It's what's for dinner
When I came in from outside last night, my wife told me to get something out of the freezer. This is a nightly routine. The person nearest the freezer, when the other person thinks it is getting dinner time, has to decide what we are going to eat...
When I came in from outside last night, my wife told me to get something out of the freezer.
This is a nightly routine. The person nearest the freezer, when the other person thinks it is getting dinner time, has to decide what we are going to eat that evening. A chest-type deep freeze will hold a large volume of food, but it is impossible to find anything. One good stir, looking for that last package of deer burger, completely disorganizes any order that may have existed before that time.
"How about cooking up a nice goose or a couple of ducks?" I called to my wife with my head still in the freezer. She explained if we wanted to eat before midnight, we needed to start on a goose before eight.
I continued my search into the bowels of the freezer, occasionally running across something interesting and long forgotten. I found a package of bass fillets that sounded pretty good but they were dated 2004. I should dispose of them out of there the next time I am in the freezer.
Below the fillets, tucked back in the corner, I found a package of deer steaks. If I had packaged them, they would have been freezer burnt and not fit to eat. Fortunately, age and experience has taught me to take my deer to the local locker plant where it will be processed and packaged properly.
There are people who can and should do things and those that cannot or should not. When my sons were young, one of them asked why I did not repair our car like his friend's father did. I explained to him I was not good at repairing cars. I also told him, when you grow up, learn to do a few things very well so you have enough money to hire people to do things you can not do. I personally do not work on cars or butcher deer. Some people do and do it well, but I have learned the hard way, some jobs are best left to the professionals.
One year, after two successful days of hunting, Mike, Dick, and I along with our boys, decided we could cut, package and freeze deer as good as the next person. It was one of those "How hard could it be?" moments.
The process started in my barn. We pulled the hides off, removed the loins, and quartered several deer. At that point, we all had exceeded our level of competence at deer processing. The barn was cold, did not have the best light, and we kept getting an occasional piece of hay on the meat. We thought the best place to continue this project would be Mike's basement. Fortunately, we did not ask Mike's wife before three truckloads of hunters and deer parts descended on her house. If given a choice, I sure she would have suggested we go to the barn, or somewhere else considerably warmer. By the time we got done cutting deer into pieces that "looked like roast", "looked like steak", or was so mangled it could only be ground up for burger, the basement was a worse disaster than my barn. Even after removing most of the excess hair and hay, wrapping it tightly in plastic and freezer paper, the meat did not seem to keep well. For some reason, the wives were not anxious to eat a nice deer "roast" or "steak" either.
Having hired someone to take care of our deer for the last several years, even several months after deer season, the meat is still good. There is nothing like a steak as a nice surprise when someone says, "What's for dinner."
Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Bloomfield, Iowa.