Each year we have a family tradition, although it may not QUITE be what you might expect it to be at this time of the year. I've already explained deer hunting season around here. It not only entails missing two days of school, rising at the break of dawn -- no, make that BEFORE the break of dawn, and freezing your gluteus maximus off in 20 degree temperatures; but also includes processing the deer after bringing it home from the butchers. And WE are the processors!
So, back to the family tradition. Hubby starts by cooking a couple steaks with lots of spices. The first bite goes to the one who harvested the deer then the rest of us begin to "pick at it" -- in other words, we nibble at it until it's all gone. Then we get down to business.
Manning our work stations, we ALL begin cutting the meat, trimming the fat, and packing it in quart Mason jars.
We're looking pretty intent here as we work, but we really DO have a good time laughing and making dumb hunting jokes.
With us all pitching in, the work goes quickly. We can prepare and cold pack the meat in the pressure canner in an evening. Next we ready the ground venison for the freezer.
Our older daughter missed part of the evening's festivities (she volunteers at our local library), but when she got home, she twisted up her hair and jumped right into the fray. With the cubed meat in the pressure canner, she manned the vacuum packer as the rest of us took up our separate stations weighing the meat, placing it in the vacuum bags, flattening it out, and labeling the bags.