The Best Laid Plans…

I was hoping to make a post today about thawing/processing our deer. However, this weekend Matt had a work function on Saturday, followed by work appointments that ate up literally the whole day. A friend of ours had his birthday party that night, so we were out late celebrating. And yesterday, we woke up a little late with the time change, plus Matt guilted himself into heading into work for a couple hours. Oh yeah, and we re-arranged our living room furniture. Swamp Thing will have to find some place other than the front room to parade around, as the former front room is now our living room. No Swamp Things in the living room, I always say.

So, today I wanted to try to pull out the deer parts to at least begin the thawing process. Not having any surface really that I was OK with getting covered in blood, etc, as I thawed large pieces of a large animal, I picked up a plastic bin on a Target run. I sanitized and rinsed the whole thing.

Covered in bleach. I work in food service, food borne illness terrifies me.

Covered in bleach. I work in food service, food borne illness terrifies me.

Unfortunately, I remembered a little too late that when we stuck those quarters in the freezer, we really shoved them in there.

Meat bags

Meat bags

At this point, a little back story is in order. Opening weekend for our gun season was the weekend before Thanksgiving. You may remember that last year was the hottest on record for much of the Midwest. Well, the freak weather continued right into late Fall, as opening weekend had highs in the low to mid fifties. We hung our deer in the garage, which is on a concrete slab that stays quite cool. I shot my doe that Saturday, he shot his buck that Sunday. Typically, you hang deer for a couple days at about 40-45 degrees. But that Monday was due to be about 70. Not normal. So, we skinned and quartered them Sunday night. Then we wrapped the whole deer quarters in garbage bags and construction garbage bags to protect them from freezer burn until we could get to them.

Fast forward, and it’s mid-March. Not only am I antsy for more venison, but plenty of other meat- chicken, ground beef, ground venison we got from other hunters- is under those quarters, and I would really like to use it before it goes bad. Anyhow. I went out today, fully intending to yank it all out myself, and get it thawed, so we could process it and dine on delicious deer. I pulled out the small wire basket for holding small, miscellaneous frozen goods. I then tried to pick up the large, black bag on top. It didn’t budge. Well, I think, maybe it’s stuck with this other bag to the left. Left bag came out, no problem. I continue trying to wiggle the large black bag out. Nothing. It seems to have wedged itself against the inner walls of our little chest freezer. No good. So, I take the smaller white bag inside to go in the plastic container.

I've dubbed it the Meat Box.

I’ve dubbed it the Meat Box.

Clearly, it was time to get creative. I first opted for a hammer and chisel style solution.


When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a bag for frozen meat wedged in a chest freezer.

No dice. Still wedged tightly, and I had no desire to damage the inner insulation of the freezer. So I decided to try the big guns.


I blow dried all around the edges of the black bag. I succeeded only in stretching the plastic until some of it broke. I didn’t think to take pictures of what followed, but I may have also tried to pry it out with a hockey stick, a broom handle, and a large, unidentifiable wooden rod wrapped in duct tape (don’t ask, because I don’t know). Nada. Crestfallen, I called Matt. This was why I had originally wanted his help anyway. Even not frozen-wedged in place, that bag is probably about 100 pounds. He’s a good bit bigger than me, as well as a lot taller. He promised to help me try and get them out tonight. Here’s hoping we can. I’ll post an update when we (hopefully) have the venison thawing.

In the mean time, I fished out a little one pound bag of aforementioned ground venison given to us by Matt’s brother. It’s currently thawing slightly before I make some simple venison spaghetti. I’ve also got a batch of bread rising to make garlic bread with.


2 thoughts on “The Best Laid Plans…

  1. Pingback: Processing Venison | Play Outdoors

  2. Pingback: Opening Day, 2012. | Play Outdoors

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