Enjoying the Bounty

I have three hobbies — gardening, hunting and cooking — and luckily, all of them go together nicely.

I often write that the combination of the three often results in some mighty tasty food. Sometimes, though, you need a little help along the lines of spices and the like, which brings me to Hi Mountain Seasonings.

Over the years, I’ve bought some of the Riverton, Wyo., company’s seasonings and haven’t been disappointed. They’re readily available at Cabela’s, which has a store in East Grand Forks. A friend of mine, Terry Young of Devils Lake, swears by some of Hi Mountain’s seasonings for making homemade jerky.

Now, working in conjunction with Outdoor Edge and renowned meat processor Brad Lockwood, Hi Mountain Seasonings is marketing three new instructional DVDs that will help you process your own big game harvests.

The first DVD in the series, "Deer and Big Game Processing," takes you step-by-step through the intricacies of properly processing any big game animal, from the field to the dinner table. Not only will you learn how to properly field dress, skin, quarter and bone-out big game animals, Lockwood further explains table cuts from each primary muscle area. He shows how to grind and make basic sausage using Hi Mountain Seasonings.

The other two DVDs, "Advanced Wild Game Processing: Sausage" and "Advanced Wild Game Processing: Jerky," takes you through easy-to-follow instructions for making healthy, delicious sausage and jerky from your game using Hi Mountain’s popular seasonings and cure.

I know a lot of hunters already know the basics for processing their meat and making sausage of jerky, but these DVDs might go a long way for the first timer.

The DVDs, as well as Hi Mountain’s entire line of seasonings, are available at www.himtnjerky.com, or call toll-free, (800) 829-2285 to order. Suggested retail price is $19.95 each.

And getting back to combining my favorite hobbies, here is a recipe for a sausage-stuffed squash, which combines garden fare and sausage. In my case, it’s buttercup squash and homemade elk sausage. Of course, any regular store-bought sausage can be substituted.

Enjoy!

Sausage Stuffed Squash
2 small acorn or buttercup squash
1 pound bulk pork sausage, sweet or hot
1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cups bread cubes (optional)
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Split squash through the stem and remove seeds and fibers. Place the squash halves, cut side down, in roasting pan. Add ½ inch of water and bake about 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the pork sausage and drain off about half the fat. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute until soft. Add the bread cubes, if using, and cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the squash are done, divide filling among the four. If you have extra filling, you can put it in a side dish. Drizzle the maple syrup on top of each squash and dot with butter if desired. Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake another 10 minutes, uncovered, to crisp the top.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 370 calories, 39 percent of calories from fat, 16 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 49 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams protein , 363 milligrams sodium, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams fiber.

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