Heads up, Folks: Pat’s (double m) surgery scheduled for January 21. Mark it down and maybe send another card for post-surgery and long, long road of recovery? You all have been remarkable. Tea pots and tea? Scheduled mailings? Personal stories? Remarkable. I am so proud to know you.
Saturday, we brought home 1/2 a steer all trimmed and packaged, ready for the freezer. This is our second year to have beef from our own stock but the first year to have beef from a steer we raised since its hoofs hit the pasture. It’s an amazing feeling… to know that we cared for that mom, we cared for that calf, I chased that yearling, I chased that steer, I chased that steer again… and now that steer will feed us for a year.
It was never our intention to have beef cattle. We wanted a piece of the Old West and found it in the legacy of the Longhorn. But, you simply cannot keep every calf that is born. Thus, the beef portion began out of responsible necessity. This year, we had 3 steers that we sold to friends and family.
Our steers are processed by the same butcher that handle our deer… or, MY deer– depending on who you ask. Jones’ Meat Market in Saranac, Michigan is a family operation in the truest sense of the word. Grandma takes the phone orders. A son picks up the cattle. Grandpa works and trains the youngsters in the back. The girls all work the counter. They’re maybe the nicest people on the planet. So on Saturday when I stopped by to pick up our share of beef, we chatted a bit as the boys loaded it into the Subaru. Friendly people, they are.
But I saw an extra box. Can nothing in my life be normal?
“Hey- whassat on top there? Doesn’t look like steak.”
Old Man Jones answers, “Nope. That’s the extras.”
“The extras? I, uh, I didn’t order any extras.”
Old Man Jones doesn’t flinch, “Nope. But we can’t keep everything your splits don’t want. So, if the other folks don’t want the extras, then they go home with the farmer.”
He obviously is not talking about me. Or is he?
“But, Mister Jones. I don’t WANT the extras. You talkin’ ’bout the liver and stuff? I don’t want that!”
“Aw, come’ on now… that’s good stuff there! And like I said, it’s yours.”
“So, I have to take home all that liver?!” [insert childish gagging sound here for effect]
“Yep. The heart and tongue are in there, too. Guess I know what you’ll be making for Sunday dinner, eh?”
And really, all I could do was stare at him with my jaw on the floor. Which was fine, since he wasn’t finished.
“An’ the tail’s on the bottom. Don’t forget that.”
“And, Miss Mulder?”
My hand to heaven, that man made his eyes shine with laughter.
“I’m all set for Sunday dinner. Don’t invite me, ok?”