Monday, November 24, 2008

Corn wine and Dan S.

Anonymous Dan S. said...
Well Joe.... You remember using the piece of conduit at Bethany to attack the bats; I guess you need to get into practice.
Yes, Dan, I well remember; Karen, Gabby, Loren-each of us with our own tally. I told the Nazareth congregation about that summer.
Mary and I opened a bottle of homemade wine this evening. I made it from the water left after boiling sweetcorn last June. It was just an experiment. I topped off the sugar to a pa of 16%, tossed in the yeast and put a balloon on it.

Actually, it is pretty tasty.

How to distract a worship service

Saturday we had worship and Sat. School at Mt. Olive. The kids did really well on the 4th chief part of Luther's Small Catechism.

I did not stop for Zak this week. I will try to get to him sometime after Monday and before Thursday.

I had some prep to do for the Parish board meeting on Sunday.

Sunday we had worship at St. Petri, then I was off to Nazareth.

Guess who showed up during the recitation of the 2nd Article while we were confessing the Nicene Creed?

We were saying "Whose kingdom shall have no end" and I heard:



And off to my right fluttered a bat. The body was gray, the wingspan was maybe 10 inches at the most.

Naomi and I went out to get a bucket and a thin board to trap the bat so we could take it outside.

I got back in the Sanctuary, approached the swirling bat.

I reached, it dove for the pulpit and disappeared under it somehow.

Recovery was a bit rough. I took my robe off just because the bat could climb up inside it without me knowing. Creepy. We started in on the Third Article.

I was kind of distracted during the sermon.

As members came to the Lord's Supper (and we welcomed 4 adults into the congregation this morning) they kept peering above and below the pulpit--looking for any bat signal.

The Supper went smoothly.

It started singing during the prayer of thanksgiving after the Lord's Supper.

I suppose it was being pious. Some of the members looked worried.

They tried to hunt it down after the service.

The sermon went better at Oak Park. We had a visitor today who was at both Nazareth and Oak Park. She thought the sermon was clearer at Oak Park also.

Matthew told me that I kept pulling at my robe like I thought I had ants in it or something.

It wasn't ants, Matt. I had the heebee-geebees for a bat.

Otherwise things went fairly well.

We had our Parish board meeting at Naz. this evening. The bucket and board were still out along with a broom. I guess they didn't get the bat.

I'm rereading Frederic Bastiat's "The Law" published in 1850, and I recommend it for anyone curious about our own economic times and situation.

Friday, November 21, 2008

2 In the Freezer, 1 to Go

Two deer are packed and in the freezer now. We've just started on Matt's this evening.
Sophie, Clara, Elsie, Matt, and Louisa have helped throughout the day.

Here's a good website on dressing, aging, and butchering deer similarly to how I do it. (and another with a nice diagram)

I had Friday school this morning for Pr. Stafford. Pr. Stafford, I'll talk to you sometime this week. They don't have Friday School next week because of Thanksgiving. Nor do we have Wed. School this coming week for the same reason.

We are hopeful that Mom, Dad, and my son, Jeremy, can come up for the holiday. We have a turkey, a brisket, and lots of lamb, hog, and venison (not to mention cowburger). I need to swing by Peatland Reds tomorrow when I'm coming back from church.

So, you've read the Stafford's adoption saga. Welcome home, gang!!

Here's the story of our friends the Larsons. Turn the volume down on your speakers before you click through, Diane has music on her website. If your volume is high it might startle you.

Also, our friends, Jim and Nancy, near Madison, Wisconsin, have brought home their new adopted son from Thailand. (Jim's link also has audio-it's his musician page, set the speakers accordingly) I'll ask Jim if I can post their adoption emails, or if he has them posted somewhere.

Coming Dec. 8th is the finalization of Roxann and Roger's adoption of their two cute children.

Well, the little ones have gotten the swords out and are whacking each other. Time to get supper ready.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What John Said Last Night

"When I grow up, I want to have teeth like Mater!"

We took out some tomatoes today. The girls wrapped these up after the first frost last September.
They're keeping pretty good. They redden pretty nicely on the window sill.

Pr. Stafford, Amy, and their new daughter should be home soon.

I have Friday school in Fosston for him tomorrow.

We're done packing the first deer from LeRoy. I was able to salvage and put up a few shoulder steaks aged 10 days on the hook.

We'll have to start packing my buck tomorrow. Louisa wants to go up to Grygla where the season doesn't end until this coming Sunday evening. We have a couple of places where we can hunt up there now. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Butchering Deer, No Cancer

Today (Monday) I took care of butchering the doe that LeRoy M. gave to us. Thank you, LeRoy. I was able to use more than 2/3rds of the deer. The bullet wound ruined most of the ribs and both shoulders. I put up about 20 pounds of steaks and cuttings from your deer in addition to the back straps, or tenderloin cuts.

This deer has been hanging in our garage for 7 days now. I have packed all the usable parts. And I served Mary (My Wife!!!) some samples today. She liked them.

For those deer lovers who have loved ones who don't like venison, please consider hanging your deer for 7 to 10 days if you can keep the temperature at about 40 degrees F. It does mean that you will have to cut away more portions for waste. But you and the non-venison-lover will enjoy it much more.

Matt and I put up another several pounds for jerky, and a couple more pounds in an experiment with pickling venison.

The jerky and the pickled venison are curing right now.

Tuesday evening now. I've put the jerky in the oven to dry. I've changed the brine solution for a vinegar solution on the pickled venison.

Mary and I went to the Doctor today. Mary, because she's going to have a baby in a few weeks. Me, because I haven't had a physical since 1990, because my joints hurt sometimes, and I'm over 40 now.

I don't have cancer. My cholesterol is ok. My kidney function, liver function, and my electrolytes are ok. My doctor lectured me about working too much.

OK, OK, OK. I'll try.

The upshot is that this parish has to put up with me because there is no medical reason for me to lighten up other than overwork.

I might try to get Louisa out deer hunting in the 100 zone this week. That zone closes Nov. 23rd.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Firearms Season is Done

Well, we live in the 200 zone and Deer hunting ended this evening at sundown.

This is the old farmyard where Louisa and I got our deer. Louisa is up in the stand.

We went there again tonight, and to the cemetery, and over to another spot. We saw plenty of deer, just none within a good range for our guns.

I had three church services this morning and pre-marriage counseling.

Road Hunters: pains in the Glutaei Maximi

There seemed to be quite a few road-hunters this year. By that, I mean hunters who didn't have permission to go on private property and would shoot from the road into someone's agricultural or otherwise prohibited land. Agricultural land and corral land is off limits. The rest is mostly posted as off limits.

Road hunters need to ask permission before they can hunt anywhere up here.

If you come up here to our area to take potshots from the road into our pastures and cropland you can expect that we will call the DNR to report you.

I've found shells and casings as well as footprints on lands that only Louisa and I had permission to hunt.

Here's what the law says.

Minnesota Trespass Law Restrictions
• A person may not enter legally posted land for outdoor recreation purposes without permission.
• A person may not enter agricultural land for outdoor recreation purposes without permission.
• A person may not remain on private land for outdoor recreation purposes after being told to leave.
• On another person’s private land or a public right-of-way, a person may not take a wild animal with a firearm within 500 feet of a building occupied by humans or livestock without written permission.
• A person may not take a wild animal with a firearm within 500 feet of a corral containing livestock without permission.
• A person may not take a wild animal on any land where the person is prohibited from lawfully entering by this law. [my note: that's basically everything, since its all either pasture, agricultural, or posted]
• A person may not wound or kill another person’s domestic animal, destroy private property, or pass through a closed gate without returning it to the original position.

• A person on foot may, without permission, enter land that is not posted to retrieve a wounded animal that was lawfully shot, but may not remain on the land after being told to leave.
• A person on foot may, without permission, enter private land without a firearm to retrieve a hunting dog. After retrieving the dog, the person must immediately leave the premises. This exception does not authorize the taking of the wild animal.

If you're told to leave, you have to--no matter what.

In spite of the wandering black suburban taking shots into fields, Louisa, Matt, and I enjoyed the season quite a bit. We've got three deer hanging in the garage. We'll pack them when ready.

John V., you asked me last year how long I let the meat cure before cutting, I'm trying a week this year. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Horseradish, Lamb, Deer

A few days ago Sophie, John, and Stella went with me over to Kim and Barbs to dig horseradish.

I cleaned it up and ground it. We got a couple of pints. One I'm lactofermenting. The others are preserved with vinegar and sugar.

This morning I had Friday School for Pr. Stafford, who is in India with his wife, meeting their new daughter.

They're writing about it here.

Friday school went ok, I guess. They had last week off, and the week before that they had a video for Reformation. So they didn't really know their memory work.
I'll see how they do next week. Louisa came with me and we scouted out some hunting areas for deer.

This afternoon I packed up the second half of the lamb. Sophie helped a lot.

Then Louisa and I went out to hunt.

We tried the plot just east of the Nazareth cemetery. There were about a dozen deer there when we drove by. But by the time we sneaked in they were gone. We waited a while. One large doe came out but she was out of range.

After waiting for a while we went over to the other spot that we tried the other day. It was about 4pm. Not much daylight left.

Louisa got up into the stand. I sat on a rock by some brush.

We waited for not quite half an hour and a small buck walked into the target zone.

I signaled and whispered for Louisa to shoot it. 10 to 15 yards. After a bit she moved, the deer started to run. She told me to shoot.

I shot twice, there were two wounds on the deer. It's amazing how far these critters can go when they are wounded so badly.

I helped Louisa out of the stand. She saw where it went into the woods. We tracked it 300 yards through woods and it was getting dark fast. We followed stumble marks, but didn't see blood.

We found it and I dragged it out of the woods and most of the way back to the car. We used the headlights so I could field-dress the deer.

Louisa helped drag, dress, and skin the deer. Good job, Louisa. We'll try for your's tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Time to try a Century Egg.

Hope I can stand it.

Packed Half the Lamb this afternoon

I had shut-in visits this morning and a family visit this afternoon. Mary and the kids are gone to piano lessons until about 4:30, so I cut and packed half the lamb.

3 packages of ribs.
A nice shoulder roast.
1 package sliced belly straps.
Two large boneless rump roasts.
4 packages of tender chops from the back. (I fried up two smaller chops right away. MMMMMmmmm)

Very little waste.

The kitties get some scraps. The bones and extra fat go out to the coyotes and wolves.

I'll get the other half done tomorrow so Sophie can help.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A bunch of photos

Matt carving pumpkin before All St's Eve;

Kimchee. It is in the down stairs refrigerator now.

Swans have been migrating south this past couple of weeks.

Matt, Louisa and I have been out stalking deer for our freezers. John and Stella dress up whenever possible.

And a nice, big spider from Grandpa's barn.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Nancy and Gene's Lamb

A couple of years ago, Nancy and Gene saved out a lamb for us from their flock. This year they did so too. Nancy contracted cancer, and we buried her last month.

Today I took Louisa, Elsie, and Clara over to Gene's place. He kept the lamb for us.

I wanted the girls to see where our food comes from. I want them to understand how much work went into the Old Testament sacrificial system.

And, since Louisa wants to hunt deer this year, I wanted her to get some practice.

So, I had church this morning, followed by Saturday School. It was hard to get to and from church because of the ice on the road. A 17 mile journey took me 50 minutes.

And my neck was very sore.

I didn't stop by at Zach's today for Confirmation class. I was too late with the travel time.

A couple stopped by at 12:30 for pre-marital counseling. At 3pm we went over to Gene's. We got home by 4:15.

The lamb, hopefully, will be able to hang for more than a week. The forecast looks good. The garage should be about 38 degrees on average through the week.

Before then we hope to have three deer hanging in the garage also.

Yep, I bought my first deer license in 20 years. So, potentially, Matt, Louisa, and I could get a deer. I'm only going to shoot at a small, young deer. They taste better.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Snow and a Moment of Inattention

My flax and my Brussels Sprouts are still in the garden. But most of the rest is in and stored.

I think that next spring we will probably do a lot more potatoes and onions.

I planted garlic this week.

And, yes, I finished preparing the liver into a pate. We had some for a snack today. It was good. There's another pint in the fridge.

Tomorrow begins my weekend of worship. This is the Third to Last Sunday of the Church Year.

Tomorrow we will also slaughter a lamb for our freezer. And Matt and Louisa are going out to slaughter a deer each, also for food.

Some of our kids are more hungry than others.

We were watching a movie this evening and Donna found a Crayola marker.

Oh, Barb, I went over to your place today, but I couldn't find the horseradish. I'll talk to you later.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pork Liver, Fish Pickels, Peppers, A Grinder, and Tears

You can see the pickled fish on the left side of the photograph.

Honestly, it is so good tasting that Louisa likes it. And that is saying a great deal.

The peppers are drying. The jalapeños and the cayenne will dry O.K. We know how to take care of them.

I went down to the store room tonight to get the meat grinder.

This is the first time that I've gone to get it since I inherited it from my grandma Abrahamson. I feel weird and kind of awkward admitting this;, but, I couldn't help but cry a bit when I was going through Grandma's stuff.

I've got the pork liver simmering on the stove. I brought up Grandma's grinder. I'll grind the liver tonight and make sausage tomorrow or the next day.

But I'm thinking of my grandma tonight.

I love you, grandma. I look forward to seeing you at the resurrection.

102 FM in Tel Aviv, Israel

I like this station in the evenings, Radio Tel Aviv 102FM.

The Spartan Single Shot

Matthew bought this shotgun a year ago. It's a Spartan 20 gauge single shot, break action.

Last week I picked up the adapters for the shoulder strap, and attached them.

It's hard to find, but this shotgun was made in Russia in a village next to lake Baikal.

What we know is that it is comfortable, reliable, and has withstood bad weather.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Some Monday Stuff

Monday was dentist day for Me, Matt, Louisa, and Clara. It was the dentist's birthday. It was a Monday. So it was a long wait.

We picked up some groceries. I got the kids some personal pizzas a LePiers. I had a nice long talk with Lois while the kids selected their pizzas and pop.

We stopped at Ace to get Louisa her deer hunting license.

On the way home we picked up 1/2 a hog at the locker in Oklee. Thanks, Jaime, let me know how much for the meat.

6 hours later we got home.

My first pound of hard cheese

After several days of drying the rind, I waxed the cheese today.

I didn't cover it with salt.

I forgot.

So I wonder what it will taste like. I'll let it cure in the basement fridge for about a month. We'll probably break it out for Christmas.

For those who are interested try Frankhauser's Cheese Page.

We opened up the pickled fish. The kids gobbled up a quart of pickled fish in short order. So it must taste ok to them.

Mary brought up one of her jars of pickled carrots. They are great!