20 November 2007

On living with a dude who kills things

Someone from church offered us a free turkey today. The catch is, it's alive. Dad is out looking for an ax to borrow so that he can do away with, pluck, and clean the doomed creature for us to eat the day after tomorrow.

There was a time when I would have gotten snotty about this kind of barbarian behavior. But since we moved here and hunting has become a major part of our lives, I've gotten a real education. Two years in a row now we've gotten 60 pounds of meat for the price of equipment (acquired on the cheap) and a hunting license. My husband goes out for a day or two and somehow turns a live deer into nice, neat, paper-wrapped roasts and tenderloins in my freezer, and over the course of the year grinds and seasons the rest of it into bulk Italian sausage. He does all the work himself; nothing goes through a locker (his dad is a meat cutter and taught him the trade). Frankly, I wish I had some skill that would impress him as much as all this impresses me. Needless to say, this saves us LOTS of money, and also helps keep the local deer population under control. It's much more humane than what happens to animals on a killing floor, and more energy efficient than commercial meat production. Liberals have no idea how green rednecks are.

This is icky, bloody, stinky work that most people in our antiseptic society don't have the stomach for, and thus get high and mighty about not doing. How ridiculous for anyone who isn't a vegetarian. It takes a lot more integrity to harvest your own meat than it does to pick it up off a shelf. Don't get me wrong, I still pick up my fair share off a shelf. But I'm glad that it's 60 pounds and a turkey or two less than I would normally be buying.

(Note: we don't feed game to guests, since we know a lot of people are squeamish about it. Eat here without fear.)


Erron said...

My family hunts as well and though we dont process our own meat we do have the same things in our freezer. We usually have a whole lot more than we can eat however, and end up giving a lot of it away. You're right it saves a lot of money and has less of the chemicals and hormones store bought meats can have.

The Gauntlets said...

On a related note, check this out: http://www.offalgood.com/site/

warning: site is very PG13.

elephantschild said...

Oh, dearie, dear, you DO have a skill that impresses him as much as his sausage making...

Whyever do you think he makes all that food up for you? HMMMMMM???

(hee, hee, hee...)

William Weedon said...

Now, Rebekah, I hope my ribbing wasn't taken seriously. Though, I do confess freely, that if *I* had to do the killing, well, beans and rice sound like fine food to me - Atkins or not! :)

The Gauntlets said...

When I was a wee little thing in jolly old Nebraska, my great-grandmother was still wringing chicken's necks and setting the bodies free for one final run before the stock pot. . . oh the good old days of childhood.

So, are you doing the plucking? Let me know how that goes. I've been thinking about chickens a lot here lately.

Reb. Mary said...

Humane, economical, perhaps even delicious...what's not to like? (especially since husband does the icky parts).

But my question is, will the children be out of the vicinity for the beheading, or is this a Life Lesson? Used to be, people grew up knowing exactly where supper came from. I mean, Gauntlets doesn't seem to be irreparably traumatized (by the chicken run, at least :) ). But I know I wouldn't like explaining that to my 3-yr-old...wimp that i am, i'm just glad he hasn't yet made the connection between the cute farm animals we see hereabouts and the food on the table.

Rebekah said...

Ha ha; not at all, WW. Nearly all of my polemics are directed against some former version of myself. (Dad wants me to tell you that we named the star of this Thanksgiving Edna.)

And how true, Elephant's Child. That perpetual parturition thing makes for one endlessly hungry wife!

Regarding plucking: ew. Dad reports that the wild guy he got in the spring parted with his feathers much more willingly than the young lady we received today. RM, the babies were there for everything and a lot less traumatized than I was, although the oldest did declare some of it to be gross. Not sure how I feel about this . . . but I guess it just goes to show that all they know is what you teach them. Huh.

Reb. Mary said...

Yeah, it's probably better for them just to witness the event as a matter of fact than to try to explain it.

"Nearly all of my polemics are directed against some former version of myself."
I just have to say, how true, how true this is for me as well! Though I might add, "some former or deep dark current version of myself." The problem is remembering this when I get all polemical...helps a lot in tempering my speech with the grace that has been extended so undeservedly to me.

Here's hoping that Edna is a worthy centerpiece to your Thanksgiving feast :)

Lutheran Lucciola said...

If anyone has connections with boar hunters in the SF area, send me a message.
Boar and deer would taste good in Italian sausages. You gotta have a bit of pig in those.