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My husband spent a large part of his day producing sausage from the forequarters of the deer he harvested while hunting with a friend on his historic family land here in Arkansas.

He had processed most of the beast in our small residential kitchen, keeping the prime cuts intact and grinding the rest – there was just this little piece left to attend to. Attempting to make this traditionally tenacious cut of meat a little more tender, was a fascinating and surprisingly simple procedure.

freshly made venison sausages

freshly made venison sausages

Once the flavorful Jalapeño Leek Venison Sausage had been created, I started to plan the dishes I would make to accompany the fresh links – influenced and inspired by the modest potato for a classic combination – while my husband thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the kitchen.


duchess potatoes

1 garlic bulb

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

5 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup cream

2 egg yolks

Heat oven to 425F. Cut off pointed end of garlic bulb, place bulb on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Fold foil to seal. Bake 30 minutes, cool 15 minutes. Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves into a small bowl, and mash with a spoon until smooth.

Place potatoes and remaining 3 tablespoons of salt in a large saucepan with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, boil 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, gently stirring often, 5 minutes or until dry. Remove from heat.

Bring butter and cream to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Do not boil). Remove from heat.

Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and mash until smooth. Add hot cream mixture, egg yolks and roasted garlic, and stir until thoroughly combined. Spoon potato mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe 3-inch wide mounds, 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.


Recipe adapted from Southern Living, December 2015



potato salad

7 potatoes

1/2 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Italian dressing

3/4 cup chopped celery

6 hard-cooked eggs, whites and yolks separated and chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup blue cheese dressing

1/4 cup sandwich spread

freshly ground black pepper

In a pot, combine the potatoes, onion, salt and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Drain. Dice potatoes into a large bowl.

Pour Italian dressing over warm potatoes and onions and chill 2 hours. Add celery and chopped egg whites.

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, mayonnaise, blue cheese dressing and sandwich spread. Fold into potato mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Recipe adapted from The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, December 2015




24 small potatoes

3 tablespoons oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried basil


6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

2/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup stone-ground mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons minced fresh chives

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Heat oven o 425F. Toss together the potatoes, oil, garlic and basil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a shallow roasting pan. Roast potatoes until tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir together the bacon, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, brown sugar, chives and paprika, serve with potatoes.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home, Summer 2016