Friday, April 1, 2011

Hunting and Gathering

Yesterday was a gorgeous, sunshiny, warm day. Well, warm for the last day of March in Illinois. So that meant it was a day to be spent driving around in a pickup truck. And, while I did that, I did some errands.

We were out of milk. So I went to a local farm and picked some up. (Yes, my refrigerator could use a cleaning. Are you volunteering?)

We have been running low on beef, so I had arranged to buy a half beef. (I have two friends who raise yummy, grass-fed beef. I admit to some guilt for not buying from them. But, ladies, this is local beef, raised a mile from my home. Am I forgiven?) I picked up the whole beef, conveniently wrapped and frozen for me, brought it home, gave half to the friend who "went in" on this cow with me, divided it into sorted boxes...and then had a moment of concern when I realized I might not have room for all this beef. We have a large chest freezer, a half chest freezer, and two refrigerators with freezers, so not having enough room is a high class, silly problem. But I was able to pack it all in.

And in.

By the way, here's a tip for you who buy beef by the half. The second major problem people have with buying beef this way (the first being paying for the beast) is ending up with a box of ground beef at the bottom of the freezer, having used all the "fun cuts" (steaks, roasts, etc) first. Maybe this idea will help. When I bring home the beef, I empty all the boxes and make a count of each cut. I then divide these into three or four mixed boxes, which I stack in the freezer. I use up the top box before opening the lower. That way I have an assortment of cuts available to me all the time. I have further refined this by making a "summer box" (heavy on steaks and ground beef for grilling) a "fall box" (more cutlets for frying than steaks) and a "winter box" (roasts, etc, for those comfort foods.) If that's helpful, you're welcome. If not, eh, you have your own style; good for you.

I also stocked up on some necessary items.

There's some new varieties in there; we'll be experimenting over the next few days. I also bought myself a special treat.

Today is supposed to be grey with a "wintry mix" falling from the skies. So far, they're half right; no sunshine to be seen. Looks like a shoe shopping day!

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