I grew up with a dad who hunted, married a man who hunts and raised two sons who avoid hunting. Well, they used to go out with their father, but really, they went to keep him happy.
I'm not sure how old I was the first time I ate venison, but I know it didn't bother me and I was fairly young. I remember my Mommy making a wonderful roast with apples and the meat was tender, sweet and delicious.
As a cook, I have ruined a few venison meals by overcooking. The meat has very little fat and it is that lean meat that makes it feel like a fairly healthy choice. My sons, the ones who don't really like hunting, are also at times a bit sketchy about eating game meats including venison and pheasant. However, when I can mix ground venison with another meat, it is far more palatable for them and to further reduce any chance of a gamey taste, I prepare a chili.
On this particular night, it is just one son and the Mr. and myself at the table. Dinners are less rushed in the winter, a bit more leisurely also because we do not have to rush out the door to take someone to practice, scouts, or pick them up from a part-time job. Everyone is just a little bit older and for the 3 of us, our day begins around 5 a.m. so by 6 p.m., we are just starting to feel a little bit wilted.
We talk about work. It's kind of like therapy. We get out the things that may be giving us a bit of trouble and see what the others think. Sometimes we are lucky to share a few highlights and bask in the prideful glow of our accomplishments.
We clean our plates and agree it was a good meal. Deciding to just push our bowls to the middle of the table, the conversation continues until our Maddy protests.
She whimpers and if she could speak her noises say, "Um, I think it's time for me to eat, don't you agree?"
She is part of the family and it is just as important that she is Fed Well. Maddy will be celebrating her 6th birthday this month and she may never know just how much joy she has brought us.