Sunday, November 15, 2009

My New Job

Hello from the Collard Patch. I stopped by to tell you about my new job. It's exciting!

My official title is Examiner. To be more specific, I am the Shreveport Christian Books Examiner. I've been having fun with this new assignment. I write reviews of the books I'm enjoying reading, and I interview authors. Also I talk about the skill of writing.

Please go over to Shreveport Christian Books Examiner and take a look.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

How Not to Lose Your Mind Eating Venison

The following article appeared in THE BANNER of Bernice November 12, 2009:
My nephew, Jameson, gave me this recipe to include in FLAVORED WITH LOVE, a book of recipes by my family members and stories about and by the cooks. Y'all will love this:

Mustard Fried Venison

Venison (ham pieces or loin)
Plain mustard
Soy sauce
Garlic salt
Self-rising flour

Trim and slice venison into 1/4" to 1/2" pieces. If using ham pieces it's a good idea to tenderize (beat) the venison. Also cubed venison works real well. Place meat in bowl.

Mix in mustard, large chopped onion, a couple splashes of soy sauce, a few dashes of garlic salt. Make sure all meat has some mustard on it. Let marinate as long as possible in fridge. Overnight or all day is fine.

Place flour in a paper sack, mixing in salt and pepper freely. Dredge venison pieces through flour mixture and drop into hot cooking oil.

Plain mustard is prepared yellow mustard. Heed the following warning.
Jameson's Note. At the bottom of the recipe he wrote: This is one of my favorites. You can tell it's a guy recipe as the minutia are missing–you just go by feel. It was given to me a long time ago by a friend, Eddie, of South Carolina. My copy is dog-eared. Eddie is one of the best deer hunters I've seen. He's one of those types that spend days in the woods prior to opening day scoping out a big buck. He is also a bit crazy.

Warning. He also wrote: :Do not put a piece of this on top of your head or your tongue will beat your brains out trying to get to it!

More about Jameson: As a youth, Jameson learned to hunt and fish on his grandparents' farms in Mississippi. As an adult, he has traveled extensively to hunt and has gathered game recipes and hunting stories along the way.

He claims: Once I was hunting elk in an aspen forest in Colorado and confronted a grizzly. I jumped up to catch a limb ten feet over my head. I missed, but luckily caught it on the way down.

For Louisiana Readers Only: Don't bother to read my observations about this recipe if you are from South Carolina or Georgia. Everybody in Louisiana knows that most recipes (including cakes, cookies , and brownies) need a little shake of cayenne pepper. An addition of our favorite spice could enhance this recipe. Cayenne pepper opens the palate so you can appreciate all the flavors. Sometimes when we put too much, it opens the eaters' whole heads up. Noses drip, eyes water, mouths drool, ears smoke, and scalps bead sweat. That way we know we've overdone it.

One more suggestion: If you cannot get a deer this year, try this recipe with pork chops. Y'all have a good time hunting!

Mary Lou Cheatham

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Eating Venison During Poor Economic Times

The following article appeared in THE BANNER of Bernice, LA, November 5, 2009:

Eating venison is a solution to having a bountiful meat supply during this time of down-turned economy.

A friend of ours is preparing for a bumper crop of deer meat this year. He has planted his deer salad. The other day he went to the store and bought his supply of deer corn. He wanted the sacks to say, “Go, Razorbacks,” but all he could find was in yellow and purple bags honoring LSU. He had no choice but to buy it, and since it was fifty cents cheaper per bag if he bought a ton, he bought a ton.

Having purchased more corn than he could possibly use, he arrived the next morning at the local coffee club with a plan. Being a frugal man … okay a penny-pinching Scrooge … he offered to sell some of it to his deer-hunting, coffee-drinking, yarn-spinning buddies. Not above making a tidy profit off his friends, he proudly announced a special offer: fifty cents a bag more than he had paid at the ton rate. One of them told him, “_____, you can buy deer corn down the road at the convenience store at fifty cents per bag less than you are asking.”

It was particularly embarrassing when it came out that he had bought a ton to get the same price he could have gotten at the local convenience store while buying it one bag at a time. To put it mildly, he was perturbed! What came out of his mouth next cannot be reported here.

He decided to make good use of the corn. At his stand he has the fattest, best fed deer in north Louisiana and south Arkansas. The deer that eat at his place are so fat he doesn't need to use his gun. He can just go out and run them down. Is catching deer on foot included in the primitive weapon season? Any way, our friend could be considered a primitive weapon. Like us, he's definitely an antique.
His wife told me, “At $450 .00 a pound, this solution for stocking the deep freeze may not be so economical after all.”

A while back I was collecting recipes to place in my story cookbook, FLAVORED WITH LOVE, which is about my family and friends. Most of the people are real, and all the stories are. Bill, my deceased brother-in-law, gave me this easy recipe for venison:

Venison Hash

Cook 2 pounds venison in salted water until tender. Drain all but small amount of liquid. Add 1 chopped onion. Season to taste with seasoned salt. Cook until tender and liquid is absorbed.
Note: When I was a little girl, Bill cooked this hash dish with goat meat one time. Just in case y'all can't find a deer ….
Mary Lou Cheatham

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Last year I bought a beautiful large red poinsettia at Sam's. For an entire year I have managed to keep it alive. Today in early November I decided I needed to repot it and rebloom it. I wish I had read earlier the article I found today. It may not be too late to try. I'm going to pay attention to this paragraph from "Poinsettia Care in the Home" by Paul Ecke:

"The poinsettia is a photoperiodic plant, meaning that it sets bud and produces flowers as the Autumn nights lengthen. Poinsettias will naturally come into bloom during November or December, depending on the flowering response time of the individual cultivar. Timing to produce blooms for the Christmas holiday can be difficult outside of the controlled environment of a greenhouse. Stray light of any kind, such as from a street light or household lamps, could delay or entirely halt the re-flowering process."

It is wise to use what we have to improve our lives.

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