Thursday, January 30, 2014

More White Tail Deer Photos

Steve had extra bags of sugar beets leftover from deer hunting so he loaded a few bags into the truck and we brought them over to Hulbert. As we rode into town, the deer were waiting to greet us.

They were very curious as to what this stranger was bringing them.

All jittery eyes were upon him.

They waited for him to finish spreading the love, er... beets.

Even Nancy's little buddy was ready to be hand fed a beet or two.
To see more on Nancy's little buddy see this recent post.

First come, first serve.

They gradually made their way in...

...and more moved in...

...and even more.

It certainly didn't take long!
So thankful we are able to do this and help these amazing creatures out during the long UP winter months.
You rock Shirley's Happy Hour!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow and More Snow...

Though the temps have been frigid, we have managed to get a snowmobile ride in here and there when the thermometer forces itself in the teens. The trails are beautiful and so is the snowy scenery. Everyday there is new snowfall. If we get a cloudless day and the sun illuminates the frosty scene (which can take your breath away because it is just so pretty), the snow will silently fall at night while we peacefully sleep, unless its one of those windy nights which we have had plenty of.

Today is windy again. Here's the statistics.

The snow piles continue to grow and grow.

The dogs have a path to the bird feeders. They check it hourly for any birdseed they can salvage off the snow because they rarely get fed. Right.

And the dogs have an outdoor kennel filled with hay which is attached to the garage. There is a doggy door that gives them access in and out. But they love to take daily naps in the dog house. 

One of you better get a shovel and get that roof cleaned off. 

Say "cheese" Bear

Bear: "You didn't let me get the snow off my nose first.
This picture is going to be just great."

Aw, come on Ike, smile.

Ike: "I told you this wasn't my best side."

Have a HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY week everyone!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Venisonburger Soup

Oh, baby, it's cold outside. And the snow is falling sideways, going with the flow as the ferocious wind blows today. You know it is bad out there when the Mackinac Bridge is closed.

We are covered in snow up here in the backwoods and it's too bone chilling to go out and enjoy it.

There is a Florida trip in our future plans but all of my summer clothes are packed in totes which are upstairs in the unattached cold garage. Brrrr...don't know when I'll start packing. This cold spell looks like a long one. There is a fire in the wood burner out there in that garage of ours, but I'll have to stoke it up some before I venture out in my heavy jacket, furry yooper hat, warm gloves, while wearing my Muck boots because they come up to my knees. 

Looking forward to a week of sunny and (hopefully) 75...Sing it with me if you are a Country Music fan!

Somewhere, somewhere, Sunny and 7555555...
by Joe Nichols

Steve and I are under the weather a bit. Steve more than me. Just head/sinus colds with the cough. He is sleeping in a bunk by the wood stove, the dogs on a blanket right next to him on the floor. I can't tell you for sure which one of those dozers is snoring.

So when there's nothing else to do -- make soup! And maybe I'll perk up our spirits a bit by sharing with you pictures that remind me of summer. If yer so inclined to try this recipe, it is available to print at the bottom of this post. Here goes...

Last week we were in the Soo and I stocked up on fresh produce. I knew what I wanted to do with them purdy peppers - put them in a soup of some sort. Well, with all the venison in the freezer, the meat was a no-brainer. I took out a package of ground venison and instantly thought of a juicy hamburger, topped with all the fixins'. But I was cold, and I wanted to make something that would take the chill out of me. So I began making a soup while thinking about what I would put on my burger were I to have one. (But I didn't. I made soup instead. Are you still with me?)

Now, normally I wouldn't put peppers on a burger. But they were such purdy peppers. Onion. Yes, definitely an onion would be on my burger.

And bacon.

I love bacon burgers.

Add ground venison and garlic (because I love garlic, too).

At this point things don't look all that yummy.

Remember the purdy peppers?

I chopped them up...

...and tossed them in.

I added 3 cups of beef broth, a bunch of spices, a few sliced jalapenos out of the jar, as well as a large tablespoon of the jalapeno juice in the jar, and I let it simmer awhile. Now for the kicker...I love tomatoes on my hamburger, don't you? And I had all these cherry tomatoes I picked up at Gordon Foods Service last week. I love to munch on them as a snack, but they just looked like they needed to be in my soup. So this is what I did...

I popped one in my mouth, then I washed and dried the rest.

I drizzled extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) over the tomatoes and tossed them up. (Don't you love the EVOO decanter? My mom gave me that for Christmas. Thanks mom!) This picture is freaky blurry but it hides the clutter that has nothing to do with tomatoes or EVOO. Remember, I live in a teeny, tiny, minute, small, itty- bitty, pocket-sized, modest, meager, humble ...oh, where was I? Back to turmatoes...

I placed them in a single layer on a roasting pan lined with foil which I had sprayed with cooking spray. After that they went into a preheated 425 degree oven for an hour, turning them at 30 minutes.

They came out so yummy. Roasting them gives them a sweeter, summery taste.

Once the soup had simmered 20 minutes or until the peppers were tender, but not mushy, I added the roasted tomatoes.

Add shredded cheese (cheeseburger!) and enjoy! And yes, it takes the chill out! And what I found nice is without beans or pasta (I love both), the result is a low carb yummy winter soup that reminded me of summer, only if I didn't look out the window, and see the cold, and all the snow out there, and the big snow plow that just turned around in our driveway, and the cold. But if you don't care about carbs, get yourself a big hunk of your favorite bread to dip into this soup (the bun, perfect ending).  

Do you want to give it a try? Here is the link to the Printable Recipe.

Delishness from the back country woods!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Feeding the Deer in Hulbert, Michigan

We love to visit one of our favorite watering holes, Shirley's Happy Hour, for two reasons:

1. We love visiting with the locals and our friend Nancy who works there and is just the best waitress in the whole wide world.

Honestly. She truly is.

2. And through the restaurant windows, we love to watch the deer hang out and eat. The deer yard-up in Hulbert during the winter months. 

Nancy feeds the deer corn. She asked me if I wanted to hand feed a deer.
Boy, did I!

But as you can see, they don't know me from Adam and are very skeptical of this newbie.

So I stepped back...

...and sure enough, Nancy's little buddy came right in and ate right out of her hand.

I tried one more time, but they weren't having it.
So Nancy and I poured the rest of the corn from our buckets into the wooden trough.

And went back inside.

Here they came!!

They ate...

...and they ate...

and there was a little bit of "Hey, get out my spot," and the boxing paws came out.

And they ate some more.

Pretty soon the feeding frenzy quieted down 
as there seems to be not a speck of corn left in that trough.

Thanks, Nancy, for allowing me to be a part of an incredible experience!!!

Here's another link to the deer from last year titled Yarding UP.

Have a fantastic and safe weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Birds, Dogs, & Pizza!

I've been busy learning my new big girl camera...
and sorting through all of my pictures from the past hundred years, filing them, and backing them up.We did a few days of snowmobiling last week, but this week we've had higher than normal temps that result in ice when the temps drop below freezing at night. Not much fun wandering around outside on the ice with a new camera in hand.

So I've been taking pictures of birds through the windows.
They don't seem to mind, like, ahem, some canine friends of mine.

I have two lenses which I am also learning. I love this zoom lens.

And my best buds are always ready to pose for me.

"Go ahead...we know you need the practice. 
But we are going to close our eyes as soon as you are done, or maybe before, got it?"

So after the dogs are finished posing...what's left?

I made Steve and me a pizza for supper.
This isn't my homemade pizza crust with fresh herbs from the garden that I make in late summer and freeze for movie night. I've been cleaning out my freezers and this was a pre-made pizza crust from a package of two that I needed to use up.

Did the food photos make you hungry?

Okay, I'll keep practicing.
I just don't know how to break it to the dogs.
They are going to be my subjects for the next year, er, years or so.

And maybe more food.
Food doesn't get annoyed.