Butchering Guides

Deer season is usually very short, about ten days in some locations. The idea of going hunting for deer rather than just a sport, is to add to your freezer meat for the cold winter months.  As well, deer hunting is needed in areas frequently to reduce the deer population. The ministry of natural resources/conservation regulate the length of the  deer hunting season. As well, they monitor how many deer can be taken by each hunter on an annual basis.

The home care of deer meat and aging your venison is a subject that hunters butcheringdeerneed to learn. First you have to dress and skin your deer. Once completed, a deer then has to been butchered, and then aged it should be frozen quickly to immediately halt any further bacterial action. It helps to preserve the meat. Properly aging venison means subjecting it to the proper temperature and humidity for a prescribed length of time to tenderize the meat.

This can be either done a local butcher shop, or you can do it yourself. Which ever way you choose, there are many delicious parts to make as your dinner meal. Even your pet dog and enjoy roasted liver as a treat!

Fondues and Hot Pots

As soon as it becomes freezing outside, it is time to start thinking of making your own fondue or hot pot. There are several types of fondue to choose from. Cheese, chocolate, and meat fondues are the most popular fondues made.

cheesefondueThe word “fondue” is the French word for “melted.” A traditional Swiss fondue is made of a blend of cheese. The Swiss divide fondue into five categories:  Cheese; Burgundian; Bacchus, Asian, and chocolate.  The Burgundian fondue, or fondue bourguigononne, is made with raw meats that are cooked at your table in a pot of rapidly simmering oil. Assorted dipping sauces accompany this fondue.chocolatefondue

Fondues can be sweet or savory. They are usually served to four to six people at the same time. Each diner is given their own plate and dipping sauce. This allows guests cook their food then eat it on their own plate. Often small wire-mesh skimmers are used to remove cooked food from the fondue or hot pot.  Another way of retrieving food is using individual skewers.

A favourite dessert fondue is the chocolate fondue. Cream and liqueur may be added.  Here chocolate is melted in the fondue pot and various fruits are dipped. Bananas, strawberries, pitted cherries, and pineapple pieces are delicious when dipped in chocolate!

Check these out!

Cooking Consciously

Before we enter the holiday of Thanksgiving, it is a good time to think of watching what we eat. We all love to eat in the company of family and friends. However, it is better to eat wisely and healthy. Here is my list of what to eat and what not to eat during the holidays. Of course, exceptions to these lists is up to you.


Foods to eat:

Choose low-fat dairy

Eat seasonally

Fruits – apples, bananas, melons, pears, strawberries

Healthy Fats – extra-virgin olive oil

Legumes – chickpeas, beans, lentils, pulses

Nuts and Seeds – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Vegetables – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, onions, spinach

Whole-grain bread

Foods not to eat:

Added sugars (i.e. table sugar)

Anything that says “low-fat” or “diet”

Avoid anything fried (i.e. bacon, pork belly)

Canola Oil

Cottonseed oil


Processed meat (i.e. hot dogs, sausages)

Refined grains


Soybean oil

Sugar-sweetened beverages (i.e. juice, soda)

Trans fat

White bread

Bon Appetit


This is one of the foodie magazines kept in our Science & Technology Room at Central Library (1601 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103.) bon appetit magazine is a great resource for learning how to create different foods. In the November 2016 issue a kabocha pilaf with coconut recipe was provided. Besides offering the readers recipes, color photographs accompany them so readers can get an idea of how to make something new. This is a great way to learn about new foods!

Turkish Delights

Before I begin to offer my favourite Turkish recipes, I will share a few interesting facts about Turkish foods. Did you know that Turkey provides 70 percent of the world’s hazelnuts? Or that Mezze, a selection of small bits of foods, may include a thick roasted eggplant dip that is flavoured with garlic and lemon, a dip of yogurt with fresh chopped dill, or stuffed grape leaves known as “dolmas” that have rice, parsley, ground lamb, pine nuts, and lemon juice? You might have heard of “boereks”, which is a pie of thinly rolled flaky pastry that may be stuffed with cheese, meat, potatoes, or spinach. They are all just divine to eat!

Although I have never visited Turkey, I do have several friends that are from there. Thus, while we lived in the same town, we shared recipes.I have included a two from my collection of Turkish recipes for you to try!

Kebabs, which can be made of chicken or cubes of lamb meat, are grilled gently over wood. You may like to add a small tomato or pieces of onion between your meat. If you decide to make “koftas” you will be taking finely minced meat and mixing it with spices and onions and cooking it on a metal skewer until cooked. Here is a simple koftka recipe to try!

First preheat your oven to 350F. Next, saute in olive oil 1/2 pound of ground beef until brown, roughly about ten to fifteen minutes. Remove from stove when cooked and then place in a bowl in which you can add salt and Aleppo pepper. Stir in 3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsleyturkish-kebabs-1_2, 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs, and 3 beaten eggs. Using your hands, place meat mixture around a well-greased metal skewer. Press together, about an inch thick, then place on a greased baking sheet. Once you have your skewers prepared, put them into the oven for about twenty minutes, or until browned. If you enjoy outdoor cooking, try using a grill and charcoal. Your meat will have a nice smokey flavour. You can also make this recipe without using the skewers.

Another favourite of mine is to make grape leaves stuffed with rice, parsley, and pine nuts. A traditional meze dish is called in Turkish, zeytinyagh yaprak sarma. This means vine leaves stuffed or rolled with olive oil.

First, I usually go to my grocery store and buy vine leaves in a bottle. If you are a gardener, you may grow your own vines. Either way, your vine leaves should be picked young. They are then soaked in brine. Thus, make sure you rinse off the salt before using. Otherwise, your dinner may be overly salty.

Next, I like to line an olive oiled deep braising pan with open vine leaves. Then I begin the preparation of my stuffed vine leaves. In a separate pan, with a bit of olive oil, I quickly brown uncooked, rinsed, white rice. I add my pine nuts to my rice, at a !:1 ratio.  I have already prepared chopped up parsley, so once my rice and pine nuts are browned, I then add my chopped up parsley. Then take this mixtudolmasre off the stove and let it cool.

For your final preparation, make sure you cut out the vein of each vine leaf before filling with your mixture of rice, pine nuts, and chopped parsley. Leaving the vein will make your meal tougher to eat.  I will gently add salt to my mixture. Once I roll each leaf up, stuffed with my mixture of rice, parsley, and pine nuts. I place them with the closed section down on the vine leaves that line the braising pan.  I completely fill up the bottom level of the pan, then add lemon juice. I may have a second layer of rolled stuffed vine leaves placed on top of the first layer. If I do this, then I place a heavy cast iron skillet on top. I make sure to add water to cover the vine leaves before placing my skillet on top. Finally, I place the lid on top and put the pan on a simmer for about an hour. Your rice will puff up and you should have a nice plateful of stuffed vine leaves. Use lemon slices to decorate your plate. It makes an awesome appetizer! Enjoy!

October 5th -Next Culinary Discussion


Greetings to all Foodies! We will be meeting in the Central Library Book Club room, located next to the Urban Eats Cafe, on Wednesday, October 5, from noon to 1 p.m. Our topic will be “Whole Grains.” Come and learn about whole grains and what you can make with them. All welcome!  Bring your recipes to share. Learn new ones. If you have any questions about this culinary discussion group, please call Spruce at (314) 539-0390 or email sfraser@slpl.org. Looking forward to meeting you.