I Love To Cook – and Eat!

I love to eat and love to cook, two things that go together well. This time of year we have a lot of fresh vegetables to eat or cook, making both even better. Squash are easy to grow and plentiful, and if you buy them the price is not bad right now.

Many years ago I had a lot of fresh yellow squash from my garden and wanted a different way to cook them. I like them sliced and fried or steamed with onions, and even fry the male blooms, but I had so many I need another way to cook and eat them.

This was before the internet where you can find millions of recipes fast, so I got out one of my favorite cookbooks, “Southern Country Cookbook” put out by Progressive Farmer magazine in 1972. I often refer to it and find recipes I like, even if I do change them some.

One recipe, “Skillet Dinner with Squash” caught my eye. It called for browning ground meat in bacon grease then adding chopped bell peppers, sliced squash, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmering for 40 minutes. I decided to brown the meat with chopped onions and used canned tomatoes with jalapeno peppers.

I was not sure how it would taste, but it was great! Of course I used ground venison, not beef, and increased the amount of bell peppers. I now cook it anytime I have some squash and it is great for lunch or even dinner. For dinner I eat it with a salad.

A couple of weeks ago when my wife was out of town I went to the freezer and found a package of sliced deer liver. Linda doesn’t like it so I usually cook it when she is out of town. I love it and was real disappointed that this was the last package I had.

I floured and sautéed the liver in bacon grease along with a bunch of sliced onions. When the liver and onions browned I added water and covered it to simmer for about a half hour. While it was simmering I sliced potatoes and more onions and browned them in more bacon grease.

I always have to have a green vegetable with my meals so I got out some frozen Brussel sprouts and thawed them in the microwave, then dribbled butter over them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven under the broiler to brown almost to the point of being blackened.

I make sure I have enough gravy in the liver pan to smother the liver and potatoes on my plate. It is a greasy meal but it taste great and I had enough for two meals.

I had made a lot of gravy so I had about two cups left. So it would not go to waste I took a package of ground venison, about a pound, and made two big hamburger steaks. I first sautéed onions in more bacon grease and fried the hamburger steaks with them, then smothered all of it with the liver gravy and simmered for about 15 minutes. With French fries and cole slaw it was another great meal!

After the Sportsman Club Bartlett’s Ferry tournament last month I kept some spots to clean. I fried some of the filets but kept about a half dozen filets from one pound bass to make a casserole. It was simple, I sliced potatoes fairly thin and layered potatoes, filets and grated cheese in a big baking dish.

After adding a little milk I baked it until the potatoes were soft, the fish done and the cheese melted. All I needed with that casserole for a meal was a salad to go with it.

Writing this made me hungry. Time to go cook something!