Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Of Deer Meat and New York City

Monday my friend Mike brought me a lovely piece of backstrap venison. Last night I cooked it in a manner befitting his generosity--beautifully roasted wrapped in bacon, with a side sauce of mushrooms and garlic and cream. To go with it I roasted some brussel sprouts (I love 'em, much to my family's dismay) and made homemade sweet potato gnocchi. A nice cabernet sauvignon topped off a wonderful meal.

Mike brought the meat just before I went online for my Early Word practice, so I was a minute late to my computer. I apologized, saying (typing, we were online), "my friend just brought me some venison!"

Well. From the reaction of one of those New York City editors, you'd think Mike had dragged a dead deer into my living room and commenced skinning it on the rug. Of course if you went to some swank restaurant in New York--Daniel, say, or Per Se--you'd find venison on the menu, at a pretty hefty price.

Mike's deer was a Kentucky deer, he told me, bigger and wilder than their Tennessee counterparts. He's probably right about the wilder part. On Monday evening we counted seventeen deer in my hayfield, just across the creek from the middle pasture. All does or youngsters, or so Mike said--I don't have as good an eye for antlers as he does. I could have gotten one of those deer with a shotgun from my front porch, not that I own a shotgun.

I do own some moonshine, though. Three glass Mason jars of it, in fact. At least one of those was given to me by the man who mows for me, and at least one by my farrier, but I don't recall the details because those jars are old. I'm frankly afraid to try the stuff, though I've been told flat that the whole thing about moonshine containing methanol is a lie. Apparently you don't actually get much methanol off a proper still, it was just that some moonshiners doctored their brew with methanol to make it more alcoholic.

The things I know.