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December 2008

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Eastern region bloggers

Tim BairdTim Baird
Carrboro, North Carolina

Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim


Warren JohnstonWarren Johnston
South Royalton, Vermont

I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren


Barbara KattmanBarbara Kattman
Holliston, Massachusetts

We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara


Autumn LongAutumn Long
Wallace, West Virginia

My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn


April LuginbuhlApril Luginbuhl
Cleveland, Ohio

My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April

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Venison

Posted at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2008 by Autumn Long

'Tis the season for deer hunting in West Virginia, a time of year that causes unparalleled excitement for many residents of my home state. The back roads are lined with pickup trucks, and the hills echo with gunshots. For better or worse, more folks get out in the woods during deer season than at any other time of year. My father and grandfather have spent several days hunting on my parents' property, with nothing to show for it so far. A couple of neighbors have hunted on our property, also with no luck.

Yet, happily, even for folks such as my husband and me, who love to eat venison but who haven't actively engaged in the hunt, deer season can bring great rewards. Every year, we are offered at least one deer by neighbors who have good luck in the field. Such was this case on Monday, when our nearest neighbor down the road called to offer us the fourth deer his son had shot in the past week. It already had been skinned, hung to cure for several days, and conveniently cut into thirds (front, middle, and back) by our kind and helpful neighbor. Dan and I spent the last two evenings processing the meat.

This was the first time I had butchered a deer myself, rather than just assisting my dad in the process. For amateurs, I think we did a pretty good job. I only cut myself once and successfully carved several good-sized roasts (from the hind legs and tenderloins). We ground most of the rest of the venison together with lard from our pig. We'd set aside some lard for just this purpose when we butchered the pig back in October. We seasoned the majority of the ground venison mixture (about 15 pounds in all) for sausage, which a taste-test confirmed to be extremely yummy. We have soooo much (homemade) sausage now, of both the pork and venison varieties. Yay! Soon we'll be getting a side of beef. I hope we can make enough room in the freezer.