December 28th, 2007

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

MEAT!!

I called this morning.  They'd be through packing my meat by mid-morning, they said.  But since Bryan was coming to do the horses' pedicures in mid-morning, I thought I'd put off the trip to San Saba and instead stick around to talk horse hoof stuff with my farrier.  Which was a good thing.   For the time being, Mac is back out of his booties (it's dry, and he's walking sound on dry ground without them, and it's healthy for his feet to be bare if he's not lame.)

So Michael and I set off for San Saba on a brilliant but chilly day, with a strong headwind.  I took the old van (the big one) because even a casual calculation of how much meat we might be hauling home suggested that the smaller one wouldn't like the weight.   (Estimated weight of calf: 900 pounds.  Minimum yield: 50%, and more likely around 60%....so 450-540 pounds of meat...definitely "big van" time.)   Well, they weren't *quite* done packing it into boxes when I got there, and the weight was 547 pounds, and I was really glad I had the big old van when I felt how it handled...the little one would not have been a happy van at all.

Much pleasanter trip than hauling the critter up there--sunny and a dry road, not raining and near-freezing.

It's all in the freezers now.  Visions of endless soups and stews are in my head.

The owner of the place and I chatted about the demise of small, local slaughter and meat processing plants.  They're vanishing from the landscape, making it hard for people who raise their own meat to have it processed by professionals with the right equipment.   Sure, you can do it yourself...but it's hard work that requires some skill to get out  cuts of meat that look like anything you'd recognize.