Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snowy Weekend

We were in a winter weather advisory from 6 PM Friday evening until noon on Saturday. The weather service said we could get anywhere from 2-5 inches of snow before it was all over. This time they were right! It actually did start snowing around 6 PM on Friday and there was about 2 inches when I put Sophie out in the middle of the night. Here's what we saw in the backyard on Saturday morning......

Back to winter! And I believe the official total at the Rochester Airport was 5.2 inches. Since we can see the airport from our house, I always use that as my official total too. At least it looked like that much snow piled up on my "stump" birdfeeder.

It took a little while to get all the snow cleared off my birdfeeders so I could re-fill them, but the birds were very happy and there was lots of activity at the feeders all day, so it was definitely a good day to stay home and watch all the action.

It was also a good day to try out my new toy--the Jerky Gun. (Sorry I didn't photograph the entire gadget, but envision a caulking gun and that's what this thing looks like. It works on the same principle--pump the handle and the plunger pushes the meat out of the nozzle.)

I finally remembered to thaw out several packages of ground venison. Then I added some seasonings and let it marinade overnight. I dug my food dehydrator out of the closet, filled the Jerky Gun and in less than an hour, I had a delicious batch of jerky drying.
This Jerky Gun is a pretty nifty item. The ground meat squirted neatly out of the nozzle, making nice, uniform pieces of jerky. The dehydrator instructions said the jerky would need to dry anywhere from 8-10 hours. I started it at 2 PM and by 10 PM, it was done. I didn't want it to be so dry that you had to wrestle with it to bite off a chunk, and after 8 hours, this jerky seemed to be just right.

Here's what the finished jerky looks like. I know, it looks disgusting, but it tastes delicious!

Today I picked up a couple more jerky seasoning packets (teriyaki and spicy/hot). The Jerky Gun also has a tube-shaped nozzle (to make jerky in a "Slim Jim" shape), so I think my next project is to make some spicy/hot jerky sticks. If they're too spicy for us, I'm sure Mr. Johnson's buddies at work will enjoy them.


Susan Gets Native said...

Now I've seen it all. A JERKY Gun.
And I know a few people who really need that.

Gaelyn said...

Venison jerky sounds and looks good to me. Never seen a jerky gun. A good way to spend a snow deep day.

Lynne said...

I like most jerky, Art ADORES it. He tried making it with strips of venison in the oven once. I hate to say it, but it smelled like old blood after a few hours. BAD!! I might just have to find a system like yours for him if he ever starts deer hunting again.

Red said...

Well, it doesn't look that bad. In fact, I'll bet venison jerky is better than beef jerky. It just seems right.

Lynne, you couldn't stop him? Ewww! If you don't want to purchase something, and Art likes to build things, he could make his own dryer. My dad did. Still uses it after 25+ years too. Crazy. It does take longer than Ruthie's gizmo, but that's ok I think.

Anonymous said...

WOW that looks good, I hope it tastes as good as it looks. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!!!!!


Kallen305 said...

I can't get over how much snow you got. It will be over soon Ruthie!

Love the gun. Jefky is so expensive at the stores so that must come in real handy.

Jayne said...

We loved jerky as kids, and I must say the teriyaki flavor sounds quite yummy!! What a neat gadget Ruthie!

Ruth said...

My husband loves jerky. A nurse I work with has a deer farm and she sell us venison jerky and pepperettes. We got about the same amount of snow as you did on Saturday to Sunday.

Windyridge said...

That's funny, I recently wrote about our new jerky gun and the jerky we made. Similar pics too.
This current storm so far has missed us as far as accumulation goes.

Mama Pea said...

Mmmm, your jerky strips look good to me! I've done a lot with my dehydrator but never gotten into making jerky . . . now I'm inspired.

Not a flake of snow this weekend for us up here in the northern part of the state. Guess you got it all.

Wisconsin Birder said...

OMG! Now I know what I'm getting dear husband for his birthday - a Jerky Gun!! Who would have thunk it :)

troutbirder said...

That does sound really good. I could start by getting my old bow out and trying to...on second thought. Buster's beef jerky will have to do.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Susan,
Well, you know I like gadgets, and I'll recoup the cost of this gadget in about 3 batches of my own homemade jerky.

Hi Gaelyn,
It was a lot of fun with great results from my first batch. The gun worked very smoothly and almost no effort was required to squeeze the meat out. I can't wait to make another batch.

Hi Lynne,
I remember years ago when I made my first batch of venison jerky, it was the same way--stunk up the whole house and almost made me sick. I was a little apprehensive this time, but everything turned out fine. I think the ground meat is easier to work with and you get finished jerky that's easier to bite off and chew also.

Hi Red,
I got the dehydrator years ago for drying vegetables and fruit, but I think it's going to start being used exclusively for jerky from now on. The dehydrators seems to be having a resurgence in popularity--I'm sure glad I didn't sell it at my last rummage sale!

Hi Mom,
I will give you some the next time I see you--it's really good!

Hi Kallen,
I was surprised how much snow we got too--especially since we haven't had any for quite a while.
P.S. New profile photo! I like it!

Hi Jayne,
There are lots of different flavored seasoning packets available for jerky now. I'm going to enjoy trying some different ones.

Hi Ruth,
As much as I enjoyed making this jerky, I think it's only a matter of time before I get my own grinder and start making my own venison sausage too. It's a lot more economical.

Hi Windyridge,
I'll have to stop over and read your jerky story too.
I'm glad the snow missed you--it's about time for winter to end, don't you think?

Hi Mama Pea,
I suppose you could make jerky with any kind of meat, couldn't you?
You've still got quite a bit of snow on the ground yet, don't you? Ours was almost gone and more above freezing temps are predicted for us starting tomorrow, so this recent snowfall won't last long either.

Hi Wisconsin Birder,
Is there a Mills Fleet Farm in your area? That's where I got this jerky gun. A heckuva deal at $24.99. In our Rochester store the jerky supplies were right across the aisle from the food dehydrators. Your DH will love it!

Hi Troutbirder,
I'll bring you a sample of this jerky someday when we go birding and you can tell me whether it beats Buster's or not!

Debbie said...

We had snow over the weekend also. We only got a couple of inches, but it coated everything nicely and made it all pretty again. My folks over in VT got 9". Winter isn't giving up that easy.

I love the Jerky Gun. What a great idea and the perfect gift for any sportsman.

dAwN said...

That gun looks like it works great...I have never made that kind of jerky...I usually just marinate some beef ..slice it thin and dry...
I like the idea of the gun...

Jaime said...

I am SO in to that Jerky Gun. I never even knew there was such a thing.

Meggie said...

Hey Ruthie! We got 6 inches of snow last weekend. I'm really quite tired of it by now. I also try to keep the birdies well fed. Good luck with the sweater.

Mary said...

I'm not impressed with the Jerky or the gun but Michael would like it. I call him Mr. Gadget.

More snow. Let's hope March 1 brings some sunshine and warm breezes - finally!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Debbie,
More snow in our forecast for tomorrow, so you'll probably get it in a couple days again. There are plenty of irritable people around here who are sick of winter!

Hi Dawn,
It's nice to make jerky with ground venison--you don't have to take the time to cut all that meat into little slices (and that's also less dangerous for me!)

Hi Jaime,
It's a pretty neat gadget. Check your local hunting/fishing store, or on-line at Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops.

Hi Meggie,
We got kinda spoiled in January with almost no snow, but now it's catching up with us.
I re-did the neck on the sweater and it turned out perfectly, so I wore it to work and I'll know what to do with this pattern the next time I knit it.

Hi Mary,
We're on a weather roller coaster right now. This morning it was 40 degrees and pouring rain on our way to work and tomorrow we're in a winter storm watch for possibly 4+ inches of snow! Spring can't come soon enough.....

Shellmo said...

My husband will be running to the store (if there is a store that sells this by us) to buy a jerky gun once I show him this! This will be his dream come true - loL!

Julie said...

Oh! I haven't had jerky in so long. Now I'm craving it! :-)

I think I saw that you were in another winter storm watch. we had temps in the 70's yesterday. People were wearing shorts and flip flops! This morning before dawn it was 54. Hey, you make me crave jerky, I feel its only right to make you crave Kansas! LOL But hey, cold, brisk north winds are to move in this afternoon.

Thinking of you today.