The last couple of weeks have been full! We have stayed busy. During harvest, the guys (Brent included) all work long hours bringing the crop in. This means that I manage the house and boys and schedules on my own.
While I wouldn’t change a thing about this life that we lead, this season doesn’t usually leave me with much time for anything else including writing. So to pick up where I left off the last time, Brent had gotten his deer on Halloween and i was getting ready to process it. We do this on our own. Brent and Cole went and cut the deer off the bone and brought it home to me.
The first thing I processed was all the stew meat that I can for quick meals! Brent and Cole did a great job at cubing it all up for me so I got to work on the rest. I first brown it with some beef base and oil. Then I put it in beef broth to slowly simmer while the rest of the meat is cooked.
From there we begin the actual canning process. Jars are filled with the meat and a little canning salt. They are topped off with the broth used to simmer the meat. Then lids are placed on the jars and tightened down with bands. I continue this process until all the meat is cooked and in jars.
Then I pull out the pressure cooker/canner and process the jars according to the instructions in the recipe booklet. They have to process for about 75 minutes but I don’t have to be standing in front of the stove that whole time. Once the time has been reached, I turn off the burner and allow the pressure to lower. Once the pressure has released, I then pull the jars out and place them on a towel on the counter so they can seal. I am then serenaded with the sound of popping lids as they seal.
The next day I ground the rest of the meat so that we could use it to make jerky. We put ours on our wood pellet grill to dry out the jerky while it gets a nice smoke to it. So yummy and handy on the go snacks.
We finished up harvest the day before rifle deer season opening day. Great timing!! Cole wanted to go out with Brent and so the alarm went off at 5:30 am. Up out of bed, they got dressed and off they went. Cade slept in a little since it is next to impossible to get him out to hunt on morning hunts. There is just no way not to scare the deer as they are carrying him to the hunting spot.
Cade has made plans with Papa to go hunting with him in the afternoon. Cole and Brent did some farm work after they got back from the morning hunt with no luck. So they would go back out in the afternoon.
Both hunters came back empty handed and a new game plan was formed for the next day. Cole and Brent would go out in the morning and then if no luck, would go to church with Cade and I and then Cade and Papa would pair up for an afternoon hunt again. Morning came and I was up to begin getting ready for church when I got the call. Cole has succeeded in getting himself a deer.
Cole and Brent would no longer be joining Cade and I at church but they would meet up with us for lunch. After church we all went to lunch and then Cade left with Papa to do some hunting and scouting. Cade determines at that point he wanted to switch hunting partners and go with his dad. So Brent we over and picked him up and they went to a spot the two of them picked out.
Cole was over at the shop working on his deer head as he was wanting to do a European mount on it. I was left home alone once again!
All 3 returned later with no luck for Cade. They discussed plans for after school on Monday but weren’t sure how well it would work because it was supposed to be windy. Cade got home from school and was just relaxing a bit when Brent called to say that a neighbor had called Papa and informed him of a really nice buck on the home place. This was the same ground that Cade had gotten his deer on last year!
So I got Cade changed and ready to go and Brent came home and away they went. The neighbor was right! A nice big buck was hanging out on Papa’s hay field. They were able to watch it for a while and follow it into our cornfield. The deer finally presented itself up for a shot. Cade took it and was successful. It was a clean and efficient shot and Cade now had gotten his deer.
After a phone call to me to tell me about it, the deer was loaded and they needed to go check it in. They did stop by the house quick so I could see it. He was definitely a big guy and Cade was extremely happy.
So now we are getting ready to start processing the boys’ deer. We will can some more of the meat, make some more jerky and also some summer sausage which will all be great for the next year. We are extremely grateful for the tip from the neighbor!
We hope that you are all doing well and are thankful for the many blessings we have received this year. Sometimes it hard to see them when we focus on Cade’s disease but they are still there when we switch our focus. Makes me think of when Peter was walking on the water towards Jesus and lost focus of his goal and put it on the water. I am trying to keep my focus on God and His blessings rather than Duchenne!
2 thoughts on “Hunting and Harvest”
Your run-down of canning the deer was so interesting and I know will be very tasty. I have only canned deer one time and was so different. We started the process by filling our jars and setting them in an oven on low for hours it seemed. Then processed in a hot water bath as I didn’t have a pressure cooker.
You are such a dear hard working family. Take care. Love & Prayers
Congrats to Cade & all on great Deer!