Saturday 3 March 2012

Hello Deer!

These are our friends Alfie and Peter.  We lived next-door to them for years and could not have asked for better neighbours. 

Alfie and Peter’s father-and-son bachelor household is mostly centered around sports, hunting and fishing.  Cooking has never been their strong suit.  I, on the other hand, don’t care at all for sports, or for hunting and fishing, but do love to cook. What Alfie and Peter do have in common with my husband and I is a love of good food, and of sharing that food in good company.  Over shared meals we’ve discovered many shared interests, and we've ended up fast friends.

Because there are only my husband and I in our household, there’s always a danger that my love of cooking will lead to overeating, and to eating too many of the wrong things.  I’ve always addressed these concerns by sharing the things I cook with friends and neighbours.  I used to bake eight or ten loaves of bread every couple of weeks and distribute them among my neighbours up and down the street.  I was also in the habit of sharing extra portions of supper or dessert with our bachelor buddies next-door. 

It was a kindness to me that our neighbours took this extra food.  It enabled me to experiment with new recipes and techniques without fear of excessive kitchen waste.  I shared the food I made without expectation of receiving anything in return but Alfie and Peter often reciprocated by sharing with us the fish they caught and the game they shot.   Both my husband and I enjoyed these wild meats very much.

We no longer live next-door to Alfie and Peter but we’ve stayed in touch.  We miss their pleasant company and are always glad to hear their news.  You can imagine then, how pleased we were when Alfie came to visit us this week.  It’s the first time he’s seen our new home and we were delighted to welcome him.

Alfie brought us a lovely housewarming gift:  A cooler full of venison and several salmon.  I cooked some of the venison last night and, while eating dinner, realized how much I’d missed having it on hand.  He couldn’t have given us a better present.

The word “venison” originated from the Latin word vēnor, which means “to hunt or to pursue,” and referred to all sorts of game meats.   Now, we understand it to specifically refer to deer meat.

Venison is a very lean meat, rich in protein, iron, and zinc but quite low in saturated fat.  It’s a good source of B vitamins, specifically niacin (vitamin B2), riboflavin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.  These B vitamins bring with them a number of health benefits including a reduced risk of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, reduced risk of colon cancer, improved oxygen based energy production, a diminishment in the frequency and severity of migraines, improved immune system response, a reduction of the risk for osteoarthritis, and the more efficient conversion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats into energy. [i]

That’s quite a list of benefits!  I’m glad to know that venison is so good for me because it’s certainly delicious. 

So, thank you Alfie and Peter, both for your friendship and for the wonderful housewarming gift.  We’re very grateful to have them.

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