had to add the pork fat from who knows where and what.  But it made him happy to try and he said next time we could try it on our own, aka -my way.  :o)

The Breakfast Sausage turned out really good!  I didn't follow a recipe per-say.  I tend to rely on my nose and then simply frying up a bit at a time to taste test.  Here is what I did:

60% Ground Deer
40% Ground Pork Butt
Crushed Red Pepper
White Pepper
Summer Savory

In that order of spices as listed, I used the most to the least.  I can pretty much guarantee, you can't tell the difference.  It's what we used this morning even!  When I make Sausage gravy I always add bacon chopped up in bite size pieces.  If you haven't tried it, ooooh ya need to!  Plus the venison is super lean even with the pork mixed in, so you get the added grease to make the gravy. 

For the Italian Sausage:

60% Ground Deer
40% Ground Pork Butt
Granulated Garlic
Crushed Red Pepper
Onion Powder
Fennel Seed
White Pepper

Another winner!  Like I said, well worth the effort!

Now the actual casing was like a bad Three Stooges episode....geesh!  
Pig Pen and our buddy Greg

To think, my Dad can whip those puppies out like nothing is pretty amazing.  He started his career as a Meat Cutter.  He would have laughed his butt off if he had seen what we were trying to do!  After consulting with him, we pretty well made it work.  We decided that the next time we process, he needs to be here!  That and I am not a good meat wrapper like him.  Again, he would have whipped it out in no time flat!
Dad...plan on being here next time.  If for nothing else, good laugh factor!

After Mom left today, my brother and I took a nap!  And I didn't even do the dishes beforehand!  No guilt, no shame...we were out like lights!  That was so very nice as I am not much of a nap taker.

I still haven't gotten my feet back on the ground from Hunting, Thanksgiving and all the running.  However, tomorrow I am going to my MILs house from some power sewing!  I am waaay far behind for getting Christmas projects done!  Looking forward to a few good days of work.  We can usually crank stuff out pretty fast when we do our own "retreat".

Lastly, since Jane was talking recently about how helpful her dogs were with her solar panel project, I thought I would share what a help my two little girls were last night with the sausage making:
Lazy mutts!  They made a liar out of me!


  1. You have been BUSY! I agree with you, I bet your maple recipe will be awesome next year. Those sausages sound so good! Bravo on getting that all done! I can't wait until we can partake in such festivities!

  2. Erin, where do you guys go for your deer? I told hubby that you made venison meatloaf and he was leery. I may have to pick your brain on that one.

  3. My friend cut her finger off making deer sausage. Pushed it right in the machine. Now when we all go out her favorite line is if anyone is drinking she holds up the stump and the next finger and says "how many fingers am I holding up". It creeps the new people out. Gross story I know, but this made me think of it. I do think the pups were waiting to be taste testers and passed out waiting to step up to the task.

  4. Haha! Yeah, I wouldn't go out of my way to make this! This one was the remainder of a West Virginia kill by a friend - all I had left was 2-3 lbs of ground that had been in my freezer for a year. I LOVE using up the last of the stuff in chili but my kids won't eat that. So... I made the rest into meatloaf and taco meat which they WILL eat, but it's so lean you really have to douse the meatloaf with lots of gravy. I made up for that myself by making some gourmet garlic & bleu cheese mashed potatoes but the kids don't even notice that it's not as moist as beef meatloaf LOL

  5. Looks good! We have never done sausage before, so that was good to read about. We normally just cut steaks, roasts, and stew meat and the rest of the deer is for the dogs. We're down to about 45 minutes a deer in processing (with three adults cutting and one person wrapping)...but we don't get to do all the fancy stuff like you do! I'm a little jealous. Might be on the list to try next year.... nice those doggies could make a liar out of you. Or...wait, they were probably helping in their own special way....

  6. Wow, what a whole heckuva lot you've done with your venison! That's impressive and what a nice bunch of food you produced for the freezer. No wonder you're exhausted with the last week plus that you've had. I'm surprised you can be excited about even sitting at your sewing machine tomorrow. I think you should hibernate for a couple of days!

  7. Jane, I could see how that might freak folks out! I use the little pokey doo-dad when messing with that thing! And yeah the puppies must have pooped out too!

    Erin, so what you are saying is skip the meatloaf ;) What is the time frame for you to get to your little farm life and happy place? How much longer? Maybe when you are back home if the timing is right you can get some hunting time in to refill the freezer? You could always swing thru IL...we have lots!

    MamaTea, we aren't that handy to whip thru it that fast just yet. I hope you do try some sausages! They are awesome! One less thing to buy from the store! I am going to try some jerky one of these days too. Probably after Christmas since it's safely in the freezer now.

    MamaPea, I told Adam that if we get any more deer this year...and I WILL get mine...that we will need another freezer. Unless of course Erin passes thru. No, I am looking forward to sewing tomorrow! It relaxes me! With Christmas right here, all my weekends are booked solid, so I gotta! I hate being all booked up like that. It's poo-poo!

  8. you better get some rest today, you work TOOOOO much.