Sunday, November 2, 2008

Venison Stew and Dinner Guests

I haven't cooked with venison in a lot of years, but a couple of weeks ago my sister and brother in law filled my freezer with deer meat. I used to, when I was with my first husband, make quite a bit of venison, but not in something like 17 years! I'm experimenting with it again, it's like cooking with a foreign ingredient! When they filled my freezer we agreed that I'd have to cook some up for them one night and have them over for dinner. Today is the day! My house smells soooo good! There's just nothing like a house filled with the aroma of venison stew... it totally says, "Autumn."

Today the Halloween decorations are coming down - the pumpkins... ha, well there's a story all of it's own. We never carved the pumpkins. We had 5 wannabe jack-o-lanterns that never came to be. But yesterday some of Kassi's friends came over and somehow I ended up in the front yard with a group of 7 kids from 5 - 17, sitting in the sunny spot, carving pumpkins, the day AFTER Halloween. Goofy? Yes. But a load of fun. Later, the teenagers wanted to know if they could smash the pumpkins. After a moment of interior parental dialogue, I threw caution to the wind, let kids be kids, and stood out there laughing while they smashed them, and went into a teenage frenzy of carefree silliness and had a pumpkin-chunk fight. When they got done, I called them in to warm up for a while, and there was a knock on the door. It was the damned police! My next door neighbors called the police because the kids smashed the pumpkins in the road. (Now let me interject, it wasn't even on our road, had nothing to do with these neighbors, didn't affect anywhere that they would walk or drive, and certainly wasn't anywhere near their damn house or yard.) So the cops came and said the neighbor had called the cops to say that they'd received a call saying there were teenagers in the neighborhood starting trouble and that they were hiding in my house.

Background: The lady next door is a total bitch, a nosey ass bitch. And her husband is a psychotic drunk who gets totally shit-faced and walks around with a beer in one hand, a gun in the other (it has no firing pin, but still) shouting and cussing till all hours of the night, and we've NEVER called the cops on him! As a matter of fact, every time someone else calls the cops, he complains to me about nosey neighbors who need to mind their own business.

So I decided to be a total ass. We turned on the music, really loudly, on the kids' favorite station (and these weren't the love ballad or country music type of kids ;) ) in my front yard, complete with fog machine, glow sticks, and strobe light. Then the kids commenced to start the crazy teen dancing, laughing and general boisterousness. We told the whole group of kids that (within reason) it was a free for all until 9:59pm, when the noise ordinance kicked in.

The neighbors went out for the evening :)

So anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, taking down Halloween decorations. We dismantled out scarecrow, undecorated out graveyard coffee table, took the spiderwebs off the porch and the scary eyeballs out of the bush out front... and now that all the crazy spookiness is over with, and my house smells like stew, I feel like I can just sigh and settle into Fall. There's something really "homey" about Autumn. There's not enough of it though, between Halloween and Christmas. So I'm planning to really enjoy it.

Time to peel potatoes! Y'all have a great day!

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