Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beef Slab and Bloody Caesars

So my parents got their meat back from the steer that was sent to the processor.  I know how lucky I am.  Forget the grass-fed, no hormones, blah blah blah in the supermarket.  This is pure, free-range stuff.  The way cattle were supposed to be raised.

Flintstones, table for two
I mean, that's a sirloin.  If there's one thing I know, it's that I'm spoiled.  Not only great, free-range beef fed by my dad, but look at the size of that thing!  The Shiner was just for perspective.  Well, ok, it was for perspective at first.  So, that was consumed during the grilling process.  What else are you supposed to do with it?

It's seeeaarrrific!

So, what really goes with a great steak?  Well, lots of things.  But, in particular I've grown particularly fond of a drink that a restaurant called The Keg (located in Canada) serves with their steaks.  It's the Bloody Caesar.

So, just for kicks, here's my recreation of their recipe:

The Bloody Caesar

Good Vodka (I use Dripping Springs Vodka)
Worcestershire Sauce
Clamato Juice (stay with me, here)
Celery Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Crushed Ice

So, here's the fun part.  There isn't a "recipe".  It's really to taste, so I'll just give guidelines.  You can rim the glass with a lime and celery salt if you like.  I usually don't.  I just add the celery salt into the drink at the end, but you can also do both which I will do for parties when presentation kind of counts.

Fill the glass with crushed ice (regular ice is ok, too).  For the liquid ingredients, put the vodka in first.  This gives you the ability to regulate the amount of alcohol.  Next, add the Worcestershire sauce.  I put around a couple of teaspoons and sometimes up to a tablespoon depending on the mood I'm in.  I really don't measure, so I'm guessing here.  Follow that with a couple of dashes of Tobasco, then top up with Clamato Juice.  I really do NOT like Clamato all that much, but it really is great in this drink.  Add a few dashes of celery salt and a few grinds of fresh ground pepper.  Stir well and enjoy with a great rare (or medium-rare) steak.  Cheers!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I'm surprised I didn't see any mention of this in the general blogosphere today.  This is pretty darn cool.


You know he had to be going smoking fast.  It would suck to hit a bug, much less a bird.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Well, this morning was my first Whitetail of the season.  I took a very long spike that I passed on earlier and regretted.  He needed to go.  Sorry, no pictures.  I was going to, but a 7mm STW to the neck is not very conducive for a blog post picture.  Anyway, meat in the refrigerator!  When I opened our deer fridge (yes, we have one for deer in the garage) I saw quite the assortment of deer quarters in there from my dad and brother.  It looks like we have a bit of work ahead of us in the next few days.

The Taj-MaBlinds paid for themselves just on today's hunt.  We (That Guy and I) headed out this morning after a full night of rain.  After some slipping and sliding in the truck to get to the back of the lease and then some slipping and sliding on foot to walk to the blinds, we settled in.  About 30 minutes later the rain came pouring down again.  There's nothing like that warm, dry feeling when it's cold and raining just outside.  I commented about how bad it sounded to complain about a little wet and cold, but That Guy said he wasn't ashamed to be comfortable.  I have to say I agreed.

Hello/Welcome/Thank You

Hello and welcome to justcook and dakotas5.  Justcook seems to have quite a nice little blog involving culinary arts.  What's more interesting than that is I saw a post for breaking down a deer and making acorn flour.  Not your typical cooking posts, there.  dakotas5 has a new blog and appears to have fire in the belly.  I'd like to thank both for clicking the follow button and I hope it is an enjoyable experience.  If you're interested, swing over to the follower section and click on them and check out their place.

I have to say that my follower count doesn't make sense, so if I missed you because I don't see you thanks for following somewhere.  If you're following super-secret-anonymously, well thanks for that, too.  I welcome all.

Also, in the line of thanks, I'd like to thank Craig over at keepitsimplesurvival for linking me.  I really appreciate anyone that thinks well enough of the writing to send people over.  Thanks very much.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Deer, It's what's for dinner

Yum.  My dad got another Axis Deer.  It's the second he's gotten this season and my brother has gotten one as well.  There have been a few Whitetail fall as well (nothing by me, yet), but if you've ever eaten Axis it's just unmistakably better.  I haven't been able to spend the time in the field and, in all honesty, tend to be extremely (too) picky early in the season.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yes.  Axis Deer.  They are a beautiful animal.  Also known as the chital (or cheetal) and pronounced as the latter is spelled.  They originate in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal.  They have adapted insanely well to Central and South Texas.  The climate is perfect for them.  They do not have a "breeding season" as Whitetail Deer do.  Breeding is year round and a doe can have multiple fawnings in a couple of years.  There is something of a love/hate relationship with these deer in Texas (mostly love).  You see, they are free-ranging now.  They escaped from game ranches decades ago and have set up shop and taken over.  The love portion is the great meat and beautiful hides.  They travel in large herds and I've been known to pick more than one (much more) out of a single herd.  The "hate" portion of the relationship is the direct competition with indigenous deer and (not indigenous) livestock.  The incredible table-fare they provide pretty much outweighs any negative view people have.

and the presentation is fabulous

On the other hand, we have the much maligned (and rightly so) wild pig.

 This one was taken by my brother on Thanksgiving night.  Sorry for the small picture, but it was emailed.  Then, there is this...

Sharply dressed

Nasty little buggers.  Well, this one wasn't little.  It weighed in at 245 pounds.  Also, those tusks are serious.  I've seen what they can do and it isn't pretty.  It looks like between this and the deer that have been taken so far, we are looking at our first batch of sausage.  I'll post when we do that, you can count on it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Great Divide - Smoked Baltic Porter

Another beer review? 

Why, yes.   Actually, this one has been in the fridge for a while.  I had some on our guys' weekend a few weeks ago that a friend brought and he brought me an extra bottle in exchange for some scope rings I had sitting in a box.

Smoky Goodness
Not a bad trade, I would say.  Well, it's not as over-powering as you would think.  There is definitely a smoke to the aroma as well as the taste.  The label says it uses traditional German malt and hops (lending a definite caramel malt note) as well as "Bamberg smoked malt".  I will say it is not a beer that is for sitting and drinking by itself.   The smoke, while not overwhelming, is definitely a little much without something to cut it.  Recommendations for a pairing are anything from the grill and especially a good sausage or bratwurst.  A steak would be fantastic.  We actually had it with some nachos and it was great.  It is definitely a darker beer, but the color is deceptive.  It is not heavy at all.

Into the pint of darkness
Pulling off a good smoked porter isn't an easy thing.  I haven't liked them in the past because I've had some pretty terrible attempts at them.  However, this one and one other I've tried have pulled it off well.  If you want something a little different with a nice grilled meal of meat or seafood, it's worth a try.  On the other hand, it really would go well with just about anything not too mild in flavor. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcome and Thank You

I jumped on real quick to respond to some comments I saw on my email today (I don't get to do any posting at work - silly rules) and was shocked to see a great jump in followers.  At first I thought it was me being so awesome, but then I realized it was Stephen at Standing Outside Looking In being extremely kind (which is nothing new, really).  I welcome all of the new followers since I've seen your comments over there and I know your a great group of people.  Thanks to Tom, kymber, Rev. Paul, mmasse, and nimrod243 for hitting the follow button.  I will spend the next little while making sure I follow if you have a blog and updating my roll.  If I miss you, please let me know.  Sometimes peoples' blogs do not show in their profile and I don't get them in the blogroll.  I'll always respond to comments, just give me time, I swear it will happen :) 

Thanks again.  I look forward to great conversation with great people.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cruising on the CETME Failboat

I was all atwitter.  That Guy gave me a CETME picatinny rail receiver mount that didn't work so well for him and I slapped it on my CETME.  It sure did FEEL solid.  I ignored the voice of experience in my head.  I don't know why I do that.  It was telling me "You know about mounting scopes and there is nothing holding this mount to the receiver except a couple of clamps.  It's going to suck under recoil".  But my eyes were saying, "Wow, doesn't it look cool when you pop the scope in the quick detach mount on there?"  Range time was a disaster.  The bore-sighter lied and said 5 inches high.  Ok, so let's try over 5 feet low.  I set up a target a little less than 5 feet high.  I taped targets from top to bottom. 

I aimed at the bottom.  BOOM.  Nothing. 

I aimed at the middle.  BOOM.  Nothing. 

I aimed at the top.  BOOM.  Nothing?  Was that dust?

BOOM.  Yep, definitely dust, but in front of the target, not behind.

And, oh wait, there's a hole in the target.  Great!  But, wait there are LOTS of holes in the target.

Hmmm.  BOOM.  Ohhhhhh.  I'm shooting rocks in FRONT of the target.  Hence, the rock shrapnel which has now rendered my target all but useless for determining where the rounds are hitting.  There is no scope that can adjust for over 5 feet of elevation at 100 yards.   Back to the drawing board.

The mount has threaded screws so you can change elevation, so I haven't lost hope.  Yet. 

I pop off the scope and loosen the mount.  I see what I will call evidence of "slippage" of the mount on the receiver.  Remember the little voice?  Now it was saying, "I told you so."  I hate when he's right.

Also, I will add here that the rifle itself is just fine for what it is.  A battle rifle.  It will shoot inside of 15 inches using open sights at 300 yards and the spread is all me, I'm sure.  Mounting optics seems something of an afterthought in the design.

I debated trying it again and I had done a bit of research to see what I was getting into.  I wasn't pleased with the terms "fiddle" and "tinker" to make it work.  We're talking about a scoped rifle I was intending to take game with.  I owe the animal more than that.  I expect 1 MOA or less or it doesn't go into the field.  I also didn't feel like using a whole package of JB Weld like I saw in this humorous video.  Really?  I don't begrudge anyone whatever they want to do to their stuff, but I'm kind of past the "rigging" stage of firearms ownership.  I'm liking the nice stuff I own now.  So, I'm following the path that That Guy has decided to go down and sell this and maybe another gun I don't use and get an AR-10.  You know, something with a rail as part of the design.  I'd love to go with a SCAR-H, but I'd have to have a whole lot of CETMEs to sell to get there.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Old Newness

It's amazing that you can excite your self just by rearranging the stuff that you already have.  A good friend of mine, That Guy, had a rail that mounts on a CETME.  He didn't have much luck with it.  On his last hunting trip down here he brought it and left it with me.  I finally got around to slapping it on my rifle last night.  Sorry, just cell phone pictures.  I was too lazy to pull out the other camera.

The cool thing is that I have a Leupold scope that is in a set of A.R.M.S. quick detach rings.  It was mounted on my AR for hunting.  It's done a pretty good job on the AR so far, I got 4 deer with it two years ago and a couple last year.  However, I just feel lacking in some versatility with that .223 round.  Especially with big pigs running around.  I've really been wanting to try out a .308 and this might be the answer.  That is if it patterns well.  Coming off of the AR to the CETME, the bore-sighter says the scope is 5 inches high and an inch left.  I'll be taking it out this weekend to see what it does.

So far, I like the look of it and the ability to switch the scope back and forth and just sight it in without having to do a lot of ring and base work.  So, in theory - awesome.  Reality?  Well, I guess we'll test that out this weekend.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mikkeller "It's Alive!" - It's more than alive, it's darn good

This was not really what I expected.  This is a Belgian Ale brewed using wild yeast.  I've had this kind of thing before and it was almost like being punched in the mouth.  I'm a fan of Mikkeller, so I thought I would give them a try.  This was nothing like I expected.

So much anticipation

From what I understand, it is mellowed by some bottle aging.  This gave the beer a great complexity and really tamed down the yeast.

The pour:

Big Head.  Really big head.


HEED! PANTS! NOW! sized head

The flavors were:
Slightly Fruit
Wheat/malt - pushing the yeast factor, but more of a caramel malt

Lightly Bitter at the end

I really liked this beer.  I'm a huge fan.  Mikkeller in general has been very good to me.  They've got some great stuff.  I will put this in the pretty great category.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

All Aboard the Butthurt Express!

So, we made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch/fall festival thing around here.  Yes, it's a little late and already past Halloween and everything, but what the heck.  I'm going to tell you anyway.

Here's a little peek into the hell that is the kiddie train...

Awww, can't be that bad right?

Oh, yes it can.  This monstrosity is also referred to by a friend as the Asspain Train.

All Aboard!  No, really.  On a board.
Yeah, that's a 2 x 6 that they expect you to straddle. 

The good news is that Mrs. 45er decided to take the hit this year (again). 

But it's for the kids!  Ow, ow, ow.
The things we do for our children.  Still, it's a fun place for the bitty ones.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gimme the money or the roach gets it!

So, I don't know what's up with this story.

A San Diego-area teller was confronted by a bank robber carrying not only a semi-automatic pistol but also a white plastic pesticide sprayer.
It's entirely possible the perp said there was something in the container that might be a threat.  Who knows?  I don't even know how I'd respond to this if I were carrying.  I would hope that the time it took to process the crazy wouldn't cause me to hesitate.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Movie review(ish) - "Rum Diary", the movie without an ending

So, the wife and I had purchased a couple of Groupons the other day.  A great deal on a movie and a drink at Alamo Drafthouse.  If you haven't been to one, treat yourself and go.  They're an awesome place to watch a movie.  So, we decided to see "Rum Diary".  You know, the new Johnny Depp deal from Hunter S. Thompson and blah, blah, blah.  It looked kind of funny so we decided that was the one.  Well, it was actually pretty good.  Depp and the other actors did a good job.  The story was just fine, lots of boozy acting and the funny parts were funny.  So, here's my part of the story.  I had a couple of drinks with my meal during the movie, so I really had to use the restroom.  I figured by the way the storyline was going that I might as well go because they hadn't even gotten to the big ending and that would probably take a while to unfold.  I came back a few minutes later and the movie was over.  I asked my wife, "well, what happened".  Her answer: "nothing".  They literally built the movie up to the ending and it was just...  meh, sorry.  What's more, after the not ending, it was the literal sail into the sunset and epilogue wording on the screen.  I can understand if you've told an actual story, then decide to say how your character finished their life.  In this instance, we're talking about a work of fiction, so this type of thing plays more like, "sorry, we ran out of time for the whole story, so this is how it ends".  The previews and advertisements should have said: "from the alcohol-addled mind of Hunter S. Thompson" and then I would have said, "Oh, I get it".

As it stands, I guess I just don't get a story without an ending.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Get your head right


“If it’s to the point where if the driver is not safe on the bus, then the passengers are not safe, then the citizens are not safe. You know, what about them too? We have no security, you can’t get the police, nobody is doing anything to protect us. And I’ve been begging the mayor and the council for two years to do something to help us,” said Gaffney.
The emphasis is mine.  This is the attitude that allows rights to be infringed upon.  My protection is someone else's responsibility?  Now, when they need protection (police call time referenced at 30 minutes in the article) they have limited resources since they've allowed the government to restrict them so severely.  The sad thing is, they do have options (even in Detroit) to take responsibility for their own personal protection but are still thinking the wrong way.   This is not me blaming anyone, it is just a warning.  This is why it is so important to fight for your rights.  The government will gladly take them if you offer them up, then leave you all on your own.  What is the saying?  "Fire, water and government know nothing of mercy".

Thursday, November 3, 2011


While I was out for a while I obtained another follower.  A thanks to Tom for hitting the follower button.  I do my best to respond to all comments and will gladly post a blog link if you have one.    Welcome and slap me around if I get out of line.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guys' weekend, completely worth it

I guess it's finally time for me to spill it about our annual trip which has affectionately been called the Red River Gun Run.  This is a spectacular weekend filled with amazing food, fun with friends, lots of shooting and great beer tasting in the evening.  Then, there's the fishing, hiking and general gun with friends.  So, now on to pics.  Oh, and a warning.  I'm not feelin' all up to it with the word stuff, so I'm going to do my best.  This will be less of a novel and more of a kid's picture book.  Here goes.

Braaaiiins!  Uh, I mean Caaaake!
It was right around the time of one of the guy's birthday and someone brought this work of genius.  I may not have mentioned, this is trip leans in the zombie shoot direction.  The cake maker that brought the cake found these fantastic little plastic zombies to fight the plastic army men.

 On to the drink.  We drove up the first day and got there in time for dinner and then a nice outdoor movie and beer tasting.

This one was especially yummy

Remember me?
The Duchesse was just great.  You may remember the Life and Limb from my previous post.  I'm not going to turn this into a review post because you'll see that it would turn into quite a monster.

The first day was about relaxing and getting some things set up.  It was a great time to do some fishing.  I didn't say we caught a lot, but the weather was perfect and it was relaxing so it was a great time.  Dogfish Head made it that much better.

Looks Fishy!

But it wasn't all that much.  We still caught a few.

Deer and Dillo
Nothing like floating by wildlife and enjoying the scenery.

Trifecta of Goodness
A very good white port, a great sea-salt chocolate and a wonderful cigar.  This was a good night.  Each night was spent outside under a covered patio with a fireplace. 

Warmth for the chilly night
This one was 28 Days Later.  Great movie if you're into that kind.

Speaking of zombies.  This is the day of the zombie run.  This year, we featured some older targets from the zombie targets website and some of the newer targets from Birchwood Casey.  The smaller rat splatter target turned out to be quite a difficult little guy.

No pizza for you!

Below is That Guy with his awesome Saiga 12 Gauge shooting some Fiocchi luminescent tracers.  I should have used a time-lapse, but I chose to just run a fast shutter and caught it in a couple of shots.

I believe this night's dinner was the Chicken Marsala with Prosciutto that I made and did not take any pictures, of course!

After dinner, more relaxation and some more tasting.

Great beer, Mikkeller Draft Bear

That right there was a string of great beer.

So, the next day was fishing, hiking and more shooting.

No exciting pictures of us walking in the woods, but then the final night.  Time for the traditional steak dinner.

And a salad!  The Cashew Tahini dressing was a real hit with the salad.

Oh, and wine.  Except, we couldn't find a corkscrew, so we skipped preparedness and went to improvisation.

It worked wonderfully.

Then, a couple more tasters.

So, the trip is over.  Unfortunately, these go by so quickly.  Now we have some great memories and soon we'll have some great video to watch.  So, this is one of the reasons I've been off the grid.  The other two reasons I will post about later.  Sorry about all of the pictures, but it's probably easier than reading my babble as I try to explain it all.