When I was growing up, my parents often bought a half a beef or the whole thing or my grandparents raised a meat cow and shared the meat with us. Not always but much of the time.
Vince and I bought a half a beef several times in MO. I don’t know why we never did it in Texas but as the meat supply tightens, whether it’s real, imagined or created for a reason, I find it frustrating to do my meal plans, then to go to the store and find that the cuts of meat I need aren’t there or I’m limited in what I can buy. We live far from the store and when we go and can buy two packages of meat, that means if we don’t count on using meat out of the freezer, we’d have to go to the store at least twice a week to get enough. We’re doing good to go twice a month and if I had my way, it would be once every two months. Milk is what controls my trips to the store. If I can get milk that has a three week expiration date, I should be able to get meat for three weeks so I don’t have to go back til I need milk. Not happening these days.
So, we started checking into buying half a cow. You’d think in rural Texas, that wouldn’t be hard to find but it did prove to be almost impossible to find. We had asked a friend who lives in Comanche County and is a farmer himself. He knew one person who sold meat like that but he died a few months ago and his wife sold off all the cows. Last week, the friend called back and said he had talked to a buddy who had been selling his cows at the auction but the price was so low, he was selling them to consumers. He reserves spots at the processor, feeds out the calves, takes them to the processor and we pick it up all cut, wrapped and frozen. I can do that.
He was telling us all about how he raises his cows and he said “You can come check out how I raise them, their pastures and you can even pick out your calf.” Oh, no! I told him . . if I pick out a calf, he’ll get a name and then he’ll come live at our house and we’ll have a pet cow and still no steaks.
He’s already booked out for five months so we had him add our name, sent in our deposit and now I’m anxiously awaiting having a freezer of good quality beef. I’m really hoping we can find a new freezer by then since one of ours is on its last leg and one is threatening to quit working. Not a good place to be with both of them full and no freezers to be found. Hopefully by November there will be some kind of freezer available.