Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rita's Answer

You asked so be prepared. The following is an explanation to the previous post's #87.

Most of you know I grew up on a farm so naturally we raised a lot of our own food. We grew a substantial garden but we also raised animals; chickens, rabbits, sheep, cows and horses. We often butchered our own chickens. These events were family affairs from Grandpa on down. However, these are not the only animals we ate. OK, we were really poor. If we ate beef it was often because we raised it and killed it ourselves.
When I was 5 we lived near Onaway, AB. My dad was into exotic cattle and one of the breeds we raised was called Chianina (Kee an ee na). These are Italian cattle and have really long legs, a little too long. We had a steer that would just step over the fences and get into the haystack. Dad tried everything to no avail. One day he got so mad at this steer he climbed up the haystack with his rifle and waited for him to step over the fence again. BANG! Dead beef. This animal was huge and we lived way out in the boonies. The only help he had was us. Now, remember, I am the oldest and I was 5. So mom, poor thing, had to help gut and skin this thing and carry it into the house. It was too big. They cut it into quarters and hauled them into the bathtub. It was then my job to pick off all the hair that remained. Don't want hair on a steak.
Unfortunately, the bottom dropped out of the cattle market and we no longer raised beef. Not only that, we were extremely poor now. So instead Dad started hunting deer and elk. Each year he would bring at least one of them home. Poor as we were we couldn't pay for someone else to butcher them. Dad would skin them and hang them in Grandma's garage for 10 days (all red meat is aged like this). Then he would bring it into the house where we would all participate in someway to butcher and wrap the meat. One year I got the fun job of mixing raw venison with pork and seasonings to make sausage, with my bare hands. MMMMM. Not really.
When I was 15 I went hunting with my dad. He and his best buddy Mark Walburger had hoped for a moose tag that year but only I got one. That year I got the joy of starting the entire process from live animal to table top.
So, Rita, does that fill in the blanks for you? 'Cause I'm not sure I can come out of my house now. I had serious social anxieties before. I may have to become an official hermit again.



Never, ever knock self reliance...wonderful post Deanna !

Don goes deer hunting every year...this year he bagged a doe and a buck on his trip to North Carolina...our freezer is full !

Years ago, he hung one of his deer on our kids swing set to drain etc...I call that using what you have to fill your belly !

It's an awful sight to see Deer who have starved and died over the winter because there we too many.

The Morton's

I love it! Now that is skill and culture all wrapped into one. Share it with pride! I used to love watching people skin/gut deer. It was really cool. What I'd give now to have a freezer full of fresh, hormone-free, home grown meat! Living on a dairy farm, we used to complain about having to eat steak so much as a kid.....


AWESOME!! Best answer ever! I smiled the whole time reading but my favorite part was that 15-year-old you schooled your Dad and Mark @. on the moose hunt. You are an amazing woman...yell it from the door and walk bravely outside! You've got guts. (Even if they are all over your bare hands.) Tee hee hee.

The Bullknitter

Whoa. You're my hero.