But I was just north of Atlanta to see my son, grandson and daughter-in-law for the holidays and took an afternoon off to hit the Bass Pro Shop on I-85 with my son.
Toyland for adults, and their inner child.
I bought a cast iron skillet and a small Dutch Oven and a few kitchen odds and ends.
Up at camp I have a huge iron skillet, the kind that can make two dozen sunny side up eggs, but found out while camping in the Adirondacks it's too darn big to fit on a propane grill, thus it's more of a curiosity piece than a practical implement.
So, I got a smaller skillet and will now try a recipe e-mailed me from a friend via Jim Zumbo, the former hunting editor of Outdoor Life and my host on a Western hunt many years ago.
It's pretty simple, and if you weren't lucky, or a good enough shot, to bag a deer this year it can be used with a decent piece of regular beef.
AWESOME, FAST, TENDER AND DELICIOUS:
1-2 lbs of venison (or store-bought) steak, round, flank cut into 1/4-inch thick pieces about palm size.
2 lemons, or use Real Lemon juice
1 large jar of artichoke hearts
your favorite steak seasoning
flour, salt, pepper
Take steak pieces and tenderize with mallet or other prong-type device (DO IT!!!)
Place meat in a plastic baggie or bowl with lid and season to taste with your steak seasoning,
garlic, meat tenderizer and juice from one whole lemon or liberal amounts of lemon juice. Place in fridge 2-4 hours before cooking.
Heat a half cup of olive oil in a skillet, preferably cast iron, dredge steak pieces in flour and salt and pepper on both sides, place meat in the skillet which should be hot enough to make meat sizzle.
Cook at medium-high heat and when meat is simmering add juice of another lemon and the artichoke hearts cuts into 1/2 pieces.
Simmer until brown, turn meat and brown other side and serve with rice or potatoes or other favorite vegetable and a nice dry, red wine.
(I just tried this recipe with a steak from my Pennsy deer - very good and tender and the lemon and artichoke hearts a nice complement to the meat. However I'm an old fashioned onions, mushrooms and gravy kind of guy when it comes to steak toppings.)