yesterday was the first day of rifle (shotgun?) deer hunting season. Dave was eager and ready to go out hunting. he has a tree stand right down below the lower garden. while the kids and i left for Harrisburg to meet the bus back to BJU, Dave was off hunting in the rain.
and after several (many?) years of not getting any deer at all~ sometimes not even seeing a deer all day~ he got 2 deer: a doe and a button buck, and was back up in the house by 8AM! now that's what i call efficiency!
the girls were up, and Dave got them dressed and took them down into the woods to "help" gut the deer. they were very excited for their daddy, and were happy to pose for some pictures~ my two little rednecks!
the doe was much larger then the other. the button buck was probably this year's fawn. ( i made Dave some tenderloin steak for lunch, and it was definitely tender!) i cut all 4 loins out of the deer and made them into steaks.
the remainder of the deer meat we cut off of the bone. i canned 14 quarts of venison for stew, and the rest we made into burger, using our brand new meat grinder, a 1HP Sam Baer. we ran the meat through the grinder twice- the first time using the 3/8" blade,
the second time we used the 1/4" blade. the meat grinder did a really nice (and quick) job, and had no problem handling the bigger pieces of meat.
deer meat is really easy to can, and I've heard that it tastes very tender. we just cubed the meat into about 1" chunks. i heated the meat, so it wasn't going in the pressure cooker cold. after washing my jars and sterilizing the lids, i hot packed the meat into the jars. i added 1 teaspoon salt, and filled the jars to the shoulder. i added hot broth, and ran a wooden spatula around the jars to get out all the air bubbles. then i pressure cooked them at 10lb. for 1 ½ hours. since i have 2 pressure cookers, it was pretty painless, and relatively fast.
thankfully i had some freezer wrap on hand, and it was almost enough to do the 16 1½ pound burger packages that we got.
with the 14 jars of stew venison, the 16 packages of ground meat and the 3 packages of tenderloin that i froze, we have 33 meals that the family can eat!
I'm sure pleased about that!
and no, i don't feel guilty for eating Bambi. remember how much of my garden he and his mamma ate this year? sunflowers, beans, summer squash, beets, carrots, winter squash and sweet potatoes.
so the way i figure it, we're even.
but just barely!