Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Conclusion of the Butcher's Wife

It has been 11 days since I last posted and I have to say I have missed it.  To update you on our "situation", to be honest, it all went smoothly.  The weather definitely worked in our favor with two mornings in the single digits.  One of my dear friends, really sister, from college, Aggie,  and her fiance came and helped which was a blessing.  She was able to keep us fed and I went back and forth between the house and the barn to wrap meat.  She even cooked up two PW recipes for me so I could stay on track!  The first recipe was for her Creamy Mashed Potatoes.  There are not words to describe how amazing they are and you folks that don't have her cookbook yet are oh so lucky the recipe is on her site! 

I should go back a bit and tell you that my oldest daughter is involved in our counties 4-H Plant ID/Range Team.  They had a contest on Saturday of last week, which due to the week's events, proved most inconvenient.  I would also like you to know that I am VERY active in my kids extra-curricular activities, either leading or assisting with most 4-H projects.  So, Friday evening, after my husband looked at the 7 Day Forecast, he says that there is no way we can go to the competition.  After petitioning that our oldest was on a team that was counting on her, I was given the go ahead to call my mother-in-law, Granny, to see if she could escort Mini Me to the 4-H competition.  To give you a history on Mini Me's Plant ID career, she started last year and was the youngest (by about 4 years) on the team.  Not only was she new to 4-H, but the Plant ID project takes years to master.  So, most of her scores last year were between 25-60 (out of 400).  Her first competition this year was at the State Fair of Texas, where she scored a 96.  So close to breaking 100, but yet, so far away.   She has been working really hard on her grasses and characteristics, so I somewhat expected her to break 100, but barely.  My mother-in-law texts me to let me know that she scored a 163!  So, I politely demand request that Aggie bake her PW's Red Velvet Cake.  I was wearing coveralls and was later told by my husband that they made me unusually "raunchy" in the mouth.  To set the tone of that comment, I merely asked Longhorn where he was really from.  It certainly wasn't Texas because he requested non-sweet tea with his dinner!  Apparently, that little comment deems me "raunchy"....who'da thought?

Mini Me has been eye-balling the Red Velvet cake for weeks.  So, I promptly leave Aggie unattended in my kitchen.  I have no worries, after all, we lived together in college.  Later that evening, we sit down to dinner, where Aggie comments, under her breath, that she really doesn't like my Bosch mixer.  I have to laugh, because it is a true workhorse.  Made to knead the toughest of bread doughs, which is what I typically use it for.  Being that I predominantly use if for bread, of course the dough hook is the attachment that stays on it.  At the dinner table, Aggie proceeds to say how the mixer didn't do a thorough job of mixing the cake batter and I begin to snicker.  Somewhat softly at first, but as sad as it is to admit, I may have actually snorted later.  Even though the Red Velvet Cake was thrown together with a dough hook it had a great flavor....a little dense, but yummo!  And, as an extra suprise, it gets better the longer it sits. 

Back to the butchering of the steer.  We got most all the processing done by Sunday (when I had another Pampered Chef Show 3 hours away!).  OK, fine, honestly, I left my husband alone on Sunday where he finished the last cuts.  On Monday, we packaged the last steaks and ran the last batch of meat through "The Grinder".  Speaking of "The Grinder", we found an awesome commercial grinder at Cabela's which Aggie's fiance, Longhorn, brought us!  It was another moment to see two men and their man toy.  They chose the 1 HP model which I can honestly say never even balked at the meat we were throwing it's way. 

We have sampled our grass fed beef and it's wonderful.  It is such a blessing to have a deep freeze that is full of wonderful steaks, roasts and ground beef.  It is also wonderful to know exactly how the steer was taken care of....antibiotic free and hormone free.  I have been asked by several friends if it was exhausting or terrible and to be honest it wasn't bad.  The only glitch in the whole process was that I had two Pampered Chef shows scheduled and Mini Me's Plant ID Contest.  Would we do it again?  In a heartbeat.....that's just how we roll!

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