Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"We were Organic When Organic Wasn't COOoooll"

My family and I have been organic, free ranging, green living, ecologically sound, environmentally friendly, antibiotic free, self sufficient eaters for a long time. We started long before the organic movement came to pass. All of these environmentalist, green living, organic living/eating people think that they are on to something new. Really?
News flash...


My husband's family always had a very large garden we are talking lots of acres, but not necessarily a farm in the latter years. Mr. David, "Popee", who just turned 94 years old, WWII veteran, and still lives in he same place he was born and raised, always grew enough to feed his family as well as enough to sell or mostly give away to many other families. They also harvested there own meat whether it was a cow that they raised or a free ranging wild animal. Popee grew up during the great depression and they had to survive the best way they could. They grew their own food and killed and ate their own meat.  And raised two children.
Popee and Mamaw
Picture taken by their great granddaughter BrieAnna Harper

My husband tells stories of being a young child and having to help harvest the garden. Rows and rows of field peas, butter beans, which he will not eat to this day, tomatoes, okra, acres of corn,etc. Helping in the garden went on for years until Popee got to where he couldn't do it like he use to. Now we( my brother in law, Stanton) have a much smaller garden- which I hope to help make it bigger this year--that my boys and I helped in a little. It is a pain in the arse to say the least, but we know where it came from and what went into it.

I met my husband when I was 16--- you know that's only been like a few years ago, wink wink, nod, nod. As far as I know, I don't know that my mother in law ever had to buy much, if any, beef from the store. I think she always used free range, organic, grass fed, acorn fed, wild deer. The fish were also harvested out of the creeks, ponds, or the river. The turkeys were also free range.

My dad was born in a dirt floor cabin and was 1 of 7 children. They had to keep their milk, which they milked fresh from their milk cow, in the creek to keep it cold. He tells stories of getting in trouble for eating the fresh cream off the top because my Grandmother needed it to make fresh churned butter.They also had a smoke house to cure their own meat. They killed what they needed, and ate it to survive. They also raised animals for slaughter and had a garden.

So you see, "We were organic when organic wasn't cOOooool".

I recently became an addict of the website pinterest. The other day I saw an anti-hunting "pin" that said something to the affect of  Why don't people just get their meat from the grocery store where no animals were harmed...I could not find that pin again to save my life, I have looked for it for days. Then a blogger/twitter friend wrote an article with a similar sentiment that also came from pinterest... Hunt Like Your Hungry "Cowardly Hunter" . Seriously where do people think the meat products come from in the grocery store? Do they think they just magically appear and no animal had to be slaughtered for that nice juicy ribeye to get in that little cellophane and styrofoam package. What about those chicken they think they just laid them like an egg all processed and breaded?

In our grocery store, ground beef is anywhere from $3.50-3.98 a pound. The other day we put up a little more than 50 lbs of ground deer meat. Now it cost us $10.00 for the beef fat that we mixed with it and we ground it ourselves. So let's see 50lbs of  free range venison for $10 = about  20 cents a lb... Not only is this environmentally sound, but economical as well..Geez I have 3 growing boys and husband.  Not to mention we have several shoulder roast, hams and loins that we put in the freezer 2 days ago. Now this may not last all year, but it will last a while.

I understand that some people may not like meat or they choose not to eat it, or they just can't see themselves killing or eating Bambi, or  Little Bunny Foo Foo; however don't condemn me or my family because we  CHOOSE to be green and help sustain ourselves through hunting, and fishing. I mean don't hate us because we are OG.... Original Green! We aren't hatein' on them because they are stealing some of our OG swagga.

We, as hunters and fisherman, were stewards for the environment long before this  green movement came to be as well. Hunters and their organizations are far more responsible and conscious of environmental issues than most non hunters. We usually plant products to help fed and maintain the health of our wildlife populations. We have been responsible for the growth of populations of different wild game, which were non existent or on the brink of being non existent in areas. There are many organizations that hunters contribute financially to as well and  donate their harvest to in order to help feed people who for some reason can not feed their self.

I suppose the point is "A Country Boy Can Survive"...Thank you Hank Williams, Jr.

Just like tonight, we went after school and caught some nice little bass from an old pond in the middle of no where. The boys are enjoying the freshly fried organically grown  bass with fresh homemade french fries. We have been doing stuff just like this for years.

So Hunt On my fellow OGs!

The Small Print
I don't believe in "If its brown its down" or "Shooting anything that moves." Yes I hunt big bucks or trophy hunt, but I assure you I also eat what I kill. By hunting mature deer you equalize the herd and allow the herd to grow.
If you choose to be a vegetarian or vegan that's your choice, but I don't, I like to be a omnivore.
Yes, I have killed Bambi's momma and daddy and Little Bunny Foo Foo too. I also ate them.
Please feel free to leave a comment, but if you do so in a disrespectful manner please understand you will get a disrespectful response. We all have our opinions and our ways of life. When the Apocalypse comes I will be able to survive. Will you without the grocery store?
Yes, I do shop at the grocery store and yes I buy meat there, BUT I know animals had to be slaughter for it to get there, and I don't have a problem with that.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The HEART of the Matter

So the other day while we were skinning the deer, the boys and Shane decided  they wanted to try to eat the deer's heart. ( YIKES!!!) "What you talkin' 'bout  Willis?", was my reaction. I mean seriously...I don't eat much fish, much less organ meat. It just sounds disgusting...Right?!
Well, I always try to try new things, so I decided I was game. Now those who know me well know that smells and textures are important to I was weary to say the least. I'm not a picky eater by any means, but....deer HEART???

We came home and tried our hand at cooking the deer heart, and this is what we discovered.

First we got the heart out of the deer and washed in cold water REALLY well.

There is a fine membrane around the heart that you need to peel off. Its a bit like trying to find the end of a piece of scotch tape. But just keep working and peel it off.

Next we started at the smaller end and began to slice it in to small slices about a half inch thick.

At the top of the heart you will find the ventricles and fat, we discarded those. You will be able to tell a difference in firmness. This area is almost hard.

Then we cut those pieces into smaller pieces.

We soaked it in cold water to try and make sure we got all of the blood clots out of the meat.

We then cooked it 3 different ways. We didn't really know where to start so we just winged it.
I soaked some in Italian dressing, cumin, and cajun seasoning, some in worcestershire and cajun seasoning, and floured and fried the rest. I pan seared the other two.

Now, I am no Georgia Pellegrini , but I was really impressed with what we did. I was surprised that it tasted really good. For some reason I was thinking it would taste like the liver and onions my mother use to make me eat (YUCK!!), pleasantly I was very impressed. The texture was fine it seemed to be a lot like any other piece of deer meat, and it didn't smell any different.

The boys enjoyed it too!

What we did as an experiment was very simple, but watch out because next year we will be trying it again. I am definitely going to be doing some research and try to find a good recipe or maybe create one.

The Finale!!

Well I suppose this is it. The End. The inevitable. The finale. The fat lady has sung. It is official, Alabama's 2011-2012 deer season has come and gone. Finished.  BOOOOO!!!!

Anyway, we went out with a a BANG!, literally. Gage killed a seven point hunting by his self Monday. So it was his first kill sitting by his self. He was so excited he could hardly contain his self.
I wish I could  have recorded him when we pulled up. Hilarious!

Gage's Uncle Stanton decided since it was his first buck by his self that he needed to be re-initiated...

Notice the little fella in the back ground!! LOL!
Tuesday the very last day at last light I shot  a small "cull" buck. He turned out to be a 6 point, but I thought he was bigger. He came out close to the stand running a doe, I tried to wake Owen, but couldn't and shot him before he left the patch. Not too much to brag on, but hey more MEAT!!!

Yes, I was dressed in a tank top and hunting pants. I had a jacket and a sweater, but it was hot...So that was a first to be dressed like that to kill a deer.

Hope everyone had a good season. So long deer season, til we meet again...

So in the mean time:

Yep, that's what's for supper!