Dear Hubby was fortunate enough to harvest a bear this year ~ so we've been busy cleaning it for canning and the freezer.  He cut off the steaks, and tenderloins and put those in the freezer, then the rest was going into canned meat for stews and soups.  

Now... if you've never cleaned a bear before for consumption there is a little known trick to the trade ... get off all the fat you can before cooking it.  There's nothing worse tasting, as far as I'm concerned than bear fat... BUT... properly prepared bear meat is rather tasty.  I would say it's very comparable to beef... but a richer flavor.  It's good eating if it's taken care of during the butchering process.  I eat it ... but I'm still not a huge fan of it.  The rest of my family loves it though ... so I do cook it when they request it.  

We spent a good deal of time on cleaning the meat for canning ~ only to have a horrible mishap during the process.  Now... I'm blaming this one on Dear Hubby and Dear Hubby alone.  When I can anything I do it outside on my deck with our turkey cooker.  I use the base for my heating unit ~ because it heats so hot I can bring my canner up to boil in a short amount of time... BUT... there's a drawback to using the turkey cooker... it heats so much hotter than a conventional stove burner ... therefore, you have to be sure to turn the heat down when it comes to a boil OR your water will evaporate out of the canner before the cooking process time is done.  If you forget this step ... of turning it down once it comes to a hard boil ... you will have broken jars and a huge mess.  Well...  guess what we got?

We were busy in the kitchen, peeling apples and making up pies for the freezer, seven of them to be exact... when Slim says, "oh $#!+" ... "I forgot to turn the canner down!" 

Four of the bottoms of the glass jars broke and got glass into the meat and it was all ruined.  So we only ended up with 3 jars of meat after all that work.

I guess I'll forgive him ... because he was helping me too at the time with the pies ... and I'd rather have apple pie than bear meat ... but it was still such a waste.  I did feel bad about the whole incident ... and I know Slim really felt bad about it.   Thankfully, he still has his meat that we put in the freezer.

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.

P.S.  Check out today's recipe ~ it's the easiest one yet! Mock Salted Nut Roll


  1. I helped one of our hunters clean a bear one time (because no one else was around to do it!). I've never seen such greasy fat! WHAT a stinking mess!! But we managed to get it done. It sounds like you are an old hand at it. That was my first and last time. I should mention it was also HIS first time too! I prefer it when we get seasoned hunters at our park!

  2. What a shame after all that work! I hate when that happens ... only once in my canning experience ... but that was enough! The pies in the freezer sounds really good though.

  3. Great entry, I enjoyed it but I cannot do it justice. I am thinking about your comment on my blog. Thanks so very much. Sherry came in and I was printing several copies of it, she said, "I knew you would do that!"

    I plan to use it in the Eulogy, IF and that is IF, I can read it. because I broke down tryuing to read it aloud to my sone mark.

    Love you Mel. that is great stuff!

  4. That was a lovely thing you did for Jack, Mel. I wish I could know you. I love your way of life.

  5. HOORAY! WAY TO GO SLIM! I'm so glad you got that bear. Mishaps happen - and they will be remembered. have a "memorable" experience now to add to winter tales around the camp fire!

  6. Thank goodness for freezers, lol. One thing though, the pies sound really great. I hate to waste good food and hard work, but s..t happens!