Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
Wisconsin's bow season opens this coming Saturday.
My pals Braumeister, Smokey Joe and I have drawn and fired countless arrows at videos and paper targets. My bow has been tuned and re-tuned again. The cammo has been laundered in scent-free detergent and packed-away with the scent of dirt. Same for the underwear. And I'm getting all itchy about the prospects for this year's hunt.
I don't want you to think that I'm getting all caught-up in the supernatural or superstitious about any of this - but my wife has been questioning my regular diet of grilled venison, references to even-numbered years and frequent inclusion of St. Hubert in everyday conversation.
Tonight I made the simplest of all meals.
Venison en Brochette
This is fast and easy and it includes lots of shortcuts.
You start with some choice cuts of whitetail deer carved into one-inch chunks.
Place in a bowl with some Lawry's Steak and Chop Marinade. At the same time you should soak four bamboo skewers in hot water.
Go and fill your Weber Smokey Joe with briquettes and ignite.
Wash and cut a double handful of baby potatoes. Place in foil with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. Seal tightly.
Sip a glass of wine and check the coals.
Cut three garden peppers into skewerable chunks.
When the coals are hot place the foil packet of spuds on the grill. Place the cover on the Smokey Joe making sure all the vents are open.
Skewer the venison - alternating peppers and halved plum tomatoes (also from the garden) and place on a cookie sheet. Spray all over with olive oil and anoint with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.
At this point you curse your forgetfulness over the garden onions you left behind.
After 15 minutes check the spuds and flip them over.
After 10 minutes remove the lid from the grill along with the foil packet of potatoes and allow the coals to glow nice and hot.
Add your skewers.
Grill until slightly charred and turn only once. Grill some more. Remove at the point your veni is medium rare to medium.
Beginning to end - about ninety minutes (give or take).
Hey. You said this was easy. Where'd you get the venison and the garden veggies?
I was just kidding about the shortcuts.
You have to be patient.
You have to nurture your potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and onions. You have to stalk your deer and ultimately find a way to slay the wily creature.
It has occurred to me that somewheres around three to six generations ago the meal I described above might not only be common but actually quite difficult to prepare given the absence of modern refrigeration, gardening advances and hunting technology. I sometimes wonder about whether people treat their food with the appropriate amount of reverence and respect nowadays.
I also recognize that virtually everyone nowadays doesn't hunt or garden.
Most people shop. And I am a hunting and gathering snob. I get it.
Nonetheless I happen to be a stickler when it comes to hunting.
Which leads to the politics and the shortcuts.
The venison you see above was killed fair and square. A free-roaming whitetail - alive one moment and dead the next.
And not shot over a bait pile.
To kill a deer over bait is shooting.
Never confuse this with hunting.