Northern Wisconsin has reached the middle of the coldest time of the year. To know that I am halfway through feels like a bit of a relief. The sun is gradually rising earlier every morning, giving a very subtle sign of the distant spring. Right now, it's hard for me to see the beauty of winter. My hands are cold, and my face is cold, though I feel incredibly alive in the discomfort.
a photo from the ice storm in Michigan
We've been eating a lot of fish lately, which I've been enjoying, but it's nice to have a change sometimes. Yesterday, we picked up a a very young deer that got hit by a car. I spent the morning skinning and butchering the deer, outside in the cold. I cut off the backstrap for dinner-it's the most popular part of the meat because it's so tender and tastes the best. While in the process, I decided to save the sinew. Sinew is the tough piece of tissue in the meat that can be dried, pounded, and used as a really strong thread for sewing. The backstrap and the achille's tendon contain the best quality sinew.
I laid the sinew on a board to dry by the woodstove.
pounding dried sinew from an achille's tendon
Sinew can be used in leather working for sewing items such as knife sheaths
I was really happy to share a dinner of wild meat last night; wild meat from a deer that I helped carry off the road and then process with my own hands, while taking a moment to pause and feel the sadness of mourning its death, and thanking it for nourishing my body.