No, Bart Simpson would not approve of that.
But, you can ‘half’ a cow. And that is what we did!
This past weekend, we bought half a cow (aka a ‘side’ – but I like saying ‘half a cow’) from the A&M Meat & Science Center out in College Station, TX.
Now cows are very big animals and so a side of cow takes up a lot of space!! And that means all these packages of meat are taking over our deep freezer in the garage. Everything just barely fit!
So what does a half of cow actually equate to, you might be wondering? We were able to get 232 pounds of meat which was projected to include 1 brisket, 2 skirt steaks, 3 top blade steaks, 5 chuck roasts, 3 clod roasts, 12 ribeye steaks, 11 top loin steaks, 5 top sirloin steaks, 4 tenderloin steaks, 2 round tip roasts, 5 bottom round roasts, 9 cutlets, and approximately 72 packages of ground beef. Yes, SEVENTY TWO packages of ground beef (each weighing 2 lbs).
You could really say ‘holy cow’ here and mean it!
Our neighbors were outside in the yard when Rob was unloading the meat and it was fun to hear all the banter they were tossing around. They all had some great ideas on how to best go through all this beef before a whole year goes by. Rob said we could just set an empty coffee can in the garage and they could come over and drop their change in to take out whatever they might need for dinner. And then another person thought it would be a great opportunity for our girls to become little entrepreneurs and, instead of the typical lemonade stand, they could set up a meat stand out on the corner of the neighborhood and get a taste for some business management. It would be great to sell some of it off; because really, what in the world am I going to do with 144 pounds of ground beef!!! And in the mean time, I cannot fit anything else in my freezer.
The girls had different expectations of what their daddy was going to return home with when we told them he was going to get a cow. Sweet Gracie got really excited and asked if she could pet it when he came home. Well…. I hated to disappoint her, but there was no point beating around the bush with this kind of stuff. So I very matter-of-factly stated, no baby – it will be a dead cow, one that has been processed into lots and lots of meat for us to eat (I was smiling rather big to make this sound just as good as bringing home a live cow). This obviously turned a happy Gracie into a rather grumpy Gracie and she responded with “I don’t eat cow” as she crossed her arms in front of her body and scowled in disgust at this atrocity. I had to raise a doubtful eyebrow and ask ‘oh really?’ Then I ran a few questions by her where she answered yes, she did eat chickens/yes, she did eat fish/yes, she did eat bacon/ so yes, she did eat meat. And then an answer of yes, she did hamburgers. All this finally forced her to concede that yes, she did eat cow. I know that doesn’t sound very nice, but these are life lessons folks; best teach ’em early!
And also worth mentioning (which is a bit of a disappointment to Rob), we are not eating red meat every day of the week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! This purchase was still within our moneysaving-frugal style of living and we will be reducing our grocery budget for many months to come to compensate for the purchase. I have been one to ration the beers Rob can have per week and the handful of almonds he can snack on when he comes home from work, so I will also now be restricting his consumption in the meat department (because as of Friday we literally have our very own meat department). I am not really that mean about it, but nobody better mess with my grocery budget. It is one of the few things I feel I have control over in this crazy unpredictable world (but that is for another blog…)
Anyways, we have a lot of cow meet! So if any folks have great recipe ideas, please pass them on!!