RSS

How to Keep it Cool When It’s Sooo Damned Hot!

closeup photo of green cactus

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

It’s already been established in my last post that it’s hot as hell in the Texas Hill Country (as usual)! It doesn’t change the fact that there’s plenty of work that’s got to be done to get ready for the upcoming hunting seasons. Staying cool when there’s so much to do is a top priority. I don’t need to tell any of you that you need to stay hydrated, wear light colors, and use plenty of sunscreen. We take our Yeti Roadster cooler in the truck to carry cold drinks and some chilled fruit when we’re working on feeder pens and hunting blinds.

Of course, everyone will also need to eat and they will want to eat well after all the hard work they’ve done. Nobody, however, wants the stove or oven to heat up the camper, cabin, or ranch house no matter how delectable the meal. That’s why the meals should be carefully planned so that the indoors stay as cool as possible.  Using the stove heats up the quarters less than using the oven.  If you must use the stove, be sure to take hot skillets or pots outside after they’ve been used so they don’t continue to radiate heat.  An even better alternative is to set up an outdoor propane stove, like the Camp Chef, Browning, or Coleman, so that all the heat stays outside.

camping prep 008

This camp stove is from Browning.  It’s almost identical to the Camp Chef and costs much less.  This one came from Bass Pro Shop several years ago.  I purchased the griddle, separately, from Camp Chef. It fit perfectly! I absolutely love it.  In addition, I bought the zippered carrying bags for the griddle and the stove making it easier to keep the components together and haul around.

When planning for breakfast, always make arrangements to have the accoutrements for coffee! There are several ways to prepare coffee for the hunting camp.  See them here.  Milk or cream, raw or white sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Recently, since it’s just Deerslayer and myself heading out to work,  we’ve been going pretty light for the morning meal; cereal, fruit, breakfast muffins, and of course milk, juice, and coffee. A heavy meal in the morning before working in the hot sun can lower one’s productivity.

Everyone is usually ready to come in for lunch early because of the heat and I’ve been serving sandwiches (BLTs, ruebens, sliced turkey or venison), cold watermelon, and some chips or soup.  I will usually cook up bacon ahead of time and bring it with me.  Reheating it for sandwiches requires much less time at the stove than cooking it as needed.  Don’t forget to take the skillet or griddle outside as soon as you’re finished with it if your aren’t cooking outside!

For dinner, I’ve come to rely on my sous vide cooker pretty heavily. Check here for more info about how it works.   I can actually set it up before we head out to work in the afternoon. I use it for chicken and venison, preparing more than we need for our meal.  The leftovers can be used the next day for tacos, tostadas (sometimes called chalupas), or hearty sandwiches. My next post will include instructions for using the sous vide to get several meals with leftovers.

DSC_0002

The key is in the planning.  I plan my menus out before we get to the ranch.  That enables me to have what I need for my recipes (which are pretty simple) and make a grocery list.

screenshot_2019-08-03-13-38-472062259631.png

This is an app that my daughter put on my phone called “Keep Notes”.  I love it for all kinds of lists including dates that we fill feeders and how many bags of feed we used and/or need.

Like most hunting ranches, ours is out in the middle of nowhere.  A trip to the grocer would be more than an hour.  Nothing is worse than planning and looking forward to wonderful Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwiches (BLTs) only to discover that there’s NO “L”!

As all the deer slayers and their wives know, this time of year can be brutal.  But the reward will be great.  Stay tuned for some recipes and prep tips.

Please share any tips of your own and your thoughts.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

My Favorite Yeti (the 105)

It’s still the hottest part of the summer in the Texas Hill Country.  However, there’s plenty for hunters to do in the sweltering heat.  The feeders have to be filled. The overgrown roads need to be cleared.  In many cases, hunting camp trailers, cabins and ranch houses need to be cleaned up and prepared for the upcoming season.  This particular season, we have the additional work  of righting three of our blinds and removing dozens of downed trees after a big storm that blew through a few weeks ago.

It’s my job to bring enough food and cold beverages to keep my deerslayer up and running to get the job done.  I like to start with food from our fridge at home, using produce and perishables that would, um, perish if we left them at home.  My favorite cooler for packing food is the Yeti 105.  It’s large capacity (21.8 gallons) and tall interior (14 usable inches when closed) make it perfect for most of the chilled food that I need to take. It is tall enough to hold a gallon of milk (or juice) with room above it for the wire rack that comes with it.

I discovered that a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot or Lowe’s fits perfectly in one side of the cooler.  When fitted with a kitchen trash bag, I can fill the bucket with produce,  cheese, lunch meat, etc., anything that needs to be chilled but that I don’t want to become waterlogged as the ice melts.  Heaviest or less delicate items like cabbage or blocks of cheese can go on the bottom. Easily bruised produce and other delicate things can rest up top.

20190613_065952-2103065122.jpg

Once the cooler is full, pack ice around milk, other beverages, and between the bucket and the walls of the cooler but not into it. The items in the cooler should stay chilled for a number of hours.  Extra ice can be added as needed.

As much as I LOVE our Yeti coolers, one of the only issues that I have with them is that they are HEAVY.  Even empty, they weigh quite a bit.  A solution that I found for moving them around the house easily for packing is to set them on small moving dollies that we purchased from Harbor Freight.  The dollies allow me to roll the coolers freely around the kitchen and out to the truck for loading.  I purchased two extra ones to keep in our hunting cabin.  I can use the coolers when I need them and push them conveniently out of the way when I don’t.

Fix good meals, work efficiently, get stuff done!  Hunting season will be here before we know it! Embrace the Hunters’ Lifestyle!

 

Tags: , , , ,

Have what you need or have a sense of humor

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Camp Coffee 4 Ways

20190211_183128-1790332526.jpg

Those of you who partake of God’s greatest gift, the coffee bean, truly understand that all of God’s wonders are made more spectacular by the smell of fresh coffee brewing. Mornings and coffee go together. Mornings at a hunting camp absolutely MUST include steaming cups, mugs, or insulated carafes of coffee.

If you can be the one who provides the goods to bleary-eyed hunters, you will surely be crowned “Caffeine Queen”, “Empress of the Life-Giving Serum” or some other appropriate moniker. Who wouldn’t want that?

No matter what the circumstances or conditions at your hunting camp or ranch, it’s always possible to have a steaming cup of joe on hand for yourself AND for the sad-eyed hunters who didn’t bring their own. Basically, all you need is a heat source, a receptacle, good water, and ground coffee.

If you have power available at your hunting ranch or camp, you can set up any standard drip coffee maker, espresso machine, or whatever floats your boat. I have to admit that I have difficulty considering an espresso machine or Keurig to be in the spirit of roughing it at the hunting camp but that’s just me.

20181109_071430-535256267.jpg

This poor relic was one of eight that were found at our ranch when we purchased it. All were working order! Apparently left by various hunters. We donated the others after cleaning and sanitizing them.

There are times when electricity may not be readily available, though. This is where you will need to be creative. Percolator coffee is one great alternative for a larger group of coffee drinkers. A propane camp stove or even a campfire will provide enough of a heat source for a good-sized pot. Percolators come in a variety of sizes to accommodate small to larger numbers of cups. I’ve purchased several. It’s worth spending a little bit more for a better quality one. The inner workings can be quite flimsy in the cheaper ones. Percolator coffee will take a while.

20181109_071459-938112954.jpg

A French press is another choice that works if you don’t have access to electricity. It can produce several cups of coffee using just a heat source to boil water (propane stove or camp stove, or a campfire). It works by steeping the grounds in boiled water for two or three minutes in a carafe, usually glass or plastic, and pressing a plunger down through the water, separating the brewed coffee from the grounds. I like this method because the apparatus is relatively small and easy to transport. It makes about three cups of coffee. It doesn’t take much time, just enough time to boil some water (You will need a different pot in which to boil the water) and about 2-3 minutes to actually brew the coffee. A glass carafe may be difficult to lug around because it’s fragile. Look for one made of stainless steel if it’s a concern.

wp-1542549720276-901566780.jpg

Finally, I found this little guy at World Market. It collapses flat when not in use, uses a small cone paper filter, and only requires the amount of time that it takes to boil enough water for a cup of joe! It’s a nice alternative to a Keurig. It’s a great way to prepare one cup at a time if you’re the only coffee drinker in camp. I love mine and use it all the time. Deerslayer doesn’t drink coffee so it’s perfect for our outings when it’s just the two of us.

Collapsible Coffee Dripper

20180320_164931-1617936394.jpg

It seems funny to me that, after years of participating in the hunting camp tradition, one or two hunters will wander up, bleary-eyed, looking sad and lost, with an empty coffee cup in hand. I am always glad to fill a cup for the poor souls. I have started to keep all the accouterments on hand (sugar, raw sugar, artificial sweeteners, Half n Half in tiny little prepackaged one-serving containers that don’t need to be refrigerated, as well as powdered creamer). I always have milk as well in the cooler or fridge. I try to keep insulated cups with lids on hand that hunters can take with them out to a blind. Yeti has really good ones that keep coffee hot for several hours. Other companies have jumped on board with less expensive, perfectly good models. Glad to help.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Springtime for the Deerslayer’s Wife

Deer season is over.  The freezers are full. Most people would think that there’s no reason to head out to the hunting lease or ranch.  Au contraire, mon ami!

This is the time of year that we clean out watering troughs, trim branches that start to extend out over the roads, and just generally clean up after an active hunting season.

For me, it’s the most beautiful time to be out at the hunting camp.  It’s less hectic, quieter.  The chores that do need to be done can wait until after I’ve taken in a glorious sunrise with a steaming cup of coffee and the sound of birds all around.

20190211_183128-1790332526.jpg

In the Texas Hill Country, tiny flowers and leaves anticipate the first day of spring.  20190211_1044031159581984.jpgThere was a time when I didn’t see the natural beauty that has been there all along if only I’d looked more closely.  Before I chose to embrace the hunting lifestyle for the sake of my beloved, I missed out on so much.

20190210_1741131405002359.jpg

The thrill of seeing the first bluebonnets on the ranch or the first sprigs of mesquite leaves brings me more joy than any piece of jewelry or dinner at any exclusive restaurant ever could.

20190210_1736571468584749.jpg

I’m so grateful that I can share these experiences with my family, friends, and you!

 

Tags: , ,

Back in the Saddle

The main purpose for this blog was originally and continues to be to encourage reluctant wives and girlfriends of hunters to embrace and share the passion that their loved ones have for a lifestyle that is unlike any other.  I’ve attempted to do this by chronicling my experiences, both humorous and horrific, as well as providing recipes and tips that will be useful at the hunting camp and at home.

The reason I’m bringing this up now is that I tend to get off track and, recently, I’ve wandered off completely. So I guess the first paragraph was a reaffirmation of sorts. Whenever I’m with friends and family or being introduced to someone new, it often comes up in conversation that I’m “The Deerslayer’s Wife”, that I have “this blog” that’s about wild game recipes, etc.  While I love talking about it, (and once I get started, it’s hard to shut me up) I’ve become remiss in my writings.  I love being “The Deerslayer’s Wife” but have fallen down in my responsibilities.  I’m still passionate about sharing my experiences in an attempt to encourage others to “join the sisterhood”.  I’m constantly jotting down recipes and tips that would make hunting camp just a little bit easier to conquer for someone who is new to the game.

My plan is to be a little bit more disciplined, to actually take the photos of the great wild game dishes and ingredients, write down the tips and musings, and share the beautiful surroundings that are part of the everyday life of a Deerslayer’s Wife.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 22, 2019 in camping, Cooking, Hunting, Recipes, Uncategorized

 

It’s That Time of Year

20170904_095054-1320231131.jpg

Those of you who have followed me for a while have been subjected through the years to my annual Valentine’s Day rants. I’ve shared my thoughts about the price gouging, the blatant commercialization of an originally sweet idea, and general lurid skankiness that has come to be associated with February 14th.

Everyone in the Deerslayer household loathes the idea of trying to go out to eat in any restaurant on that day. Seriously, if you are a true follower of the Deerslayer’s Wife, you KNOW that you can have an exquisite meal at home for a fraction of the price. An issue that we have experienced is that we’re hard-pressed to find a restaurant that serves game meats cooked to a medium rare perfection like those that we can prepare at home. On the plus side, we really look forward to buying chocolate for half price the next day!

wp-image-967519419jpg.jpg

Deerslayers’ wives, you have the tools to prepare the most amazing meal your husband has ever had. How about a seared tenderloin with a balsamic glaze or venison Parmesan with angel hair pasta or venison and Guinness stew or marinated semi-boneless quail? How about your deerslayer’s favorite dessert? It won’t cost over $100 bucks and he will love it. Done! BTW, I’d love it if you’d share your deerslayer’s favorite dessert recipe or favorite wild game recipe with me and the group. Ladies, we’ve got to stick together here!

Deerslayers, DO THE DISHES! POUR THE WINE! PLAY SOME NICE MUSIC THAT SHE WILL LIKE! DONE! Don’t buy jewelry, stupidly expensive flowers or candy! But if your sweetie has a favorite outfit, dress up, damn it! You can thank me on the 15th…after you snatched up some discounted chocolate!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 14, 2019 in Recipes, Uncategorized, Venison

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

Anxious Hunter

"Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark."

qui est in libris

a very particular book blog

My Favourite Pastime

Simple Everyday Recipes

Carnivore Confidential

Tips, information and insights about MEAT, FISH and POULTRY. Got questions? I have the answers.

My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

Grilling Fanatic

Grilling Makes Me Happy

Hunt/Fish/Play

A blog by avid beginners.

Doing Manly Things (Mostly)

Hobbies, How To, and Humor

feedsfromveronica

for the love of family, friends, food & travel.

Patrons of the Pit

Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Girly Camping®

It's Not Just For Boys...

The Books of Lost Knowledge

an ongoing work of fantasy

Texana's Kitchen

Yummy food. Pithy commentary. Pretty pictures.

Always 1895

~And it is always eighteen ninety-five~