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Quick Tip for the Week

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Quick Tip

For The Week

22 nov 06

Good stock is fundamental to good cooking. It is used as the base for sauces, and as the cooking liquid in many recipes. Game stock is usually made by boiling the bones of big-game animals, birds or small game, usually with vegetables or seasonings. It adds more flavor to recipes than commercial beef or chicken broth. For convenience, freeze stock in 1-cup batches or can it in a pressure cooker. Leave 1/2-inch space in pint jars; process at 10 pounds pressure for 20 minutes.

If you make a large batch of stock, you may want to try a technique used by professional chefs. Prepare the stock without adding salt, then strain it through a double thickness of cheesecloth. Allow the strained stock to cool completely, then skim off any fat. Boil the strained, skimmed stock until it is reduced by half to make a demi glace (half-glaze), which is the base for many classic French sauces. Reducing the demi glace even further produces a hard, rubbery glaze that can be cut into small chunks and frozen. A small chunk of the glaze added to a sauce or braising liquid intensifies the flavor of the dish without adding liquid. If a recipe calls for a teaspoon of instant bouillon granules, you can substitute a small chunk of glaze and a bit of salt.

Next week, we will offer recipes for venison and game bird stock that you can use in any wild game recipe rather than beef or chicken broth.

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29 nov 06

Venison Stock:

Browning the bones in the oven makes the stock rich and dark. Venison stock requires long cooking to bring out all the flavor from the large bones. This recipe will produce about three quarts of stock.

·        Enough deer, antelope, elk or moose bones to fill stockpot (5 to 10 pounds)

·        4 to 6 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

·        3 or 4 stalks of celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

·        2 medium onions, cut into quarters

·        2 bay leaves

·        10 whole black peppercorns

·        4 or 5 sprigs of fresh parsley

·        1 sprig fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

Arrange bones in roasting pan. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Roast until well-browned, about one hour, turning bones once during roasting. Transfer bones to stockpot.

Loosen browned bits from roaster by stirring, adding 1 cup water if necessary. Pour liquid into large measuring cup. Skim fat and discard. Add liquid to stockpot.

Add remaining ingredients to stockpot. Cover bones with cold water. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Skim foam from top of stock. Simmer for about 8 hours, skimming periodically, adding water as necessary to keep bones covered.

Strain stock through a double thickness of cheesecloth. Discard bones and vegetables. Pour stock into stockpot. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to about 3 quarts. Cool slightly. Refrigerate overnight. Skim any solidified fat from top.

Game Bird Stock:

Pheasant, partridge, grouse, turkey or any waterfowl work best. Save the backbone and neck when portioning birds, and any bones left after boning, until you have enough to make stock game bird stock cooks quicker than venison stock. This recipe will produce about three cups of stock.

·        1-1/2 to 2 pounds uncooked game bird backs and bones

·        1 small onion, quartered

·        1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

·        1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces

·        1/4 cup snipped, fresh parsley

·        1/2 tsp. dried marjoram leaves

·        1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

·        6 whole black peppercorns

·        2 whole cloves

·        1 bay leaf

·        1-1/4 tsp. salt (optional)

·        4 to 6 cups water

In large saucepan, combine all ingredients, adding enough water to completely cover the bones and vegetables. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Skim foam from top of stock. Simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, skimming periodically. Strain through a double thickness of cheesecloth. Discard bones and vegetables. Cool stock slightly. Refrigerate overnight. Skim any solidified fat from top.

Rabbit Stock:

Follow recipe for game bird stock, substituting 1-1/2-2 pounds rabbit backs, ribs and other bones for the game bird bones. Continue as directed, cooking 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
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6 dec 06

 

Tips for the “Do-It-Yourself” Butcher:

  • When removing a large portion of silverskin from a loin or other major section, use a fillet knife. Cut into one end of the meat to the silverskin. Turn blade parallel to silverskin. Hold silverskin firmly with fingertips, and push knife away from them as though skinning a fish fillet. Very little meat is removed with the silverskin this way, and what is left behind can be scraped off with the fillet knife for use as jerky, sausage or burger.
  • Butterfly small-diameter backstraps, tenderloins or other cuts to make larger steaks. Cut a steak twice as thick as you want. Then slice it into two “wings” of equal thickness; leave the two wings joined by an edge of meat. Open steak up and flatten slightly. Venison lends itself to thin cuts of 1/2- to 3/4-inch, but some prefer thinner still, such as 1/4-inch, or thicker, up to an inch. Personal preference will dictate the final thickness.
  • Cut across the grain of the meat when steaking it or making slices for sautéing. This will ensure that the meat will be tender and flavorful. Cut with the grain, however, when making slices for jerky. This keeps the final product chewy. Partially frozen meat is easiest to slice.
  • Chop or grind trimmed big-game scrap with 15 to 2-% beef fat to make burger use a food processor or meat grinder; the blades must be sharp. Fat is easiest to chop if kept very cold. Even when frozen, fat in the meat will go rancid over time. For longer freezer life and more versatility, omit fat from ground meat, package and freeze. This way, you have packages of ground meat whenever you want them. They can be used for jerky or, if desired, fat can be added for burger or sausage.
  • If you do not have a vacuum sealer, you can achieve excellent results by packaging cuts, steaks, cubes or ground meat into zip-lock plastic freezer bags. Fill bag with desired amount of meat (quart sized bags are perfect for 1-, 1-1/2- or 2-pound packages). Be sure to eliminate air by immersing bag almost to its top in a sinkful of cold water. Take care not to allow water into the package. The pressure of the water pushes the air out, and by the time the bag is sunk to the level of the zip-lock, it will be as good as using any vacuum sealer. Seal the bag while it is still in the water. Wrap bag in freezer paper, either flat or folded in half, depending on the amount of meat and/or your preference. The freezer paper protects the zip-lock bag from ripping or puncturing, which could open the meat to freezer burn.
  • Whether packaged or vacuum-sealed, label with a waterproof pen. Note the species, cut, quantity and date. For example: “Mule Deer; Hind Quarter Steak; 1 lb.; 2006.” Some prefer to add additional information, such as the sex and/or maturity of the animal, location hunted and month as well as year.
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13 dec 06

---------------------------------------------------

Now that hunting season is over, it’s a good time to take care of a few things in preparation for the year ahead. Doing so now will prevent any last-minute surprises next year.

First – and most obvious – clean and lubricate your rifle. Separate the barreled action from the stock and give the metal parts a good wiping down with a very lightly-oiled rag, using a brush to clean out action parts. Lightly oil moving parts with the barest hint of lubricant, such as 3-In-1 oil. Also, run just a touch of grease, such as Shooter’s Choice all-weather grease, behind each lug and on the side of each lug, then work the action a couple times. Finish by wiping the barreled action down with a dry, lint-free cloth. Some prefer to use a cloth that is impregnated with silicone; I have tried these and have found them to be very satisfactory as they add a final barrier against the elements.

For the bore, a good scrubbing with your favorite bore cleaner, such as Hoppe’s No. 9, is a must. Scrub with a brush (I prefer nylon brushes rather than bronze – never use steel!) several times, then swab with a patch until the patch comes through clean. Work from the breech forward and out the muzzle in order to avoid knocking any grit or powder residue into the action. Think you’re done? Maybe; maybe not. Run a patch saturated with copper solvent. If there is any green or blue, scrub with a nylon brush (bronze brushes contain copper and the solvent will destroy them over time) the same as you did with the Hoppe’s No. 9, then run a patch until it comes through clean. On rifles that have been neglected, you might find several “layers” of fouling, alternating between powder/grit, then copper, which comes from the bullet as it travels down the barrel and scrapes against the rifling. When you are sure that your bore is completely clean, lightly oil a final patch, then run it through the bore in order to leave a very light film of oil. Some prefer to finish by running a dry patch through to catch any excess oil.

Use a wood conditioner such as Pledge to remove dirt, oils and fingerprints from the stock, rubbing it in deeply to bring out the natural glow of the wood.

If you use a leather sling, now’s the time to saddle-soap it in order to keep it strong, pliable and free of cracks; also, make sure that the sling mounts and studs are secure.

When you’re finished, wipe everything down with a dry or silicone-impregnated cloth and reassemble the rifle.

Check your scope base and/or mounts to make sure that they are tight and will not move. Check your sight picture through your scope to make sure that the crosshairs are aligned properly. A good way to check this is by hanging a weighted piece of colored yarn from the ceiling; also one from the butt of the rifle to make sure that it is truly vertical. Once you have established that the rifle is straight, look through the scope at the string hanging from the ceiling. You will immediately notice if the scope is tilted. Clean your scope lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Check your supply of ammunition. If you need more, now’s the time to get it, not the night before hunting season starts next year!

If you load your own ammunition, check your stock of components: powder, primers, brass, and bullets. If you find yourself in need of anything, replenish your supply now.

If your rifle needs any gunsmithing work, such as bedding the action or having the muzzle re-crowned, call your gunsmith now! The last thing a gunsmith needs is to have another rifle come into his shop in late September with the request, “Can I have it in time for opening day?”

Finally, sharpen your knives! Hunting knives, butchering knives, any other knives; get them done now, so you know that they’re done; rather than finding out that you have a dull knife when you’re standing over a freshly killed deer as the sun and the snow are starting to come down.

By following these few housekeeping techniques, you will be able to put your rifle away for the winter knowing that the next time you want to use it, it will be ready to go without any hitches. Failure to do so might result in a missed hunting or shooting opportunity next year.

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20 dec 06

------------------------------------------------------------ -------

It is no secret that wild game is good eating, but it can be surprising to learn just how healthy wild game is. Phyllis Dennee, Nutrition Education Specialist with the Montana State University Extension Service, states, “Without a doubt, when wild game or birds are harvested in a safe manner and care is taken both in the field and in the kitchen to handle and prepare the meat safely, it can be both a nutritious and tasty addition to your menu.”

Any meat is a substantial source for iron, protein and B vitamins; wild game is significant in that it is incredibly low in fat, including saturated fat.

Following is a table showing comparative nutritional values:

 

Nutrient Comparison of Different Foods (3 oz. serving)

Deer - 134 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat

Elk - 124 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat

Moose - 114 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat

Caribou - 142 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat

Pronghorn - 127 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat

Beef - 259 calories, 18 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat

Pork - 214 calories, 13 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture



Edited by TasunkaWitko
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2007 at 15:34

27dec06

If you’ve always been a “salt-and-pepper” cook when it comes to fish and game, you might have been missing out. While these basic condiments will always be found in any kitchen, there are many spices and herbs that will really enhance and bring out flavors, sending your prepared dishes to a whole new level.

With that in mind, don’t be afraid to do a bit of experimenting. The key with any new flavoring or seasoning is to start with just a little and then adjust from there. The goal is to complement the flavor of your fish and game; not to overwhelm.

Along with salt and pepper, four commercial seasonings that will always be welcome in our kitchen include Alpine Touch, Cavender’s Greek Seasoning and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, which are all available locally. Those not living in Montana might have a hard time finding Alpine Touch, but it can be ordered by logging on to www.alpinetouch.com. The fourth, called Carl’s Seasoning, came to me by way of a good friend in Tennessee. This bold and spicy blend is strongly recommended for any fish or game, and it has joined the three above as a permanent addition to our kitchen. You can order it by visiting www.carlsseasoning.com.

 As much as I praise the above seasoning blends, the fact remains that all are heavy in salt. Too much salt is unhealthy and can also overwhelm your food when cooking or at the table. For this reason, I advise that they be used sparingly and not combined with each other. To step away from salt and enjoy some outstanding variety, the fish-and-game cook should always keep handy an assortment of herbs and spices.

Following is a list of condiments that should be found in any sportsman’s kitchen. Some items, such as garlic and onion, can also be used fresh, depending on the intended use. A crushed or minced clove of garlic will turn any dish into a treat, as will a chopped onion. You will not use the listed items all of the time, but most of them will come in handy most of the time. A few will be rarely used, but when they are, you will be glad that you did.

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Beef Bouillon Granules

Chicken Bouillon Granules

Paprika

Poultry Seasoning

Dry Mustard

Lemon Pepper

Tender-Quick

Celery Salt

Bay Leaf

Chili Powder

Crushed Red Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Sage

Cumin

Coriander

Basil

Thyme

Oregano

Allspice

Rosemary

Savory

Tarragon

Marjoram

Dill

Chives

Fennel

Parsley

Mint

Saffron

There are also a few liquid enhancements that will definitely come in handy in the sportsman’s kitchen. Use them in marinades, sauces, gravies and as “splash-on” seasonings. Use them sparingly, working up to an optimum amount according to taste:

Worcestershire Sauce

Soy Sauce (low-sodium is an excellent choice to bring our flavor without crowding in more salt)

Teriyaki Sauce

Liquid Smoke

Lemon Juice

Lime Juice

Tabasco Sauce

Madeira Wine

Burgundy

Red Wine Vinegar

White Wine Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Bourbon

Brandy

Rum

Beer

Sherry

The two lists above probably seem long and in some cases unlikely; however, if you slowly start adding these items to your spice rack or kitchen – and use them – you will find that game truly is good eating. There is a significant difference between fish or game cooked with salt and pepper versus a judicious mélange of herbs, spices and flavors.
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3 jan 07

For longer freezer-life and better versatility, it is recommended that burger be ground without fat, which can be added when thawed, if necessary. Fat is not always needed or wanted in ground meat; also from this, any fat will turn rancid in the freezer over time. In the long run, your burger will be healthier and taste better if you omit the fat until it is actually needed, and then only use as much as necessary.

Cooking no-fat gameburger is not as difficult as it might seem, although some care is necessary. In sauces, chili, casseroles, meatloaf, meatballs and other similar dishes, it is actually easier to use; the ponderous process of degreasing burger by frying, then draining etc. is eliminated. There is no reason at all to add fat, only to eliminate it later.

One place where no-fat burger can be a challenge is with the “American hamburger.” When making a burger in a pan, on the grill or over the coals, rub both sides of the burger with canola oil and do not pre-heat above medium. If you want to brown the burger toward the end of cooking time, turn the heat up for the last minute or two, but not before. Since the no-fat burger burns more easily, use lower heat than you normally would and keep an eye on it. Before long, cooking burgers using this method will be as natural as frogs in a pond.

If the above process sounds too complicated or time-consuming, freshly-ground fat can be added to your burger just before cooking. Add 10-20%, depending on preference. Beef fat, such as steak trimmings, is the most common type; however, pork fat or a half-beef, half-pork combination can be an excellent choice. Due to suet’s greasy, waxy texture, it should not be a first choice. When grinding fat, grind it very fine and mix it in completely. Grinding is easiest when fat is partially frozen.



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10 jan 07

When making burger, add spices to the meat before it is ground. Pre-seasoning enhances flavor and is worth a try. When you thaw your burger for use, it will be pre-spiced and flavorful, ready for any cooking job.

In a large bowl holding 10 pounds of meat (chunked for grinding), lightly sprinkle garlic powder, freshly-ground pepper and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Grind your burger, package, label and freeze.

The above formula makes a good initial spicing. If you find later that your taste buds call for more or less spicing, alter the amount to suit yourself or try different spices. Soy sauce, onion powder, paprika and oregano are prime candidates. Other suggestions include teriyaki marinade or commercial seasonings such as Carl’s, Dale’s, Alpine Touch or Cavender’s Greek seasoning.

Do not overdo spicing because, even frozen, flavors tend to get stronger over time. Your burger can easily be overwhelmed, especially with garlic. For the same reason, go easy with any liquid used for pre-seasoning.

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17 January 2007

Making a big-game rolled roast is easy and increases the versatility of cuts such as flank, shoulder and bottom round.

Butterfly meat that is thicker than one inch by cutting into two thinner pieces; leave the meat connected at one edge. Open the butterflied meat so it lies flat. Roll the meat tightly with the grain, tucking in any irregular edges.

Tie rolled meat about an inch from the end that is farthest from you; use a 60-inch piece of kitchen string. Leave several inches at the short end of the string; you will need to tie the two ends of the string together after making loops around the meat.

Make a loop in the string, then twist the loop once to make a small “braid” (arrow). Slip the braided loop over the end of the meat closest to you, then slide the loop so it is about one inch from the string tied around the far end.

Snug up the first loop by pulling on the long end of the string, adjusting its length so the braid lines up with the original knot. The roast will look more attractive when it is served if all the braids are lined up along the top of the roast.

Continue making loops about an inch apart, snugging them up as you go. Tie on additional string if necessary. When you have made a loop about an inch from the close end (dotted line), slip the string underneath the roast so it comes out on the far side.

Tie the two ends of the string together with a double overhand knot trim both ends of the string close to the knot. When you are ready to serve the cooked rolled roast, simply snip the loops along the top of the roast and pull off the string.
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24 January 2007

The primary consideration before beginning any ice-fishing trek is ice thickness. As a general rule-of-thumb, you need three inches of solid ice for walking; four for ice fishing; five for walking on ice with a heavy load of gear; seven for a loaded snowmobile or ATV; eight for a car or light truck and twelve for a heavy truck.

Listed below are a few circumstances that ice-fishermen (or women!) should be keep in mind before heading out to the ice:

·        New Ice vs. Old Ice – Clear blue, freshly-formed ice is much stronger than old ice that has been partially-thawed or broken up, then refrozen.

·        Lake Narrows – Unprotected, weedy, dark-bottom narrows between lakes or lake basins are often shallow and subject to current flow, inhibiting ice formation.

·        River Currents – River ice normally has great variations in thickness; this is due to several factors, including channel depth, bottom content and current speed.

·        Springs – Inflowing springs bring warmer, moving water that can create pockets of open water or thin ice.

·        Ice Cracks, Heaves and Ridges – Anglers should avoid pressure cracks, heaves and ridges. Such areas form when layers of thickening ice expand, often leaving lines of open water that may expand as winds shift the ice.

Ice anglers should also follow the Boy Scout Motto and BE PREPARED for the unexpected by carrying the following safety equipment:

·        Life Jacket – Whenever possible, wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) when traveling on ice of questionable thickness.

·        Ice Chisel – As you walk onto any frozen lake, check ice thickness by striking it firmly with a sharp chisel; if the chisel punctures or fractures the ice, immediately follow your path back to shore.

·        Ice Cleats – Ice cleats, or creepers, consist of adjustable straps, belts, elastic bands or rubber overshoes supporting metal teeth. They attach to boots, allowing traction on smooth, slippery ice, helping anglers avoid injury-causing falls.

·        Ice Picks – When venturing on ice of unknown thickness, carry a set of ice picks. If you do fall though the ice, you can use the picks to pull yourself from the water by sticking them into the ice.

·        Rope – Carry a rope in a convenient location; if you do happen to fall through the ice, or if you see someone else fall through it will surely come in handy.

Above all, use common sense and intuition; if you feel the ice may not be solid enough to fish on, don’t take unnecessary chances – stay off!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2007 at 07:58
31 jan 07

Although fish are cold-blooded and slowed down metabolically in the
winter, many species remain active beneath the ice; a few studies have
even suggested some cold-water species (such as trout, salmon and char)
may become more aggressive in winter than during the open-water
season, feeding just as much or more than other periods of the year.

Obviously, winter fish must adapt to their icy world, learning to continue
moving, feeding and detecting danger. These things are accomplished
through vision, hearing, smell, taste and a unique vibration-sensing
series of cells exclu-sive to fish called the lateral line.

Knowledge of these senses will certainly help improve your ice fishing; for
example, experienced ice anglers avoid scraping portable ice shacks
across the ice, especially when fishing shallow, clear water during first
ice. They know that fish can be easily spooked by the unnatural sound
and vibration.

Many anglers use long rods when fishing clear, shallow water to decrease
the chance of being seen. Some ice anglers add colored beads or spinners
in order to add color and flash to their presentations, helping to attract
fish by sight. Others use rattles to add fish-attracting vibrations, and
almost all knowledgeable ice anglers have realized the importance of
using live bait to add fish-attracting scent, taste and texture to their
winter presentations.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2007 at 08:00
7 feb 07

There are two basic ways to roast big game: with dry heat and moist heat.
Dry-heat roasting includes high-and low-temperature methods. The
most common method of moist-heat roasting is braising, which includes
pot-roasting.

Only prime cuts are candidates for dry-heat, high-temperature cooking.
These include the top round, sirloin tip, loin and rump roasts. The
tenderloin of an elk, moose or large deer may also be used. These cuts
are naturally tender, and do not need long, slow cooking for tenderizing.

For high-temperature cooking, select a roast between 2 and 5 inches
thick, or a thinner piece you can roll and tie. First, brown the meat in hot
fat, then roast it in a hot (400- or 450-degree) oven. With these high
temperatures, roasts should be cooked only rare to medium. If cooked
well-done, they dry out and shrink.

Low-temperature roasting is another option for these same prime cuts; it
is also necessary for such medium-tender cuts such as the bottom round
and eye of round, which need longer cooking to ensure tenderness. Cover
the meat with bacon or a sheet of beef or pork fat (available from your
butcher), or baste it frequently. Cook it in a slow (300- to 325-degree)
oven. With low heat, roasts may be cooked rare, medium or well-done.

When roasting with dry heat, use a meat thermometer to check for
doneness. A roast is rare when the internal temperature is 130-135
degrees; medium-rare at 135-140 degrees; medium at 140-145 degrees;
medium-well at 150-155 degrees and well-done at 155-160 degrees.

Remove the meat from the oven when it reads 5 degrees below the ideal
temperature; it will continue to heat on the platter. It will slice better if
you wait 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Moist heat tenderizes shoulder roasts and other tough cuts, and also
works well with the bottom round and eye or round. Brown the roast in
hot fat, then add liquid and flavoring and cover the pan tightly. Cook the
meat until tender, on the stovetop or in a moderate (325- to 350-degree)
oven. A slow-cooker or crock pot can also be used. When pot-roasting,
add vegetables during the last hour or so of cooking. Braised meat is
always served well-done.
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2007 at 08:41
14feb07

Winter poses many challenges for fish, and a primary one is forage
availability. Fish are cold-blooded, so their metabolism is greatly slowed
in winter, reducing their need for food. Yet at the same time, winter fish
still must feed, and they do find forage from all parts of the food chain
available, from phytoplankton and zooplankton to freshwater
invertebrates such as freshwater shrimp and scuds, insect larvae and
nymphs and worms. Also available is a variety of minnows and panfish fry
to provide winter prey for fish beneath the ice.

Often, winter fish feed on a preferred or the most readily-available
forage, and consequently, are attracted to areas holding these food items.
Walleyes feeding on small perch, for example, might be found on weedy
flats or deep, hard-bottom structure. At the same time, perch feeding on
plankton would probably be found in shallow weeds or suspended over
open water, while those feeding on bloodworms would likely hold in deep
mud flats.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2007 at 08:48
21feb07

Not long ago, we discussed big game and game bird stock for use in
various recipes. The same basic idea applies to fish; some flesh always
remains after making steaks or fillets. Instead of wasting it by throwing it
away, try making a richly-flavored fish stock by simmering the skeleton
and head.

To make fish stock:

• Remove the gills, guts, fins and tail with kitchen shears or a sharp knife.
Scale the head, if necessary.

• Rinse the head under cold, running water. Wipe off slime with paper
towels. Cut the skeleton into small pieces that fit easily into a pan.

• Cover the skeleton and head with water. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Heat to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove head
and bones.

• Strip the cooked flesh from the bones and head; discard the bones.
Freeze or refrigerate the flaked fish in plastic containers or freezer bags.

• Strain the cooked fish stock through a double layer of cheesecloth to
remove any bones and scales. Return stock to pan.

• Boil the stock over high heat to reduce it by half for storage; cool.
Freeze or refrigerate in plastic containers or pint-sized ZipLock bags.
Label as “fish stock.”

The flaked cooked fish can be used for fish chowder, quiche, salad, cakes,
loaf, patties or sandwich spread. Store fish in plastic containers in the
refrigerator no longer than 2 days, or in the freezer.

Use the remaining fish stock as a foundation for chowder, sauces or
soups. Refrigerate or freeze the stock. Fish stock frozen in 1- or 2-cup
quantities is the easiest to thaw.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2007 at 08:54
28 feb 07

Regrettably, this will probably be my last Quick Tip due to the fact that I
am leaving BCJ. I will try to continue the recipes section of this page as
long as possible, but as of today it is out of my hands. For information
and how-to on any number of outdoors subjects, I sincerely recommend
checking in with the crowd at my website, www.baitshopboyz.com. If the
answer isn’t already there, we can provide it!

I will leave you with a tip that was one of my first tips when I began this
page: take a kid fishing; or hunting, or camping, or hiking, or even for a
walk on a trail somewhere. Boys or girls, toddlers or teenagers; it doesn’t
matter.

I have been blessed with four boys who, at the time of this writing, range
in age from 16 down to four. The times that I have spent with them
outdoors are the best memories of my life, and I wouldn’t trade a single
one of those memories for any amount of wealth in the world.

Just as I have fond memories of fishing, hunting, camping and otherwise
spending time outdoors with my father, I hope that when my boys grow
up, they will recall the times that they spent on the lake or in the field
with their dad, and will continue the tradition with their own children.

These days, it is all too easy to have a ready excuse not to do something.
Work can interfere, or the price of gas might seem too high. We might
have some “important” project that “needs” to be completed, and it is
easy to say, “We can go next week,” or, “I’m really tired after working all
week.” On top of that, kids seem to always be doing their own thing, or
watching TV, or playing with any number of hand-held electronic gizmos.
This may all be true, but as an excuse, it falls flat.

Spending time with your kids outdoors doesn’t need to be expensive, and
it doesn’t need to take all day. Some of the best times I had with my boys
while fishing, hunting or “walking in the forest” only took a couple of
hours or, at most, a morning or afternoon. The memories alone are worth
it, but I also firmly believe that such time builds character, promotes self-
reliance, and ultimately brings families closer together. There is a huge
shortage of all the above these days.

Make the time. Shut off the TV. Put the PSP on a shelf. Go outside. If you
don’t fish or hunt, no big deal; go camping or for a hike! Montana is too
beautiful to miss; we’re lucky to live here.

Be sure to take a camera along on your trips outdoors! With my three
older boys, we never seemed to have a camera when we were outdoors.
Other times, we had a camera, but never got the film developed for
whatever reason. Trips to the Bear Paws, to Fresno Reservoir, to the
streams and lakes of the northern Black Hills and to the six mountain
ranges surrounding Lewistown are all lost, except in memory.

In the last three years or so, however, we’ve had a digital camera
everywhere and are able to go back in time simply by opening an album
or double-clicking on a computer file folder. Digital cameras make saving
memories especially easy and are affordable enough nowadays that
there’s really no excuse not to have a camera with you every time you are
afield.

During my time here you have all seen our family’s memories of some
great days outdoors, including a little boy’s first fish and a young man’s
first big buck. I strongly encourage you to load up your camera and do
the same; it won’t be long before they’re off in college or somewhere!

Personal loss these recent years has taught me that every day is a gift,
and that when it is all said and done, no amount of career advancement
or material gain is worth even one minute of time spent with my boys. It
has been said that no one, on his or her deathbed, has wished that they
would have spent more time at work. My time for such reflections is
hopefully many decades away, but when it does come, I intend to have
many happy memories with no regrets.

I would like to give my wholehearted thanks to everyone who has
supported this page during my time at BCJ. Through this page, I have
been able to promote two of my favorite pastimes: cooking and the
outdoors sports. Thanks to all of you for reading and for sending recipes,
tips, pictures, comments, questions and suggestions. It is my hope that
you all continue to enjoy time with your families as much as I intend to
enjoy time with mine.

Anyone wishing to keep in touch can reach me at the email address and/
or website below. Thank you all and may God bless you and your families.
Never forget to pray for our troops; no matter how you feel about the
war, they deserve our unwavering support.

I’ll see you out in the field or on the lake ~

Ron

fischer@mtintouch.net
www.baitshopboyz.com
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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