I met the pirate three years ago this month, introduced by someone I would not know, were it not for the X, funny how that happened, and makes it so much easier to see his leaving as a gift, both the worst and the best thing that has happened to me in the nearest years of my life. Last year it was the discussion of mincemeat that led to my giving him my email, though he did not contact me, instead I stalked him down, sending the recipe, stumbling over myself like a gangling foal trying to connect. I paid him no mind until my Japanese friend, said, oh he likes you. I could not imagine. I was so okay with being single. It felt easier than all that other stuff, though a few weeks later a friend convinced me to try the online dating thing again. Ironically, she tried again recently, I am having so much fun, she said, you should do it with me. No way I said, I am done, I have a boyfriend, but other than that, I have no interest. Its too hard. I find myself in doubt of my own confidence when I date, its not insecurity so much as not wanting to deal with or accept the criticism of another, I have had enough of that crap in my life for sure.
I have about 10-15 pounds of neck still in my freezer, but I canned 12 quarts of some neck that my brother brought to me at Thanksgiving. It was a difficult recipe, made worse by my inexperience with it. It took me two trips to the store, and the kitchen was an absolute disaster. Thank all the Gods in heaven for the two gifts that the X got me many years ago, that made it so much easier, my Kitchen Aide mixer with attachable grinding arm, and my Kitchen Aide food processor.
I used about 6 pounds of ground venison, 10 pounds of peeled and chopped apples, 5 lemons, two ground, three sliced paper thin and deseeded as much as possible, 9 cups of sugar, a pound of currants, almost a pound of raisins, 3 pounds of cherries, 6 tsp of cinnamon, 3 tsp each of nutmeg, allspice and cloves, and 3/4 cup of vinegar. You boil the venison until it is cooked through then add the apples, lemons, sugar, spices, raisins and currants, cook until the apples are done, then add the cherries, heat through. Next I canned the meat in canning jars and processed with a hot water bath, bringing it to a full boil and then letting it boil for 15 minutes. Only one can did not seal.
As I was making it, I was calling my mom, like three times I think, to get instructions, and the last time to tell her how yummy it was. There is something really special about making food that your great grandmother made! That my own Mom made when she was my age. Its like a tradition. I have a quart promised to a co worker, and a neighbor heard I was making venison and he asked to try it so I will bring him a slice of pie in a few days. And of course the pirate will get some too. I still have that huge neck he gave me to make into mincemeat too. But it will have to wait for another day, man that was a big job.