Monday, October 4, 2010

What's For Dinner Again?

There’s a quarter of a cow in my basement.

Now, it’s not standing there looking bloody and forlorn, wondering where its other bits went, although that would be a sight now, wouldn't it? For one thing it’s in the freezer, where it would be looking mostly cold and chattery. And for another, well, it’s finely divided into meal-sized portions, all neatly wrapped up in butcher paper.

I don’t know where the other bits went. Someone else’s freezer, probably.

Kim has been on a campaign recently to improve the quality of what we eat, which is certainly a worthwhile endeavor even if I can’t understand why a diet of bacon and Pez is insufficient, as it already has all of the major nutritional needs (sugar, fat, dyes, salt) covered.

That noise? That’s just the hum of my blood trying to get through my arteries. When the pressure gets high enough, I can harmonize with the noise.

So okay, maybe we do need better food, then.

For example, we’ve been working to cut down on the high fructose corn syrup recently, as all of the food scientists now tell us that it is Instant Death and if there’s any group of people who have boundless reservoirs of credibility it’s food scientists.

Is coffee good for you these days or bad for you? I can never keep track.

We’ve also been trying to buy more of our food from the local farmer’s markets, on the theory that we are less likely to be sold Instant Death by the actual growers of what we eat than by Big Food Companies. It’s hard to look people in the eye that way.

There are two farmer’s markets in Our Little Town now, as the proprietors of one did not get along with the aspiring entrants of the other, which naturally led to schism bordering on open warfare. But we dodge the occasional missile and shop for good food at both – fresh cheeses from the guy who made them, vegetables, kettle corn (so we’re not entirely improved – sue us), and meats.

One of the farmers at one of the markets runs a deal where you can buy a share of a cow, and come harvest time they’ll take care of all the details and have it ready to go.

So today I took the girls over to the butcher shop, which is nowhere near either of the farmer’s markets, or us, or the farm where the cow lived for that matter. It’s “way over yonder,” a technical term for any distance further than “just down the road” but closer than “you can’t get there from here.” We paid our fees, drove around back, and two large men came out with a pile of frozen beef big enough to blot out the sun.

I wonder if this cow had a name.

The last time we did this, with one of the cows from Kim’s uncle’s farm, the cow was named Norman. And you know what about Norman? He was tasty.

So here we are, with a quarter of a possibly named cow (Bessie? Do people still name cows Bessie, or is that just too stereotypical? Perhaps Bombalurina? Or else Jellylorum?) sitting in our downstairs freezer.

Best not put that barbecue grill away just yet.


Kathleen said...

When I was a kid we raised our own cows for beef. One was named Hamburger.

David said...

Kathleen, that's just not right.

Unknown said...

At least your cow isn't in your back yard, alive, before it's killed.
Deborah has pigs in her backyard.