It's been a busy, busy week so far this week! It took us two days to get Stew (Our Jersey cross Steer) butchered, cut up, and into the freezer. It's so much harder to butcher beef, than the deer we like to get every fall...mostly cause they are just SO MUCH BIGGER, which makes it harder to handle.
We had been waiting cause every time we thought about butchering him, it would warm up...well guess what, it warmed up this week too...but least we managed to get him done, without it getting to hot. LOL I'm just glad that's done now, so we don't have to keep dreading that chore (although it's one of the chores I love to have to do...cause I do LOVE having homegrown beef! LOL) I'm also happy to know we won't have to buy beef for several months now!
Our meat freezer is now FULL of Beef and Venison! Totally Full...well, might be able to squeeze a tiny bit more into it, but not a lot. Mom and Dad also took home a lot (almost half) of the ground beef (and a couple roasts) (And Kirk went home with some ribs when he left Monday afternoon) and if they hadn't, I have no idea how we would have gotten that whole cow into our freezer, after putting our part of 6 deer in there. LOL This steer was BIGGER than the last one we butchered a couple years ago...and I'm SO THANKFUL for my parents and Kirk's help! It would have been a lot harder if we had had to do it all ourselves. Praise be to YAH for Family and Friends!
We ended up with several packages of ribs, roasts, steaks and almost 90 lbs of hamburger, which may get us at least 10 months down the road without having to buy hamburger... that's pretty darn good I'd say, especially since my parents took home almost that much hamburger themselves. Course we also have the neck bones for soup bones, ox tail, heart and tongue, and I'm REALLY looking forward to eating that tongue, as it's our favorite part of the cow! it's just to bad they only have one, cause it never goes far enough. LOL
We had hoped to have another freezer, (the one that was left here in the house when we bought it) but we plugged it in, and it didn't get cold...so guess it doesn't work. I was going to put a bunch of bones in there, and some fat...(and meat if we needed to) but...since it isn't working, I've had to change my strategy a bit.
Instead of freezing bones to slowly make broth out of over the next year, when I have the time to...I have to do it all NOW. They will only keep in our extra refrigerator for so long. So...I borrowed a couple crock pots from my Mom, and using mine too, got some broth started yesterday, while we were finishing up getting Stew into our freezer. Hopefully over the next week or two, I can get enough beef broth made, to carry us through the next year. Not sure if I have enough bones saved to make enough for that long, but hubby was tired of messing with the cow...and with the lack of room, I finally said ok I'll make do with the bones he had already cut up for me. LOL
Bone broth is really good for you, especially from the bones of grass fed cows (which stew was)...so I'm thrilled to have whatever I do manage to get out of these bones. Gotta go searching for more jars though, or if all else fails run over and borrow some of my Mom's. I know we have more in the Attic Shed...it's just finding them right now. LOL I'm hoping to need at LEAST another couple dozen (had a couple dozen downstairs already).
I'm also in the middle of rendering tallow this morning! It would probably have gone a lot faster had we used our brain, and put the fat through the grinder yesterday, after we did the hamburger, but...we were tired, and just wanting to get done...so we didn't think about it. I didn't want to do it by myself today, and hubby is busy outside, so I'm trying it in chunks instead. It's melting...slowly. Wish I could have done it in several crackpots too (So I didn't have to watch it so much)...but since we couldn't freeze the bones, I have all of them busy with the broth. LOL
Not quite sure what I'll do with the tallow right now, it can be used for cooking...or soap making....or candles...I've not been using tallow in my soap, so doubt I will use it that way, but the candles sounds interesting. Maybe I should see if I can find out what the Amish do with theirs...since they probably have more experience with it...it's not something we've had much of over the years (yet) so I haven't used it much.
I also just got some summer sausage into the oven a little while ago. I found a seasoning packet at the Amish, so had to try it...hopefully it turns out yummy, cause I did 5 lbs of it! *giggle* Course, I'm pretty sure hubby will enjoy it, even if I decide I don't really like it...cause he loves that kind of thing, and isn't near as picky! LOL
Needless to say, even though the "butchering" part is over, (Praise God!!) I am still pretty busy getting the rest of the "cow" stuff done. It may be a lot of work, but it's so satisfying to grow our own food, as well as process it ourselves.
Living the Simple Life, isn't always "simple" but it sure is a wonderful life! :-))