Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Venison Steak For Dinner


 Just saying the word makes my mouth water.
  Venison is our favorite meat, and happens to be the meat we fairly live off of. 

 It always perplexes me when folks get a deer, then go to the work of butchering it,
then it sits in the freezer all winter while they buy meat at the store to feed their family.
  We LOVE venison!
  Our family brings in 5 or 6 deer a season,
 keeping us in meat so that we may eat venison three times a week, rarely having beef.
After living this way for years and years our kids think beef is weird. 
 They say it has a funny taste to it. 


Although I interchange  ground venison for ground beef in any recipe,
(and guests never know)
 there are a few special recipes in which we especially love our venison. 
 On the top of the list is something we call "Schaffer Steak".  

You see, years ago Mr and Mrs Schaffer came over to our house one night,
 bringing dinner in a great big covered dish. 
 This was his steak recipe, served over mashed potatoes. 
 Everyone loved it, and it became a family favorite.
It is really the simplest of recipes,
 the kind grandma used to make, now  largely forgotten in our complex culture of "fine food."

Although you sure could make this with beef steak, 
please, Oh please, don't waste your good venison...get it out of the freezer and try this!

Schaffer Steak

1. Get a skillet good and hot, then sear your steaks on both sides,
adding salt and pepper as they briefly cook. 

 2. Once seared, put them in a heavy covered dish, like a dutch oven, or your crock pot.
These happen to be backstrap, a very tender boneless medallion steak.

3. Next, make a cream sauce in the skillet using the steak drippings. 
 A cream sauce is simply an equal portion of butter to flour,
 then milk added to make it the desired thickness, 
all over a medium heat, then seasoned to taste. 

 Or, if you like, you can just use a few cans of cream of mushroom soup.

4. Pour the cream sauce over the meat and cook slowly for three or more hours.
The meat will be very tender, the kind you can cut with a fork. 
The meat and gravy is great over veggies, potatoes, or noodles.

The children are just coming in from outside and asking what's for dinner...
"MMMMM smells GOOD!!!"  they say.
  "It is Schaffer Steak," I reply. 
 Shouts of hurrahs and hugs abound...I am not kidding...
it is that good...
...and we really like our venison.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

From Idaho to Africa!

Well, she's gone. 
 Our dear Rose and her sweet friend, Brenna are in route as I write.
  From Idaho, to Seattle, to Amsterdam, to Entebbe, to Jinja.  
It is about a 25 hour plane trip to Uganda, Africa where they will spend the next three weeks
 ministering with some very dear folks, Paul and Pam Hunter of Next Generation ministries. 
 I'm stealing some photos from Rose's blog....but better yet,
 I hope you wander your way over there and see for yourself what God is doing 
in this young ladies heart!  
I am so excited for Rose and Brenna, but I am going to miss Rose dearly! 
She is such a vibrant soul...I will be missing all the laughs and great talks, 
 the singing together and being together.

Meanwhile, I am preparing for our annual women's retreat, 
where I will be sharing the weekend with around 30 other ladies, and, 
I will be speaking for two of the four sessions. 
 You know, the great thing about preparing a lesson to share, is that in the preparation, 
God does amazing things in my own heart!  
So it is really a blessing to be the speaker, and thus, because of my new found, AHA! moments,
 I am so excited and eager for the retreat!!

I will be leaving the children home with daddy for part of the time,
 and Joe will be in charge while daddy is at work. 
 Joe is quite a kid magnet, like his daddy...and very responsible almost 16 year old, 
so no worries there.
  However, the two littles are sick again with a croupy kind of cough, congestion,
 and Olivia has a fever.  
 Ten years ago I never would have left the children for two and a half days, 
but older now, and hopefully wiser, I am much more relaxed with them and laid back. 
 They will be in good hands...I need not be a control freak and mother them every second,
 and...God sees us in all we do, He sees our good intentions, 
our motives to get away now and then for some intimate time with Him and other women..
..and I have faith that He will be watching over them with greater care than I would. 

So, I WILL myself not to worry over them.  Or Rose and Brenna, their luggage...
...and all that a mama's mind can conjure up in the middle of the night 
when one of her babies is on the other side of the world.


He will be watching over them.

Uh, Oh, that did it.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Necessity of Afternoon Tea

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
 for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home."
- Dame Edith Sitwell

I like this quote, but I think I could replace "winter" with "teatime."

Teatime is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for talk beside the fire;
 it is the time for home.

 Yes, that suits just fine.

My favorite part of the  day comes around 2:30 every afternoon. 
 It is that of tea time at our home. 
 The children most likely have been rambling about the woods, 
and are glad for a warming cup of goodness,
 followed by some sort of treat to keep the famished over until dinner.

This tradition, I unabashedly admit,
 I stole from my dear friend, Enola Gay, 
whose home life has inspired me so much over the years we have been friends. 

 Tea time is more for the soul than the goodies,
 although goodies are always appreciated,
like these light Honey Lemon Tea cakes Jim baked up.

Our family has a few favorite herbal teas and a few black teas in which we savor.
  Sometimes we make a pot, other times we each pick our own bagged variety.
Sometimes we make special lovely treats, and sometimes we just share fresh fruit.

  Either way, afternoon tea set by our fireside,
 especially on days like today,
 when the rain and snow mix is pouring down amid occasional gusts of a cold wind, 
bring together all of my favorite aspects of the season...
the warmth of curling up by the fire, 
the aroma of a good tea  (such as Evening In Missoula or Market Spice),
 the children's chatter about their adventures, 
the sharing of our plans for the evening, 
the coziness of candles lit just for tea time. all speaks to me- warms my heart,
 which in turn, encourages me to soldier on through the second half of the day.

Honey Lemon Tea Cakes

1/3 c. soft butter
1/2 c. honey
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Mix well.  Pour into greased muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Top with 2 Tbsp butter and a sprinkling of sugar.
Cool in Frig before serving.

Enjoy with friendly hearts and a fine cup of tea!


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