Trying Something New

I did something today I would not have even dreamed of doing a year ago.  In fact I probably would have gagged had someone tried to make me eat what I ate today much less prep and cook it.

What was different about today? Well, two things have changed my way of thinking recently.  One is trying to get healthy.  I’ve been reading and researching on healthy things to eat and organ meat kept coming up.  I was really hesitant because to be honest it just sounds gross.  But the health benefits are there.  The other thing I’ve been learning about is subsistence and minimalism, using the things you have around you to survive and live. Part of that is, if you hunt you use every part of then animal you possibly can.

So that brings us to today.  My best friends husband went hunting and got a deer yesterday and he brought home the heart.  We were having a sewing day and figured we’d mix it up a little and cook up some heart for lunch.


Now, I/we have no idea how to prep this thing for cooking or how to cook it.  Thank goodness for Google and YouTube.  We found a great YouTube/Instagramer called Breaking Wild.  His video showed us how to prep and cook the heart.  Thank you Breaking Wild. (Link will be at the bottom of this post.)

It was a new experience.  I mean I’ve cut up a chicken breast before, but this was a heart and there were ventricles to cut off.  I am so thankful for that video.  Very thankful.  I’m not sure how it would have turned out had we not found that how to video.  I cooked up the heart steaks in butter, garlic, onions and a little cooking wine.   Then it was time to eat them.

This was actually the scary part.  Venison has always been hit or miss with me.  Sometimes it tastes really gamy and sometime when prepared right it tastes great.  So there was that and who the heck knows what heart tastes like.  There was a lot of anxiety going into the first bite.  A lot of anxiety.

As it turned out there was no need for all that anxiety.  It was really good.  It tasted like steak to me.  Not an expensive t bone or anything but a decent sirloin.  I don’t think I would eat it regularly but once every hunting season.  It would be really good in a stew too.

Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to try new things.  Even if you end up hating them you will have learned something in the experience.

Cooking Night

I have a 10 year old son.  I want him to grow up independent and able to take care of himself.  Cook for himself, make his own doctors appointment (eventually), get a job, be responsible.  I think that’s every mother’s hope for their kids.

I decided to start a cooking night with him.  My kid is an only child.  Not by choice but by circumstances beyond our control.  I know there is a stereotype about only children out there but my kid is pretty well adjusted.  Plays well with others, shares, loves being around other people,(adult and kids) is sensitive and understands others moods.

That being said I started to notice that I was the one with the issues.  I’m a helper.  I like to do for others and I was always doing stuff for him.  Stuff he was able to do or could very easily learn to do.   He’d say,  “I’m hungry”, and I’d go and get him a snack.  So he got to the point where he would just holler “mom, can you get me a snack please?” from upstairs and I’d get it and bring it to him.  He’d be in the living room and ask me for something  and I’d quit what I was doing go get it for him.   I rarely made him do anything.  I was teaching him to rely on others to get what he needed.

I think this is a danger for those of us who have only’s.  It’s so easy to just do it for them.  I don’t mind helping him out.  I think its a nice thing to do.  It hit me though that I was raising a child who was going to need me to make his doctor appointments at the age of 45.  That is not okay with me.  I was not raised that way.  I was raised to be independent and self sufficient.  Things needed to change for his benefit.

This is totally not the direction I was planning on taking with this post.  Maybe a I need to do a post on raising an only child sometime. This whole post was to share about Monday night cooking nights with my kid.  When I send him off to college I want him to know how to make food for himself among other things like laundry and how to make a bed.  I thought I would start with cooking.  Why cooking? I’m not sure.  I am not a great cook, but I enjoy it and we’ve had some really fun cooking nights.

We started with Easy Mac in the microwave.  We have done things like pancakes and french toast.  Salad and smoothies.  Last night we grilled steak and veggies.   I’ve started asking him what he wants to cook too.  Sometimes he has an idea but most times he’ll leave it up to me.   One night when I asked him what he wanted to learn to cook he asked, “can’t I just get a wife?” Seriously kid?  We have been able to incorporate what he is learning in school with measuring units. We talk about healthy eating and making good choices.  We talk a lot during our cooking nights and that is probably my favorite part.  I love spending time with him.

It’s been a great way to teach independence and confidence.   He gets his own snacks now (as he should) but he was also able to make himself dinner (Easy Mac) when his dad’s meeting ran long the other day.  I love seeing him grow and learn new things. I can’t wait to see where our cooking night takes us in the future.