Third week of Christmas gift ideas

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Dennis Clay

This is the last of a three-part series about Christmas gifts for outdoor-minded people.

The past year has found two new items in my food preparation tool shed. Last week we discussed the Excalibur Meat Tenderizer and Jerky Slicer, which is used to turn a tough piece of meat into a tender steak. A test was conducted with regular beef round steak. Yep, it was turned into a tender steak.

Chef’sChoice Electric Food Slicer Model 615

A food slicer allows me to produce several specialized dishes, plus a bunch of regular recipes as explained in a past article. One recipe included goose breast rollups.

A goose breast was simmered in water until fully cooked. It was then allowed to cool completely. The slicer shaved paper-thin pieces from the larger chunk of meat.

Most of us remember rollups as a thin slice of ham, covered with cream cheese with a spear of dill pickle or pickled asparagus in the middle. The food is then rolled up to make a simple appetizer. My version replaces the ham with goose breast.

Of course, this medium-priced slicer, of around $150, can be used to slice other meats and food items. The maximum thickness is around three quarters of an inch. The minimum thickness is paper-thin. Using the Chef’sChoice food slicer provides an easy way to produce uniform steaks out of a larger piece of deer, elk or even beef.


I’ve owned a Weston Number 8 grinder for years. It is not just a meat grinder, but can be used to grind all sorts of foods.

Friends of mine, a local couple, grind their own hamburger. They wait for meat, usually the round-steak type of meat. They make sure it is boneless with little fat, thus this hamburger is as fat-free as possible.

This is similar to the way my ground deer and elk is prepared. Venison fat is no good for mixing with ground meat for hamburger. I don’t add any beef fat, either. Again, this is as fat-free as it gets. In fact, a little olive oil is added to the skillet when cooking the venison burger for spaghetti. Otherwise the meat would burn.

There is one problem with my grinder. Although it is billed as a sausage stuffer, this process is difficult at best. Attaining a separate sausage stuffer next year is one of my goals.

Fishing rods

The gift of a fishing rod will make a young angler happy. There have been several rod and reel combinations on sale this fall for less than $20, some less than $15. This is the type of rod to give to a young angler.

We are talking about anglers in the 6- to 8-year-old range. This is the age when young people can learn about taking care of their equipment. There is a chance, some would say a clear chance, of these anglers not understanding how to make sure a rod is not broken.

Expect these rods to be placed on the ground when changing lures or rebaiting the hook. This provides an excellent example of a rod being stepped on and broken. Also, many rod tips are damaged in vehicle doors or when jammed into a tree or building. This happens to adults as well, those who haven’t learned their lesson yet.

The low price allows the angler to learn from her/his mistakes. If the rod is broken, it could be easily replaced. Or, this angler could be made to use the broken rod for the next few months or a year, as a lesson.

Either the parents could purchase another low-priced rod, or the angler could be made to save money until she/he could purchase another one, perhaps a more expensive one.

A rod for the entire family is possible, when the price is between $15 and $20 a rod and reel combination.

Next week: Mopping up Christmas-gift ideas for outdoor-minded people.

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