Favorite family recipes can get kind of wild

Posted Monday, Sep. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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My dad was a deputy game warden and I grew up eating deer meat, wild hog, squirrel, rattlesnake and fresh-water fish. I never really enjoyed the frog legs, and thankfully, he didn’t go frog gigging more than about twice a year.

Every year, we looked forward to an invitation to what was considered a big social event in our little hometown – a cook-out at the most prestigious deer camp. In addition to the wonderful barbecue, there was always a large pot of “possum stew.” While I love deer meat, and was adventuresome enough to try the rattlesnake, I never touched the “possum stew.”

The recipes below are some of our family favorites. Please send me some of yours, and I will be happy to share them with other readers. My e-mail address is suzi.recipes@yahoo.com.

Chicken Fried Venison

2 pounds meat (nice 1/4-inch slices), trimmed to small filets, and pounded with a meat tenderizer

13 ounces evaporated milk




Garlic powder (optional)

Onion powder (optional)

Place the meat in a large bowl with the evaporated milk and add a little water if you need more to completely cover the meat. Allow to stand for one hour. Take the meat out, drain only slightly and then season to taste and roll in the flour. Drop into hot grease (375 degrees) and fry until brown. Do not overcook or the meat will become very dry and tough. Serve with hot gravy made from flour and milk, seasoned with salt and pepper. (Note: I sometimes use fresh milk from the dairy case, either works well. If you want more of a crust on the meat, use the “double-dip” method: After you’ve rolled it in the flour once, dip it in milk again, and lightly roll it in flour a second time.)

Vegetable Lasagna

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms

1 chopped onion

1 chopped bell pepper

3 chopped cloves garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup natural bottled pizza sauce, homemade tomato sauce, tomatillo sauce, etc. (Choose according to taste. I like to use a roasted, homemade sauce.)

1 teaspoon oregano, if needed depending on your choice of sauces

1 teaspoon basil, if needed

8-10 ounces whole-wheat lasagna

2 cups tofu, cottage cheese, or (my favorite) ricotta cheese

1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese (no substitutions here – buy the fresh mozzarella).

Steam onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and garlic. Pour olive oil over mixture and set aside. Put tomatoes and sauce in saucepan. Add spices and simmer until flavors are blended. Cook noodles.

In a 11x13x2-inch glass-baking dish layer 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the vegetable mixture, 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the tofu (or ricotta, etc.) and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat twice. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Yields 10-12 servings.

Baked Corn

2 (12-ounce) cans corn

6 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese

1/4 pound butter

1/4 cup milk

Dash of garlic salt

2 seeded jalapeno peppers

Drain cans of corn. Make a sauce of cream cheese, butter, milk and garlic salt. Heat slowly so that it will not stick. Combine with the drained corn. Mince seeded peppers and add. Season to taste and place in a buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees or until lightly browned (about 30 minutes).

Refrigerator Ginger Muffins

(This is an old recipe from my grandmother)

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 cup dark molasses

4 cups cake flour, sifted

3 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

2 teaspoons soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the shortening and sugar and add the eggs and molasses. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and soda and add to the molasses mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Mix well and add vanilla. Place in a covered bowl. Will keep in a refrigerator for two weeks. When ready to bake, fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Yields about 36 muffins.

-- Suzi Hogan and her husband, Tim, live in Mansfield.

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