"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"

 Cella's News

December 2004



"Making A House A Home"

Arlene Reed Pfitzinger

As a deer friend sat down to a simple meal of beef stew, mashed potatoes, salad and chocolate pie, she said "just like coming home."  What a compliment; We remember "it's good to be back home again" or "it's the little things that make a home" as well as "I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams."  The old adage "it takes a heap of living to make a home" is more true today than ever.  People spend more time away from home because of commuting, sports, children's activities, vacations, both parents working and a restless spirit to get away.  However, the holidays help to bring out the memories of the past and many people like no other time of year make the extra effort to travel home.

It amazes me to sometimes see a sign "home for sale" whether it is a mansion or a humble cottage where it takes more than fancy curtains or beautiful place mats to call it home.  The appearance on the outside is important to the neighbors, but it is insignificant compared to the importance of making a home where there is communication, refuge, tranquility and real protection from everyday storms of life.  A real haven of rest with love is to be a goal.  Children should be precious in the sight of God and know they are loved even when they rebel.

Many times people prepare for a vacation with zest and enthusiasm but usually they are looking forward to coming home.  Some people because of their job have to move frequently.  Others seem to want to explore other areas, and some of us just want to stay put.  I only remember moving twice as an adult; once to make it easier to care for my ageing parents, and then again after I married to make it easier for my husband to be near the farm operation.  By the time I married at the late age of 63, I had pretty much seen many homes collapse for lack of commitment and promise, but, of course, the house still stood.

I have been known to say "home is where you hang your hat."  A friend remembered this and called me.  She went to the garage and saw an old army hat hanging on a nail, and it moved just a bit.  They investigated and found a mother bird busy building a nest in the hat.  In this case even a mother bird from instinct built a "home" in a safe place for her upcoming family. 

Many times we drive miles to see the old home town to refresh our memory, but find great changes . . . some good and some bad.  Many home-made items are cherished and passed down to the next generation.  Today some ads sell home-made crafts and even soup and pies are supposed to be better.  Even the terrorists are aware of our "homeland security."

As we cross the rivers and climb the mountains of our life, we trust our living has not been in vain.  Our true goal is not to leave home, but eventually to go home where there is everlasting peace, and no one will ever be homesick.

Wondering What To Make With This Year's Venison? Try These Delicious Recipes!

I know it is December and I know that I should be providing you with the best cookie and candy recipes for your holidays, but I can not do it.  There is an unofficial holiday that occurs between Thanksgiving and Christmas that must be addressed - shotgun season for the whitetail.  This month I am going to provide you with venison recipes that you will enjoy eating and sharing with others because sooner or later you will be gifted with some venison.

I love to hear the hunters telling their deer stories.  I enjoy their excitement as they get ready for the hunt in their new outfits, with their new guns, grunt calls, boots, hats, and gloves.  I have to smile as they so carefully apply their buck lure or spray themselves with essence of Fall to mask their human odor.  I willingly get up early to prepare a hearty breakfast and don't mind making a large pot of chili to warm the hunters on their first day.  I try to always have my camera handy when the tired, but exuberate hunter returns home victorious so I can get a picture of their trophy.  I value the effort put forth on my family's behalf when I am given venison and look forward to the canned venison, steaks, chops, and roasts.  You can even make "veniburgers" by adding beef or pork fat at the ration of one pound of fat to three pounds of venison.  

I was raised in Titusville, Pennsylvania and had four brothers.  I was used to my brothers and their friends hunting, and I never remember a time when we didn't have venison to eat.  Even our school gave the first day of hunting season off.  Otherwise, many children in the upper grades would be absent to go hunting.  My mother liked to can the deer meat.  I have included her recipe for you.  You can have a delicious stew ready in half an hour with canned deer meat.  Don't think that you have to make a whole canner full - 8 quarts.  Start out small.  If you don't have a water bath canner, you can make one.  Sometimes I only make two quarts at a time.  I use a tall pan, place jar rings on the bottom to keep my quart jars off the bottom of the pan, surround the jars with empty tin cans filled with water to keep the jarred deer meat from banging around, fill the pot to 2-inches over the top of the jars and process for 3 hours with the lid on.  Why not try a jar or two to get you started?  The meat will be delicious and you will be able to cut the meat with a fork.  My stew recipe is included in this issue to encourage you.

When did you first have deer meat to eat?  Did you like it?  Were you tricked into eating it, thinking it was beef?  If so, I'm not surprised.  Deer meat is good for you and is similar to beef, but it has a richer flavor.  Betty Ras told me that if the deer hide is removed immediately it will allow the meat to cool quicker and the meat will not taste gamey.  Plus, the deer will need to be processed in a timely manner.  The meat should age at 32 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 days, or it could be butchered within 24 hours if those temperatures cannot be maintained.  The aging process will help get rid of the gamey taste and the enzymes will tenderize the tissues of meat.  Once frozen, deer meat should be consumed within six to nine months.

Venison has less cholesterol than skinless chicken and half the fat of beef.  Three ounces of venison have 134 calories and only 2.7 percent fat.

The Internet refers to farm-raised fallow deer meat as "exotic" meat, and when you look at the Internet prices for farm-raised fallow deer meat,  you will place a higher value on your own wild venison.  Farm-raised Fallow Deer venison sells for $24.00 for a 2- to 3-pound roast, chops for $19.00 a pound, stew meat from $6 - $8 a pound, burger for $6.00 a pound, and  2-pack (3-4 pounds) tenderloins for $72.00.  Now let me ask, who wants some venison?    

The simplest and one of the best ways to prepare the deer meat is to pound the steaks (the hind quarters) with a metal meat mallet before you cook them, season with a little salt and pepper and fry in butter over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side.  Deer chops are very tender and don't need to be pounded and only take a few minutes fried in butter.  A fast and flavorful meal to make.

Canning Deer Meat

Florence Richards

Fill sterilized quart jars full of cubed venison, packing tightly up to one inch of the top of jar.  Add one teaspoon of canning salt.  Do not add water as meat will make its own juice.  Seal with hot jar lids and process in a water bath canner for 3 hours.  Start counting time when water boils.  Water should cover jars by 2 inches at all times.  Add boiling water to canner if needed.

Marcella's Venison Stew

(Made with Canned Deer Meat)

I like to use canned potatoes in this recipe as the potatoes stay whole better than fresh boiled potatoes.  This meal can be ready in 30 minutes.  Use a spatula to gently fold in the ingredients in this stew and the meat will not fall apart so much.  If you don't can venison, see if some of your friends that hunt have any on hand.

1 quart boiling water

2 onions, the size of a baseball, each cut into 8 wedges

6 large carrots, sliced diagonally in 2-inch pieces

4 stalks of celery, sliced diagonally in 2-inch pieces

1 quart canned venison, undrained

1 beef bouillon cube or packet

8-oz. can Hunt's tomato sauce

3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water

2 (15-oz.) cans canned whole potatoes (about 16 small), drained

 In a large saucepan, bring 1 quart of water to boil.  Add onions, carrots, and celery.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Do not drain.  Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over low heat, combine undrained venison, bouillon, and tomato sauce; heat through.  Mix in cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup of water.  Use a spatula to gently fold in mixture and heat until thickened.  Stir in potatoes and heat through.  Stir in cooked vegetables with liquid.  This recipe makes 6 servings.

Big Rick's Thick N' Hearty Venison Soup

(Made with Canned Deer Meat)

I received this recipe from my brother, Rickey Richards November 14, 2004.  Easy to prepare.  Rickey said it is good served with buttermilk biscuits, topped with honey and that it is umm, umm, good. (Cella)

2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup onion, diced

1 quart canned venison, undrained

1 can (16-oz.) can stewed tomatoes

1 can (16-oz.) can tomato sauce

1 can (16 1/2-oz.) green beans, drained

1 can (15 1/4-oz.) whole kernel sweet corn, drained

1 can (15-oz.) sliced carrots, drained

1/2 cup butter or margarine

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-size saucepan, combine potatoes and onions. Cover with water, bring to a boil, simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove potatoes and onions from pan and set aside, reserving cooking liquid.  Place remaining ingredients in a large saucepan.  Cook until heated through, add potatoes and onions with some of the reserved potato/onion cooking liquid as needed.  Cook until hot.  Salt and pepper to taste.  This recipe makes 3 quarts of soup.

Barb Mandigo's

I received this recipe from Barb Mandigo.  This recipe is excellent made with venison.  I have even marinated a whole chuck roast and barbecued it.  The flavor of this recipe comes out on the grill, not baked in an oven.  You can put the meat on skewers over the grill.  (Cella)

1 pound venison or chuck roast, cut into large chunks

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon oregano

2/3 cup pure Wesson vegetable oil

3 tablespoons ReaLemon lemon juice from concentrate

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons meat tenderizer.

Cut venison or chuck roast into large chunks, removing any bone or fat.  In a large plastic container, combine the pepper, parsley flakes, oregano, vegetable oil, lemon juice concentrate, cider vinegar, and meat tenderizer.  Place meat in marinade and cover with a lid.  Refrigerate overnight, turning container a couple of times to redistribute marinade over the meat.  The next day, heat grill, and barbecue meat over hot coals until meat is medium rare.  Enjoy!  This recipe makes 4 servings.

Visit my web site for additional venison recipes at http://www.cellascookbook.com/venisonrecipes

Dave Biela's Roller Hockey Steak Bake; Paula Hebner's Venison Jerky, Venison Marinade, and Venison Salami; Julia Jackson's Baked Venison Steaks; Barb Mandigo's Spiedies; Lenny Nagel's Canning Deer Meat, Marinated Grilled Venison, Venison Neck Roast in Cast Iron Dutch Oven, and Venison Jerky; PA Hunter's Deer Baloney; Norm Pabst's Deer Hunter's Soup; Betty Ras' Bar-b-Que Venison and Venison Roast; Florence Richards' Canning Deer Meat; Marcella Richards' Venison Stew; Rickey Richards' Big Rick's Thick N' Hearty Venison Soup; and Bob Scharf's Venison Teriyaki

Submit your favorite recipes to marcellastockin@yahoo.com

"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood" - Marcella