Monthly Archives: March 2014
Footprints in The Sand
On night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonged to me and one to my lord. When the last scene of my life shot before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints in the sand. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my Dilemma. ”Lord, you told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk & talk with me all the way, but I’m aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don’t understand why, when I needed You most You leave me.” He whispered, ” My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never ever during your times of trial & testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
Margaret Fishback Powers
Every year we like to try a new dish for New years dinner. Back in 2008, we went to one of our favorite butcher shops that is located on the Norwegian-Swedish border, which has a large Wild Game section. We saw Bear meat for sale which we had never seen advertised before any where. This of course peaked Hubby’s attention and he decided to buy the right arm. The butcher informed us that this was a rare delicacy for the shop to have. He then went on to say that the game and wild life department along with the help of a few hunters had to put this bear down. When we ask why, he informed us that this bear had killed a hunter. As he told us the story I remembered seeing the news report about this bear attack.
My Hubby loves to have unusual stories to tell at the dinner table. He couldn’t wait to tell our New Years guest,that he wasn’t only serving them a Killer Bear, but also a Man Eating Bear. And that the cut of meat they are eating is the Bear’s right arm, which was the bear’s weapon of choice. Of course everyone invited was aware that we would be serving Brown Bear Stew, but no one knew the story behind the Bear.
Hubby waited until we were well into the meal and everyone had complimented the Bear Stew. Most of the guest were getting 2nd servings when one of them ask, where and how we were able to get Bear meat. That was the door my Hubby had been so patiently waiting for.
My Hubby, being himself, told them the story of the Bear in a way that could only be described as ”Redneck-Country”. He even pulled a tooth-pick out of his pocket and chewed on it, while he told the story. He really had everyone’s full attention and by nights end the Brown Bear Stew was consumed.
Brown Bear Vegetable Stew
This is what we had tonight as our last meal of 2008. The Bear meat was so tender that it melted in your mouth. It didn’t have the wild taste I was expecting, instead it tasted like beef and had the same texture as beef. It was very taste and everyone had seconds.
2 lb Bear meat 1/8 cup Vinegar 1 tb Salt 2 cups Water
1/4 cup Shortening 2 cloves Garlic chopped
1 small pinch sage
1 small pinch thyme
1 small pinch cilantro
1 small pinch rosemary
2 small pinches bay leaf
5 small pinches black pepper
1/4 cup cold water
3-4 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup dairy cream
2 large carrots sliced
1 medium orange bell pepper
2 med red onions
1/2 cauliflower finely trimmed
1 broccoli finely trimmed
vegetable broth/stock – 6 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
Trim all fat and skin from the Bear meat and wash it in cold water. Cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes and soak 20 minutes in 2 cups of water with 1/8 cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt. Drain well after soaking and pat dry. (NOTE: If the Bear meat is really tough, you can double the soaking time.)
Melt shortening in a heavy frying pan with 2 cloves chopped garlic, add bear meat and brown well on all sides.
Take the browned Bear meat together with the cooking juices and the vegetable broth/stock and place into a 4 liter (or larger) cast-iron skillet with lid. Add the sage, thyme, cilantro, bay leaf and rosemary. Crush these spices by rolling them between your 1st finger and thumb as you add it to the skillet. Also add the black pepper. Gently cook (low heat) with lid on for 1 1/2 hours.
Add the sliced carrots and continue low heat cooking for 30 more minutes.
Take 1/4 cup of cold water and slowly add corn starch, mixing it with a fork until it thickens up into a paste. Bring the stew to a slow boil and add the paste to the stew and slow boil until the sauce thickens up.
Now add the dairy cream and stir.
Reduce the temperature back to low and add the remaining vegetables (orange bell pepper, red onions, cauliflower, broccoli) and gently cook for 15 minutes or until all the veggies are warm.
Serve with warm garlic bread.
1/3 cup of margarine, butter or chicken fat
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of chopped onions
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 3/4 cups of chicken or turkey broth
2/3 cups of milk
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
1 cup of peas
1 cup of cubed carrots
1 cup of cubed celery
2 cups of cubed potatoes
A dash or two of Soy sauce
A dash or two of Lea & Perrins
Heat butter over low heat until melted. Blend in flour (with flour sifter Optional). Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Blend in salt,pepper, garlic powder,soy sauce and Lea & Perrins sauce into your gravy mixture. Let pie filling cook at medium to low heat stir occasionally while preparing pie crust.
I roll the bottom crusts out for all the pies and fill with the vegetable mixture. Then I roll the pie crust tops and place them over the filling. Roll edges under and use fork to seal. Cut slits in center to allow steam to escape. DO NOT BASTE WITH EGG IF YOU ARE GOING TO FREEZE THEM. ONLY BASTE THEM BEFORE YOU COOK THE FROZEN OR FRESHLY MADE PIES.I lightly baste each pie with a whisked egg. Cook uncovered in 425 F oven until crust is brown 30 to 35 minutes. Makes around 8 servings.
Another option is to freeze the pies (unbaked) on cookie sheets over night. Then the next day place them in ziplock freezer bags and label them.
____8 or 9 Inch Pie Crust (top & bottom)_____
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or 2/3 lard
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 or 5 tablespoons cold water (more if needed)
Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing it with a fork or whisk until all flour is moisten and the pastry almost cleans the sides of bowl (added more water if necessary). I kneaded the pastry dough 5 to 10 times.
Gather pastry into a ball shape and flattened round on lightly floured covered board or table top. For Two Crust pie, divide pastry into halves and shape into two round balls (For pot pies, I then divide the two balls in half and then each half into fourths. This gives you 8 top and 8 bottom for your pot-pies) Roll pastry 1-1½ inches larger than inverted pie plate on a floured surface with rolling-pin. Otherwise your pie crust will stick and tear.I roll out the crust then flip it and roll and flip it so that both sides of my crusts are floured. I flour my rolling-pin as well. Unlike for a fruit pie crust, I roll the pot-pie crusts much thinner. Once they are rolled out I fold the pastry into quarters, ease it into the pie pan and unfold the pastry while pressing firmly against bottom and sides.
You can see from the pictures that I used a larger amount of vegetables than this recipe calls for. I no longer measure the amount of vegetables I use. I used this recipe just for the gravy. I doubled the gravy mixture in the pictures because I wanted to freeze some for later.
I made 3 pie crusts and used two different size pie pans. I usually bake with the smaller pie pans but I bought the wrong size. The larger ones I call hungry man pot-pies. The recipe above is for the small pie pans.