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.
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.
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.
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.