Monthly Archives: September 2009

Making Ready

Fall weather is here.  It is cold and blustery.  With a frost advisory tonight, what is left of my garden is covered.  I love this time of year!

Our fall preparations have begun.  While there is plenty more to do, we’re on the right track.  A few of these things are done…and others have to wait a few weeks until winter is closer.

  • Caulk around windows and doors
  • Make sure there are enough window kits to put plastic up when the weather turns cold
  • Change furnace filter and have a couple back up filters ready
  • Make some draft stoppers for the three doors
  • Replace door sweeps on two doors
  • Weatherstrip around door on side of garage
  • Put away summer toys and outdoor furniture
  • Rake
  • Turn compost
  • Clean up gardens
  • Wash outside windows
  • Sweep down entry and deck
  • Decide on winter decorations for outside, if any

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Venison

My man is an avid hunter.  He bow hunts, rifle hunts and takes in the black powder season here.  He taught gun safety for years and just generally has a love of hunting and fishing.  When we lived in HomeTown he would hunt deer, pheasant, duck, goose and doves.  Now we are a little too far north to have many pheasants and he doesn’t have many areas for duck and goose hunting.  I think he misses the pheasants so he tries to make a trip to HomeTown in the fall to pheasant hunt.  Lucky for him he LOVES to deer hunt.  The deer up here are big and plentiful.

That said it stands to reason that we eat a lot of venison.  Usually two to three good sized deer a year.  My husband butchers most of it himself.  After he cuts the steaks and roasts we take the rest in to be ground.  I don’t like anything added to it, no pork or fat.  So it is double ground and bagged in one pound packages.  Seventy five to a hundred pounds of ground isn’t too much.  And it costs about 40 cents a package.  We don’t have a meat grinder so this is a cheap way for us to get it processed and save us a lot of work.

In September and October we eat down the venison remaining from the previous year.  Then the freezer is defrosted & cleaned to get ready for the new deer.  Over the weekend we ate a lot of venison.  It was exceptionally good so I thought I’d share…

We had a large package of tenderloins so we made Peppercorn Venison Tenderloin.  The leftover, about half of it, was used in our Venison Stroganoff recipe the next day.  Both are easy recipes with good flavor.  The pepper and garlic seasoning on the leftover meat was a nice addition to the stroganoff.

Peppercorn Venison Tenderloin

  • 3 cloves garlic-minced
  • 1# venison tenderloin
  • 1-2T coarsely crushed peppercorns
  • 1T butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Spread garlic evenly over meat and roll in crushed peppercorn, pressing in to coat meat.  Place in pan and bake 10 minutes.  Dot meat with butter and  continue baking 6-10 minutes or until it is the desired doneness.  Let stand tented with foil for 5 minutes before slicing.

Easy Venison Stroganoff

  • 1.5# round steak
  • butter – enough to brown steak
  • 1 (4 oz) can button mushrooms
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream o f mushroom soup
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can beef gravy
  • 2 heaping Tbsp sour cream

Cut meat in very thin strips. Brown in butter.  Do not salt.  Add mushrooms, gravy, soup and sour cream.

Simmer 2 hours or until tender.  Serve over egg noodles, rice or toast.

Like I mentioned, we used a large tenderloin for the first day, doubling the recipe.  Then the leftover meat went into the stroganoff.  Being so tender we only simmered the stroganoff for a little over an hour.  We make both of these recipes multiple times a year.  Even the kids eat it up.

Sometimes finding easy, good venison recipes can be tough.  If you are married to a hunter too, or if you just have some good venison recipes please share.

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Filed under Family, In the Kitchen, Menus

Treading Water

Yep.  It’s been awhile.  Again.  I feel like I’ve just been treading water since mid-July when I went on vacation.  I have a few productive days and then things stall out.  This is getting a little annoying.

With another weekend approaching I am planning to get some more things caught up.  My list will be huge and I’ll be lucky to get half of it done, but I will probably be happy with half done.  Sounds like I know this game, doesn’t it?

Today I cleaned up my girl’s bedroom while she was at school.  Hung up clothes and threw away garbage.  Made the bed and cleaned off her desk top.  She appreciated it when she finally got home from volleyball tonight.  And it felt good to quit thinking about my list and help her out.

Last weekend I did a lot of cleaning and got out my autumn decorations.  This weekend will be more cleaning and organizing.  I need to see if my office still has a floor.  Paperwork is piling up.  Things like that.  Other than flag football for a couple hours on Saturday and church on Sunday, the weekend is wide open.  I like that.

Slow and steady wins the race.  Right?

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WFMW: Tea Bags

wfmwbannerKRISTEN

In August my son started his orthodontics adventure.  Currently all we needed to do was have 2 teeth pulled.  We’ll recheck in 6 months.  Not so bad.  Unless you have never had any work done at the dentist except the routine cleanings and exams.

The little guy was fairly nervous and I explained that the little sticks from the shots to numb up his mouth were likely all that would hurt.  And it wouldn’t be that bad.  I was right and he did a great job.  No tears or complaining…just two big holes in his mouth afterward.

We went home with a little extra sterile gauze in case we needed it.  No big deal, right?  Except those holes wouldn’t quit bleeding.  We went through the dentist’s gauze and some of ours (good thing my first aid kit is always stocked) and FOUR hours later those holes were still bleeding.  Like drip from his mouth bleeding.

Thankfully our dentist is open in the evenings on Tuesdays so I called to see what we should try next.  She advised we replace the gauze with tea bags! Tea bags?  Yep.  Apparently there is something in there that aids in clotting.  We did as advised and within 20 minutes the bleeding had stopped copletely.

That kid looked funny with two tea bags in his mouth, strings hanging out.  Best of all was the relief on his face.  I think he had been getting worried about all the blood.

So my tip today is to have some tea bags on hand if someone is having some dental work…you never know when they could come in handy.  And I wondered it they would work on other things?  How about that skinned knee that is just oozing a little?  could you put a tea bag in the freezer (or keep a couple in there) for these type of kid things?  The size is right and it would be safe for them to use…hmmm…I’ll have to think about that.

As always, We are THAT Family has a collection of great links over there for Works-for-me-Wednesday.  Check it out!

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Filed under Kids, Making Do

Back to Packing Lunches

Lunches packed on a day last May.

Lunches packed on a day last May.

The kids are back in school today and that means I’ll be back to packing lunches tomorrow.  We sat down yesterday and talked about what they think they’d like in lunches this year.

Here’s what they said they want:

  • PBJ sandwiches
  • Ham or turkey sandwiches or wraps (this is exciting and new…they never really wanted deli meat before)
  • The makings for a chef salad or SW chicken salad, so they can mix it up at school
  • Yogurt with granola or cereal and fruit
  • Muffin, cheese stick and fruit or veg
  • Homemade lunchable – turkey pepperoni, sliced cheddar and wheat thins or triscuits
  • Cold pizza (this is the boys favorite)
  • Bean & cheese burrito (they want it cold)
  • Venison BBQ meat in a thermos with a bun to put it on (this is new too…they’ve resisted taking hot things in a thermos, so we’ll see)

Last year we got in a carrot rut, so this year I need to be better about varying their veggie & fruit choices. Apples spritzed with lemon or pineapple juice, carrots & celery, grapes, banana, applesauce, canned fruit…all these will find a place in the lineup.

Desserts are still a must. I was told that homemade is still a favorite, especially monster bars, brownies and cookies.  Otherwise a few tootsie rolls, m&ms or mini candy bar is good too.

And then I asked if they would still like jokes in their lunchboxes.  Silly me.  Of course they do…they both looked at me like that was obvious and I was not real bright.   My son said they’d like more tongue twisters too.  It will be fun digging up some of those.  I have a whole shoe box full of jokes from last year so I don’t have to worry about getting the year started.

The September lunch menu is marked (both kids want to eat at school every Tuesday) and I have some lunchbox basics stocked up.  The lunchboxes are out of the closet and dusted off.  I think I’m ready!

How about you?  Do you pack lunches?  What do you pack?

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Filed under In the Kitchen, Kids, Menus

Happy New Year!

I know, it isn’t really a new year.  But to those of you with school kids, doesn’t if FEEL like a new year?

I love this time of year.  Autumn is my favorite season.  I’m addicted to school/office supplies and I love a new calendar.

You get the idea…

So for all you moms out there with a little quieter house today I say HAPPY NEW YEAR!

My neighbor in HomeTown had a tradition with several of her friends.  Every year on the first day of school they would all get together for a little party.  They caught up with each other after the summer craziness and shared plans they had for the new year.  This year her youngest, the only one still at home, is a SENIOR.  I wonder if that group of ladies still get together?

Just as if it were January, I am making new year resolutions.  Goals for the school year.  I’m straightening and organizing. In anticipation of cooler days I’m getting my nest ready.  I am happy for my kids; they love school.  I miss them during the day but we all thrive on the routine that the school year creates.  So why not celebrate this new season?

Do you feel like it is a new beginning when school starts?  Do you do anything special?

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Filed under Attitude, Just Me, Kids

Double Coupons

I had my first experience with double coupons the other day.  I know.  Some of you can’t believe it.  You use those double coupons and all that other good stuff to get all kinds of things for free, or close to it.  Unfortunately I don’t’ have those resources.  Driving 60 miles to double a coupon doesn’t make much sense to me.

So how did I manage a couple of double coupons?  I noticed a few weeks ago that our local discount store has double coupons for a week every couple of months.  I don’t usually save coupons, partly because I find I save more on generic or lower price brands and I tend to print just the coupons I need for shopping at one of the grocery stores in town, or Walmart.

The discount store had our favorite brand of baked beans on sale for $1 per can (the big 28oz can) so I went to buy a case.  I noticed a sign on some juice that was a good sale price.  Hey!  I have some promo coupons for that kind of juice!  $1 off two.  So…that would be $2 off two, right?  I bought four and after my two coupons had four 64oz bottles of 100% juice for 65 cents each.  I was so excited.

I got a glimpse of the rush that can come from a phenomenal deal…but I don’t think I’ll be looking any harder for coupons.  I will however, keep an eye out for the next double coupon week and see what I have then.  It was a fun thrill, but I still don’t have the opportunities available consistently enough to make it worth my time to start cutting and organizing lots of coupons.

I’ll admit that sometimes I think all the deal chasing is a little crazy…this little glimpse showed me why some of you ladies get hooked!

What’s the best deal you’ve gotten lately??

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