Thank you so much for all your replies - my version (a smattering of all your suggestions). I make two batches, one with very little spice for myself and one that you almost have to alert the fire dept for for the hubby. He's working late (such is the life of a PhD canidate) so it will have plenty of time to simmer. Even bought myself a new Lodge corn muffin pan to use tonight.
Cristeen - we used to have a Buffalo farm just down the road from our house and ate fresh Buffalo all the time. Rumor has it that it was owned by the Seagram's family out of Canada and with all the mad cow stuff they shut down and burned the farm (literally). Now it's expensive and hard to find.