Mother’s Day Gifts for the Outdoors Woman

  • Significant Gifts for that one Significant Other, Outdoors Mom’s are special
  • Colorful 3-season and 4-season quilts, comfy outdoor footwear, bacteria-safe cutting board, a unique Wok w/ burner system

By Jason Houser

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and significant others and children are not always the best at picking out gifts. Flowers die and chocolate is gone way too soon. This year get her something she can use and will last for years to come.

Cutting Boards and More

Mothers are great cooks (most mothers). Instead of letting her use the same old cutting board that is an eyesore, get her a cutting board that will last a lifetime and looks good in the kitchen. John Boos & Co. located in Effingham, Illinois, has been manufacturing cutting boards since the late 1800s. These boards can be found in kitchens across the country and on the sets of your favorite cooking show.

Cutting boards should last and that is exactly what a properly cared for cutting board from John Boos will do. It is not just cutting boards though. John Boos offers a wide selection of butcher blocks, countertops, worktables, and stainless-steel products.

If you can think of a need for it when it comes to this type of product, John Boos has probably already thought of it. Whether it is a block designed for cutting fresh herbs, holding your I-pad or your fresh loaf of homemade bread and everything in between, you will find it at John Boos.

If a durable and attractive board isn’t enough for you, then consider this. A scientific study conducted by Dr. Dean Cliver, Ph.D. has proved that maple cutting boards inhibit bacteria growth, while plastic boards have been scientifically proven to harbor bacteria inside the cut grooves. Also, wood cutting boards are known to be easier on your expensive knife blades.

Durable WOK with BIG KAHUNA Burner

Who doesn’t like cooking with woks? Eastman Outdoors is home to the best wok and outdoor burner on the market. Ideal for stir-frying, deep-frying, boiling, steaming, braising and simmering, this deep wok + powerful burner combination delivers versatile cooking, to decks, patios, backyards and campsites alike.

This outdoor wok kit is complete with accessories for styles of cooking. The 22-inch stainless-steel wok is 50% deeper than most traditional woks, allowing your favorite cook room to make your plenty of your favorite foods.

The propane burner has adjustable legs (18″ to 26″) making it perfect for not only the Wok, but the top surface flips to accept skillets and small pots but also tall pots.

Included in the kit are a stainless-steel wok spoon, spatula, 12-inch AccuZone (TM) thermometer, and an instructional DVD with recipes.

Boots

Every lady needs a good pair of boots. I bought my wife a pair of Vaprtrek from Irish Setter Boots.  We recently returned from a turkey hunt in southern Illinois.  To say that good footwear was important in the uneven terrain is an understatement.

I can only guess how many miles we walked on the days it took for us to scout and to fill our turkey tags. And, it was no walk in the park either. On this hunt, we both chose to wear the Irish Setter Vaprtrek. Walking over uneven terrain, crossing small streams, and experiencing mild temperatures, these boots were perfect.

Normally, we like to break our boots in before trekking through the wood’s miles from another pair of boots.  Not doing so is only asking for sore feet and blisters.  After trying these boots on for the first time, my wife felt comfortable enough to wear them hunting the very next day.  These waterproof boots proved their weight in gold as we were on our feet all day long, day after day.

So, how does Irish Setter explain the Vaprtrek? VaprTrek™ boots were designed with the athletic hunter in mind.

Whether your deer hunting, scouting, searching for sheds or chasing that spring gobbler, you’ll appreciate how light yet rugged these technically advanced, high-performance boots are. Their innovative RPM™ sole, ScentBan™ scent control, and sleek profile combine to meet the demands of the most active hunters.

Quilts

These are not your grandma’s quilts. Quilts by Zenbivy are manufactured with the outdoorsman and woman in mind.

If you’re better half enjoys camping, she will enjoy one of these quilts. Unlike a sleeping bag that has a zipper to deal with when laid flat, these quilts do not have the extra weight to contend with. And, many people would rather not sleep in a sleeping bag that constricts their movement. It is much easier to cover up with a comfortable quilt for a good night’s rest.

Available in a variety of colors, it will not be a problem to find one just right for her.  With three temperature ratings to choose from, there is one for every season. The 40º version is just as soft, just as light and just as packable as their 25º down quilt, but is built for warmer nights and tighter budgets. Built for 3-Season use, the 25 Degree down Light Quilt is one of the softest, most durable, lightweight quilts you can find. The buttery-soft 20º fabrication sets the 10º down Light Quilt apart from its more “purist” 10º competitors. Built for the widest range of temperatures, it’s a true 4-season ultra-light quilt.

The quilt is great, but be sure to check out the pillow, mattress and dry sack from Zenbivy to complete your sleeping comfort.  These might not be the traditional Mother’s Day gifts many think of, but I am sure she would enjoy them for years to come.

Simple E-Z to DO Alternatives for Game Meat

  • Burger, steaks, roasts, stew meat, and ribs are all fine and dandy, maybe you want more
  • It’s easy to put breakfast sausage, summer sausage, jerky, and other novelties in the freezer
  • What to do, where to buy supplies, how to process your game meat
Forget about the “gamey” taste of a big buck with these simple alternatives to regular cuts of meat. Photo: Eastman Outdoors

By Jason Houser

As hunters, we don’t have to hunt for the need to put food on the table like our ancestors once did. Today, we hunt for the joy of being outdoors, the thrill of the hunt, making memories, and much more. The food on the table is a bonus, a great gift, that many hunters look forward to for 12 months out of the year.

Many hunters like to process their own wild game. I fall into that category, enjoying the accomplishment of completing the process of taking the meat from the field to the table. It can get messy and take some time, but the payoff is worth it.

Too many hunters are not taking advantage of all the possibilities when it comes to processing their game. Sure, the old standbys like the burger, steaks, roasts, stew meat, and ribs are all fine and dandy, but you don’t have to stop there.

What if you could put breakfast sausage, summer sausage, jerky, and other novelties in the freezer? These foods are just as good, if not better than what a meat processor could do for you, or what you could purchase at the store. And, if you’re concerned with the “gamey” taste associated with a big buck, these simple foods take any strong-taste worry away.

These sausage novelty projects are straightforward and simple, and chances are the recipe will call for ground burger meat. Or, maybe you have an abundance of old ground meat in your freezer and are looking for some alternative uses. With added seasonings and possibly having to adjust the amount of fat to the burger mix, you will be well on your way to enjoy some excellent alternatives to the old standbys most of us are accustomed to with game meat.

Summer sausage is a favorite for many hunters.

Often, much of the food like brats, hot dogs, summer sausage, and other items, will require a sausage stuffer. Sausage stuffers can be purchased separately from your grinder, but most of today’s meat grinders come with the equipment needed to double as a sausage stuffer. If you don’t have a sausage stuffer, a manual hand crank stuffer will suffice for home use. The #10 meat grinder from Eastman Outdoors is equipped with everything you need to grind the meat as well as all your stuffing needs.

I have tried a couple of different sausage and jerky brands, but my brand of choice is Eastman Outdoors. Not to say the others are not good, but Eastman Outdoors has an enormous assortment to choose from, tastes excellent, and their supplies are user-friendly.

If you choose to make meat sticks, brats, summer sausage and other foods that require casings, make sure you purchase the correct type and size of casings for the recipe you are following. Casings come in several sizes and materials. For example, collagen casings are edible and are often used for hot dogs and brats. Fibrous casings, on the other hand, are not edible. These types of casings are used for foods like bologna, summer sausage and pepperoni. Double-check what you are purchasing to make sure it will work for the project you are doing.

A manual stuffer is much cheaper than an electric stuffer. Photo: Eastman Outdoors

When you use a grinder/sausage stuffer, there are some things you should know before you begin to make the process go smoothly.

Place the metal parts into the freezer ahead of time: plates, knife, head, auger, and tray. When the parts are cold, they will do a better job grinding the meat. The same with the meat. Keep it as cold as possible without freezing. Try to not touch the meat except when needed. Your hands put off heat.

Many recipes are going to call for an 80/20, 85/15, or 90/10 blend of meat/fat. To do this, you’ll need some help from another source, as your particular cut of meat may be too lean. Purchase beef or pork fat from your local butcher and keep it frozen until you’re ready to grind.

As soon as the meat begins to slow, or come out mushy, stop grinding and remove the sinew build-up from the knife and auger. Then, replace your newly cleaned auger, knife, and plate. The buildup will cause the meat to warm— and warm meat is never a good thing.

Making delicious foods from home with just a grinder, sausage stuffer and the ready-to-use kits for specialty food-making is a breeze.

Stop eating the same old deer meat and get creative this season. You’ll be glad you did.