The first time I cooked venison I swore I would never cook it again. It smelled bad and tasted bad. But, living with a family of hunters I decided to investigate how to better prepare the meat before cooking. Now, venison is my preferred meat.
First, in order to remove the wild game taste the meat should be drained of blood. How do you do that? I have found 2 effective ways:
- For a quick turn around: cover defrosted meat with milk and set in refrigerator overnight. Drain milk that will now look pink, rinse with water and cook as desired.
- Let covered meat sit in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Drain blood, rinse with water and cook. (If meat is frozen it can sit in fridge up to 5 days. If meat is not frozen reduce sit time to 2 or 3 days.)
Food cooks more evenly at room temperature. You will find that more blood will come out when you let it get to room temperature (Up to 30 minutes). Drain the blood and cook. Always take precautions when letting meat get to room temperature.
- Never refrigerate room temperature meat without cooking it first. Once it is out and at room temperature it should be cooked.
- Always keep meat covered.
- Clean any cookware and/or cooking utensils with hot soapy water after using on raw meat.
- Never use the same utensils from meat to other food before washing.
- Always wipe counter tops down with antibacterial cleaners if raw meat or blood touches it.
One of my favorite venison recipes from Tony Chachere’s Cajun Country Cookbook. Venison Parmesan Copy & paste web address into your browser to view recipe.
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March 24, 2013: It had been raining for hours and I was afraid the triathlon would be cancelled. Turns out, later that day I was wishing the race had been cancelled. Even though I had been training for months, I was not ready for what was about to happen.
The rain stopped, we were called to the pool for the start of the race. When I was climbing out of the pool the excitement was mounting inside of me knowing that my swim was strong and much improved from last year’s efforts. Upon exiting the building to head towards transition the wind hit my wet body and almost took my breath away. The temperature had dropped about 20 degrees and the wind picked up. I fought the head wind during the first half of the ride. I kept thinking that once I reach the turn around the wind would be at my back and I could then settle into the ride. That part played out and I was able to drop my energy expenditure down drastically and just ride. Cycling was my strong suit and I did not prepare myself for the mental side of the “what ifs”. With the wind at my back I did not have a good gauge on my speed. That was my first mistake. When I started tapping my breaks to slow down for the turn I knew I was in trouble and I panicked. That was my second mistake. I pictured 2 scenarios: hitting the curb and flying over the handle bars or jamming my breaks and going down. I made a split second decision and went down. When I came to a stop I can remember laying face down on the ground afraid to move. A volunteer came up and asked me if I were okay and then asked me if I wanted to sit up. When I tried to lift my shoulder to roll over I felt some bones move in my upper back area. I thought my shoulder blade had shattered. Turns out that I had a broken collar bone and 7 broken ribs. While they were loading me up in the ambulance a 2nd person went down in the same spot and busted her head. Although she was bleeding pretty bad, according to eyewitness discussion, I heard her say I’m finishing this race and she took off. From where I sat, that was not a good decision.
It was a long, painful recovery. I was unable to lay down for 4 months forcing me to sleep in a recliner. Over the first month or two, every breath I took, no matter how shallow, would cause the broken ribs to pop. I spent every waking moment managing pain. I had plenty of time to run those moments through my head and I realized that if I hadn’t panicked I could have overshot the turn, slowed down and turned around. The accident was totally my fault and it could have been completely avoided had I been mentally ready. Admitting that to myself was a tough pill to swallow.
2 things here:
- The volunteers are great and are a necessary part of the events but, that doesn’t mean they know what is best for the injured. An ambulance should have been called immediately without recommending to sit up or move in any way. I remember being asked, “what do you want me to do, call an ambulance?” my reply, “that would be a good idea”.
- As athletes, we are so focused on the race that we become unable to see past that, which puts us at greater risks. I was completely focused on improving time and finishing strong.
What I learned during my recovery:
- My husband loves me with all of his heart and soul. He gave up the Lazy boy for 4 months. That’s true love. LOL
- Life goes on without me
- How many people I have in my life that I have touched in positive ways and how much they care about me
- The accidental insurance we invest in with every event is so worth it.
- Realized the investment in short term disability was a smart investment.
- How much pain a human can learn to live with
If you are heading into Triathlon season, be prepared mentally and physically. The most important thing you can do is finish safely!
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