TCS JV Runners Up in ICSGA Tourney

From TCS AD, Roger Lein:

_DSC5260_edited-1On Tuesday in Sharpsburg, Georgia, Trinity Christian School’s JV boys basketball team entered the ICSGA’s 1A South Region tournament as the #3 seed based on their 7-3 record in region play.  In the second game of the afternoon Trinity faced homestanding #2 seed Heritage Christian School and came away with a 34-15 victory.  William Patton paced the Eagles with 9 points and 4 rebounds.  Ellis Godwin followed with 6 points and 3 assists, and Ben Presley added 6 ponts.  In the championship game, Trinity fell to The Campus from Peachtree City, Georgia, by the score of 39-16.  The Eagles were led by Lee Givens’ 8 points in their final game, after which Patton and Godwin were named to the all region team.  Coach Norman Godwin’s JVs finished the season 17-8 overall and 8-4 in ICSGA play

G4 Powermac Hackintosh

Today’s post is especially for blog follower Jim Miller. Sorry I didn’t wait until 11:00 PM, Jim so your email notification would get you up. This is my newest Hackintosh. I actually built this machine last summer and it has been running fast, efficiently, and without a single problem so far. I built it primarily for HD video and photo editing. For those of you who may not know, a Hackintosh is essentially a home built computer made with PC hardware but with software and firmware “hacks” that allow Apple’s Mac operating system, OSX to run on it. Ordinarily a PC would not be able to run OSX, but by selectively choosing various combinations of parts and using hacks found on tonymacx86.com you can build a Hackintosh. Why would you want to do that? The primary reason for me was to save money. It is definitely possible to build a better computer than you could buy for much less money. If Apple even made a computer with these specs, it would carry  a retail pricetag of around $4,000, and that would not include the sound system, monitor, keyboard, or mouse. This computer cost me around $800 including the sound system and peripherals. The second motivator is simply for the fun and challenge. It is not for the faint of heart or for anyone who simply expects to plug in a computer and have it work. Finally, with a little creativity and imagination you can build a unique computer to your own specs that is unlike anyone else’s.

My first Hackintosh was a mini built in a Commodore 64 case and Commodore 1541 floppy case. You can see that one here if you’d like.

Anyway, this one is built in a seriously modified old retro Apple Quicksilver G4 Powermac case. I decided to capitalize on the clear acrylic look of the handles by making the side panel clear, adding a clear pro keyboard and mouse, and a set of acrylic Harmon Kardon soundsticks and subwoofer. A pair of modded-to-function pro speakers will follow at some point too.

Once I saw that the pro mouse had a red LED in it, I also knew I had to make the whole thing have a translucent red “Candy Apple” look.

I did not document the build because there are already a lot of documented G4 mods on the web and I was anxious to get on with it. If anyone has any questions though, I’ll be happy to answer the best I can.

Here is a link to a video of it running…(the first part of the video is very dark because I wanted to demonstrate the red LED lights in the case. It gets lighter part way through. )

Here is the build…
Gigabyte GA-Z68M-D2H motherboard
OCZ 600 Watt PSU
3.4 GHZ Intel i5 quad core processor
OCZ 120 GB solid state drive
3 TB hard drive storage
16 GB RAM
Sony Optiarc slot load CD DVD drive
Dynex Firewire card
EVGA nvidia GeForce 1024 MB video card (1GB)
Apple Pro Mouse and Pro Keyboard
Asus 23″ LCD
Harmon Kardon soundsticks and sub woofer (sound and look awesome – video does not do them justice)
Silenx 120 mm fan with red LEDs
Red LED light strip
Side of chassis cut away and paint removed from acrylic side panel.
The apples on the side of the case are translucent red (candy apple) with a green leaf.
Running OSX Lion via Unibeast and Multibeast … THANKS TONYMAC!

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Competition in Christendom

ImageThe following post was written by TCS senior Micah Weissinger…

In today’s culture, media and entertainment play a major part of everyone’s lives. I can hardly think of anyone that does not enjoy being entertained! One of the biggest forms of entertainment and personally one of my favorites is sports. If you enjoy sports at all, you are bound to find a channel for it on TV. Besides just watching sports on TV, you can always read about it or listen to it on the radio. Like I said before, sports as entertainment is huge. For many of us, the enjoyment of sports goes beyond just watching. We like to actually play sports. For a lot of people, it starts at a very young age. You’ve got T-ball for four year olds, dance for the toddler with pink bows in her hair and soccer can start basically as early as the kid can walk. For the kids who learn to love “their” sport, it usually leads to them playing competitively as they get older. Competitively being the key word. This word seems to bring a lot of questions and attention. First off, is competition even healthy for children? Anna Katzman, a clinical nurse specialist seems to think so. She writes: “Competition is, simply good:  It’s natural (as did our biological ancestors, we still compete for survival in some cases, say, for example, survival of a business); it’s what our country was founded upon; Competition can promote creativity, provide a child with a goal; it can teach children how to lose and lose graciously; it’s fun; it can be rewarding; it can help kids stand out as individuals”. I would say all those things sound pretty good. Well, Mr. Alfie Kohn, author of 12 books about human behavior, including No Contest: The Case Against Competition, claims: The “very phrase ‘healthy competition’ is actually a contradiction in terms… Some things are inherently destructive. Competition, which simply means that one person can succeed only if others fail, is one of those things.” So in short, Mr. Kohn is saying that winning because others failed is a bad thing. If we look deeper into this idea though, I think we might find out quite differently.

At a very young age, we are able to see the desire in kids to win or beat an opponent in almost anything – from who can brush their teeth the fastest to who can hit the baseball the farthest, the desire to win is there from the beginning. In Corinthians, we read “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” That to me sounds like strong support for competition from a Christian viewpoint. What about if you’re not a Christian though? If you just look at the world, you can quickly see that it runs on competition. Can you even imagine what it would be like if there wasn’t competition for anything? I sure can’t.

As I said before, we are born with the desire to compete and we see that come out in almost everything. As with all desires though, they can be corrupted. There is a time and place for everything and when competition is not used in the right way or right time, things can most definitely get out of hand. This could be called unhealthy competition which is when your reaction to others’ success is negative, rather than inspiring and motivating to you. Unhealthy competition is where you hope others have limitations because you are afraid your limitations will cause you to lose unless they are somehow held back. Unhealthy competition is where you associate shame with losing rather than see your own nobility for trying.

Healthy competition on the other hand encourages everyone involved to push themselves harder than they would have without competition, and as a result they achieve more personal or professional growth whether they won or lost. Healthy competition expands the boundaries of what you believed was possible for yourself.  There are some serious benefits to this kind of healthy competition especially when these values are instilled at a young age. When learned at a young age, you can begin to excel at things you love while still helping others to do the same. It also helps with the transition of moving out into the world where literally everything is a stiff competition. Besides these few things, there are endless health benefits to kids staying active through sports and let’s not be quick to forget how much fun sports are in the first place!

So now, let’s go back and look at competition in sports for kids. In dealing with healthy competition, there are only positives. There are so many different sports and so many things you can do with each and every one. A child can learn valuable life lessons, stay healthy and active and have an absolute blast while doing it all!

TCS Geography Bee

Submitted by student journalist, Charlsie Nacrelli:

Congratulations to Brady Watts for winning Trinity’s annual Geography Bee. Brady is an eighth grader with a love for learning. This year’s Bee was once again hosted by Mrs. Ellen Sistrunk with the assistance of Mrs. Sarah Ingram. The anxiety could be felt in the room as the entire high school gathered to watch. Much like Mrs. Sistrunk’s geography class, the Bee covered various questions ranging from countries to state territories and rivers to national landmarks. Surviving this Bee was not an easy task, and we are extremely proud of those who made it to the final round: Amelia Graddy, Gray Walker, Michael Key, Anna Leuenberger, Ben Presley, Cameron Walker, Dixon Leuenberger, and Brady Watts.

Biblical Hospitality

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Written by McKenzie Warmouth

As born and bred Southerners, nobody understands the term “Southern Hospitality” better than we do: Its cooking incessantly for any and everybody, treating an absolute stranger like a long lost brother and immediately offering him a cool glass of sweet tea, its eating lunch at a different persons house every Sunday afternoon. Southern hospitality is a wonderful thing – something Southerners are known for and proud of…

But is there a deeper calling that we as Christians have to be hospitable? A calling that requires of us a sacrifice that won’t always fill us with Southern pride?

When we look deeply into what the Bible requires of us in regards to hospitality, we must see that it isn’t always a comforting feeling. Hospitality, in fact, requires us often to give up of our comfort. So what is it that God wants us to focus on when it comes to hospitality?  A familiar verse in Philippians reminds us that hospitality is really only a means by which we can demonstrate selflessness. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

What does this verse tell us about hospitality? It reminds us that God blesses us most when we sacrifice ourselves in order to bless others. That is the true meaning of hospitality – and if that is demonstrated through fried chicken and sweet tea, then it is a wonderful thing. However, there is often so much more to it. Sometimes, its giving our of house to someone who needs a place to stay, sometimes its sacrificing our afternoon to visit the sick or the physically and spiritually needy.

A few years ago, my parents decided that they would devote Saturday evenings to taking my grandparents, extended family, or church family members in and fellowshipping with them the evening before the Sabbath. As much joy as my family always ends up receiving from this, it would be far, far easier not to do it at all then it is to do so. It requires that my family wake up at a decent hour on Saturday mornings, that my mom spend her entire day off cleaning the house from top to bottom, and cooking a dinner fit more for royalty that it is for my family. It requires her to plan a dessert and a bible study or movie night. It requires that I finish my homework and various chores for my family before I make other plans. It requires that I spend more time with our guests then in my room or with my homework or friends, or doing whatever else I would rather be doing. It requires sacrifice, something my mom demonstrates and teaches me to demonstrate every weekend as she diligently prepares from the hour she wakes up until the hour our company leaves. Yes, she’d probably rather sleep in, she’d probably rather get her day off and do as she pleases… But, she understands the importance of giving, and, every weekend, she is blessed in return through the fellowship of those she gives to.

The very most important element of hospitality is the blatantly obvious one for Christians – the one in which we do what we are always told to do – imitate Christ. Were I to describe hospitality to someone who had never heard of it, I’d use the words “Hospitality is when you take someone in and treat him selflessly” – The key word being “selflessly” as we’ve discussed. But what is it that we do selflessly? – TAKE SOMEONE IN. If we think about it, these are the key phrases as well that sum up the very essence of Jesus and what He means to us. What is our salvation based upon? Everything we are, everything we stand and fight for, is based upon our faith that Jesus was selfless enough to take us in, and not just as guests, but as permanent residents. We think that cooking and cleaning is a sacrifice to be made in preparations for our guest’s arrival. Think of what Jesus had to do to prepare for us! We certainly couldn’t have made it to heaven if He hadn’t prepared us, if He hadn’t created a pathway that lead us there. He didn’t give up His comfort or His Saturday, He gave up His life. He didn’t fix us dinner, hand us sweet tea, and send us on our way, He fixed our broken souls, handed us eternity, and sent us to paradise. Southern hospitality is a fun and lovely thing by which all Southerners should grow up learning to abide. But we must realize that hospitality goes deeper than our ancestral roots and Southern pride. True hospitality is a sacrifice of oneself in imitation of and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Matthew wrote, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? …

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Chuck’s Venison Stew

ImageMy friend Chuck Beams sent a variation of this recipe to me a couple months ago. We had it one night and it was so absolutely delicious that I had to make it again and share it with the world. There are so many wonderful meals that can be made with lean, delicious, healthy, all-natural venison. This is a perfect example. Whenever anyone says that venison is tough, gamey, or no good unless it is ground into burger, it is because it has not been prepared properly ahead of time and during the cooking process. With this meal the meat was as tender and tasty as you can possibly imagine.

Begin with some nice cuts of venison stew meat, tenderloin, or backstrap. Tonight I used stew meat cut from the hind quarter, shoulder, and neck. I have used backstrap before but I probably won’t again. I’d rather save those best cuts for other recipes. Trim every trace of fat and silver skin from the meat so that you have only lean red meat.

Put a 1/2 cup of water and two beef bullion cubes in a large crockpot. Add a layer of onions (I used both sweet and red this time) to the crockpot. Next, add a layer of mushrooms. I use baby portabellas. (Here in Opelika, Wrights has the best price.) Now, what would REALLY be perfect is to use Morels. Unfortunately they don’t grow in Alabama as far as I know. (Consider this a shameless appeal for anyone up north who wants to send me some.) Now add a layer of meat, followed by a layer of onion, another layer of mushrooms, and another layer of meat. Keep adding layers until you run out of ingredients. Along the way I also add a bay leaf to each layer. Now add some coarse ground pepper and maybe some rosemary, followed by a cup of white wine or white cooking wine. Finally, dump a whole family-sized can of cream of mushroom soup on top of everything. Crank the crockpot up to high and walk away for about 8 or 9 hours, then turn it down to low for an hour. What you will have for dinner that night will be a delicious hearty meal to serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

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Try this and tell me what you think. Share your favorite wild-game stew recipe with me now and I’ll give it a try too.

Liberty: Blessing or Entitlement?

ImageOne of the things that I love most about my job is getting to observe classes. I try to get into at least one class per day, or at least three per week. Last Friday I had the privilege of sitting in on Mrs. Mayfield’s Rhetoric class. The seniors each presented a 4-minute persuasive speech. Afterwards I asked some of them if they would mind sharing them with the world through my blog. One by one they are trickling in. Here is the one my daughter wrote. A thoughtful treatise on submission to government by McKenzie Warmouth.

Just the word “government” is more than enough to make most Americans cringe. We spend a significant fraction of our days engaging in heated discussions about rights being taken away from us, becoming overwhelmingly frustrated about new controlling government policies and institutions that America seems to be blindly falling for, and watching youtube videos of sure proof of government conspiracies perfectly designed to gain ultimate control. And there has been no topic more frequently discussed in the past few weeks than the horrible debate about gun control. Not even to mentions things like government encroachment into our education, banking, internet systems and student loans – all of it is more than enough to make us wonder why and how we got ourselves into this situation. America was born in liberty – a liberty that we may not have too much longer and have already begun to lose. However, as much as I believe in the freeing principles upon which America began, I have been recently reminded of this familiar verse in Romans: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

You’ve heard it over and over and over – we are to submit to our authorities. We’ve been taught to do it all of our lives – first to our parents, then to our Sunday School teachers and classroom authorities. And now that we are in a position to make a difference in our nation, we must realize the submission we must have to our government.

I’m sure you are wondering if I’ve really just thrown out to you a bunch of aggravating information about the government’s undeniable attempts at taking away your freedom, then spent the last few moments giving you Bible references about why you should be okay with this? Maybe I did, but I think that, for Christians, we have to go quite a bit deeper. Where do we come in when God tells us to submit to a government that’s so against Him?

In Jesus’ time, the Roman government was the worst of the worst. Jesus’ government was the controlling and freedom stripping government that we fear today.  However, Jesus never said one word about it! He never once ranted as his freedoms were taken. In fact, He knew that they were going to be. He knew that ours were going to be. He said, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” He said to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. As our freedoms are being taken away, we must not be tempted to sin in rebellion. We must remember that, as His judgment falls upon our nation, God commands us to love His discipline.

So what are we to do?!?! Does God really want us to stand aside and let tyranny overturn America and sin run rampant? This is where Christians come in in a way that others cannot. God wants us to fight for what is right, doesn’t He? Sure He does, but let’s fight the right battles! Lets fight against the sin for which we are being disciplined and not against the discipline itself. We have no right to earthly liberties apart from Christ and if He sees fit to take them away, then that is something we should not fight against, but rest in. Lets, for a moment, turn our attention away from our personal liberties and look to what God’s judgment is for. What if the 8,731,568 people in the US who presently possess handgun permits were as passionate about putting a stop to abortion as they are about keeping their handgun rights? If all those people thought two seconds about abortion, or homosexual marriage, or any of the other sins for which we are being judged, could they not realize that those sins might be at the root of America’s problems. Maybe its time for us to realize that sin is where we find our real battles, and freedom is only a pleasant blessing that accompanies harmony with God. I am not saying that America isn’t a blessed and beautiful nation when freedom reigns. Free is how America was born and how she thrives. But freedom is just that – a blessing, not a guarantee. And if freedom is taken away for something we’ve done, its time to fix the problem, not rebel against the discipline. My mom tells her second graders every day that obedience leads to freedom. If they color inside the lines the first time she asks them to, then they don’t have to spend their recess time re-doing their work. They have that time to be free. Obedience to God will lead to a freedom for Americans. When we learn to walk in submission to Him, we will elect wise leaders and pass biblical laws that will set us free. Christians have a head start in this area. We know that our true and ultimate liberties in Christ have no limits and cannot be taken away – even if our guns are. We will ultimately have more freedom in our spiritual life than even the most perfect earthly government could give us. Christians then have rather a noble calling if we are to remind the world that obedience leads to freedom. A calling that, if fulfilled, will lead us back to the liberty everyone is so ready to fight for.

For, as the Psalmist reminds us, “The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. Lord, do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart. But those who turn to crooked ways the Lord will banish with the evildoers. Peace be on Israel….”

The Danger of eBooks

imgresOne of the things that I love most about my job is getting to observe classes. I try to get into at least one class per day, or at least three per week. Last Friday I had the privilege of sitting in on Mrs. Mayfield’s Rhetoric class. The seniors each presented a 4-minute persuasive speech. Afterwards I asked some of them if they would mind sharing them with the world through my blog. One by one they are trickling in. Here is the first one I got. A thoughtful treatise on eBooks by Elizabeth Patton.

“Books. They began as stone or clay tablets, and then animal hide or papyrus scrolls. Later, they were carefully copied onto parchment and gathered into volumes. With the invention of the printing press, they became available to everyone. And now, as the world relies more and more on technology, electronic books are the “next step” in book evolution. But although books are now cheaper and more accessible than ever before, is this change necessarily for the better? We need to carefully examine both the pros and cons of electronic books before coming to a conclusion.

(Besides the fact that some modes of electronic reading can strain your eyes…)

Reading an e-book can cause you to lose the context of the book. Books become reduced to percentages and other intangibles and are no longer distinct entities. They all become the same, with no difference between books. Because of this, it can be harder to remember what you have read. Since there are less distinctions such as columns and page numbers, it is harder for your mind to take a mental handhold of the information. Even “turning the page” of an e-reader requires more brain activity than turning the page of a printed book, which can break your focus and also make it harder to remember what you have just read.

There are also problems with the physical aspects of an e-reader. Although it is easier to purchase some books, and you can do it anywhere, e-readers must be charged and there can be delays due to Internet connection in some cases and bugs or viruses. And though they are lighter and more portable, e-readers are also more fragile than standard books and are subject to dropping or getting wet.

One of the most significant concerns about e-books is that reading is no longer a private matter. Although it may seem that reading an e-book is more private because no one else can see what you are reading, this is not the case. Most types of e-readers track what books you purchase, and many also record how long it takes you to turn the pages and therefore how fast you read; whether you read straight through, read in small chunks, take long breaks, or read the ending first; where you are reading it (based on a GPS system in the e-reader); and anything you have underlined or highlighted. (For example, the most highlighted quotation on Kindle is from The Hunger Games: “Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.” This phrase has been highlighted by 17,784 readers.) Although most of this personal information is only used in a mass form (e.g., to see what kind of books people read through quickly or whether readers are stopping after a certain page), your personal data can be linked to you directly, and companies are authorized to submit it to law enforcement officials if necessary.

As I have mentioned before, several of the commonly cited benefits of electronic books are the easy transportation, the convenience of being able to buy a new book anywhere, and the lower impact on the environment. These virtues cannot be easily ignored; and convenience is often a determining factor in many issues. Ultimately, you and the other readers of the world will have to decide how e-books compare to traditional books. Discern carefully; the future of books, and therefore the world, is in your hands.”

The Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates

I thought this was an excellent video blog by Doug Wilson and Ben Merkle on a Christian’s response to gun control and tyrannical government from a biblical perspective. I am ashamed to say that I was unfamiliar with the Doctrine of Interposition (Lesser Magistrates) until last  evening, but it is something that we should all be educated about, or at least mindful of. It is a beautiful Christian doctrine first and foremost, and something we can claim at the local and state level, politically speaking. After watching this short video, I’d recommend the following link for a good read on the doctrine of interposition. From it you can read many historical examples from  both the Bible and the church, including from Calvin’s Institutes, as well as the political application of the doctrine.

http://publisherscorner.nordskogpublishing.com/2008/01/eidsmoe-john-doctrine-of-interposition.html

Corned Venison Yumminess

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After my little stroll down sentimental street a couple weeks ago I figured it was time to tell you what I did that was useful with those “notches in the stock”. After the obligatory aging period I made them into all sorts of tasty things that my family could eat and share with other venison aficionados. More on that later.

One of our favorite meals in the Warmouth household is corned beef. We don’t have it very often but it is always a top choice when a birthday rolls around and mama takes requests for the birthday meal.

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The roasts just before cooking.

This year I decided to try my hand at corned venison. I had never “corned” a roast before and even though it was taking a bit of chance jumping right in with venison, I decided to give it shot. For good or bad, it is not unusual for me to think, “if they can do it, surely I can too.” And yes, for the record, that attitude has gotten me into trouble, hurt, and embarrassed at times. It’s caused me to spend twice as much time and twice as much money at times than if I was, well, less confident, and more conservative, but it’s also given me plenty of great experiences too. For that matter, the trouble, pain, stitches, and embarrassment have generally been good for me too. But I digress… back to spiced deer meat.

After a fastidious trimming of a five pound hindquarter cut, I was left with two beautiful roasts that looked as if they would make a delicious meal. The first order of business was to obtain a bag of Morton’s Tender Quick, which was easy enough to do following a quick inquiry with Jimmy Wright of Wright’s Grocery. Jimmy ordered it for me and even delivered it to my office. That is service you won’t get anywhere but from a hometown grocery store.

Having received that, I mixed 5 tablespoons of it with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, a tablespoon of coarse ground black pepper, a teaspoon of paprika, 4 crumbled bay leaves, a teaspoon of allspice, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of pickling spice. I pulverized the spice mixture with a mortar and pestle, rubbed it all over the venison roasts, put the roasts a tupperware container and let it sit at 38 degrees for one week, turning it once a day. Last night I consulted with my wife on how she cooks a corned beef, then got up this morning and put the meat, a chopped up sweet onion, two chopped up potatoes, a bullion cube, a half cup of water, and a whole buch of baby carrots in the crock pot. I tied up the roasts to keep them together nicely. I don’t know if that was necessary but it gave it a pro look. I wanted to put cabbage in with it, but we didn’t have any and I didn’t have time to get some.  By dinner time tonight the smell in the house was driving everybody crazy. As I dived into the pot with tongs and a spoon I thought of  the words of Clark Griswold, “If this tastes as good as it looks, I think we are all in for a very big treat.” I just hoped that the ensuing table scene would turn out better than the Griswold’s. We kept an eye on Aggie.

The verdict? Delicious. Really. Everybody loved it. Even my wife, who is not a huge venison fan thought it was excellent. It was probably not as good as corned beef, but mainly because it was probably 99% lean, whereas corned beef has a lot of fat. My only criticism was that it had a bit of an anise taste to it and I am not too fond of that flavor. I’m not sure where that came from. Maybe the pickling spice had some in it. Nobody else could taste it but me. Corned venison was hardly any trouble to make, even though it requires a bit of delayed gratification, so I will definitely do it again.

Anybody have tips or ideas on making corned beef or venison? I’d love to hear from you and try out your ideas on the next go-around.

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