Friday, September 25, 2009


Last week I had a lovely table in the restaurant... they ordered a great meal with all my favorites from the current menu.
They were super pleasant, had a great bottle of wine, informed us that they were visiting from Canada and then....
Asked if we had any recommendations of butchers in the city that sell Horse Meat!!

I was taken totally off guard and felt like I did something wrong just by hearing the question!
We informed the sweet couple that we don't eat our horses in this country...
To which they responded .. "Oh its such a delicious, sweet tasting meat"

The whole experience got me thinking and researching.
I was positive that it was illegal but upon investigation I was wrong!
It's perfectly legal to eat horse meat in America.

In fact people have been eating horses forever! All over Europe, Asia, and South America.
The taboos with horse meat range from it being a poor peoples food to the close connection most humans have with the animals.

Here's a great story I found on how horses are thought of..treated.. and eaten in Kazakhstan.. It talks about ages of slaughter and cuts of meat.

I've never eaten horse meat.. its definitely a foreign idea to me.. But when in a country that eats horse.. eat horse?

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I love Pastrami.. I live 3 blocks from Katz's .. I eat it a lot!

On a recent trip to Turkey I found an old man selling something that looked like Pastrami.. but wasn't what I was used to eating.
After a little research I was excited to learn that pastrami was much more than a NY deli staple.

So back in the day people would brine whatever meat they couldn't eat at the time of slaughter.
Most common ways of preserving meat was through salting, smoking, or brining.

Its said that Pastrami is probably a descendant of Balkan smoked meats, especially Romanian Pastramă. And likely rooted in the Turkish pastırma.

This stuff is totally different than the pastrami we're used to eating. The meat is salted, washed and dried for 10-15 days and all the blood and salt is squeezed out. Its covered with a paste usually consisting of cumin, paprika, fenugreek, and garlic.
To serve its sliced really thin and sometimes fried in olive oil, or served "as is" on mezze plates.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I'm sure this will be one of many posts about Temple Grandin.

She's an amazing woman who happens to be autistic..
and also happens to connect with animals on an emotional level.

She's responsible for designing humane slaughter equipment.
Cattle are her favorite animal..

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Pink!

She's the mama of many little pigs at Full Moon farms in Georgia.
Big Pink is a Tamworth pig... they were originally raised in the North of England said to have links to an Irish breed and brought over to America in 1882 by Thomas Bennett of Rossville, Illinois.

The Tamworth breed has a few different characteristics.. physically they have long legs and necks.. are really bristly (sun protection) and are really muscular.
They're usually called the bacon pig because they're able to get really big (males up to 800lbs.) without having too much fat.
The thing that was really amazing to me.. was how their snouts dug, and literally turned up the ground as they foraged for root veggies!

The sad thing is they're on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.. there are only 300 registered females in America.
So if you see some Tamworth pork.. buy it! Its amazing.. lets keep breeding this breed!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

'round and round'

One of my first memories of handling whole animals was sewing pigs to sticks... oh and salting the insides before we sewed them up (of course).
This sort of thing happens every weekend during the short Milwaukee summer... Usually involving pig, chicken, lamb, every once in awhile there will be a duck, or slab of beef, or turkey..
My dad grew up with this stuff, last time I was home he was telling stories of him and his friends hand cranking lambs on the spit for 6 or 7 hours.. their only payment was eating a bit of lamb.

There's a secret seasoning used for the chickens.. I still haven't been able to get it out of my dad or my uncle, hopefully one day I'll become worthy enough to know the special spice blend.
So here's a photo from my last visit home..some meat in the back yard!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The HomeLand

A trip back to Milwaukee usually involves me using half my suitcase as a meat locker, transporting meat from my butcher in Astoria to my father (he loves their kulen) and in return I transport meat (mostly deer) back to the city.

Every once in awhile I'll get a whole smoked pork belly, or smoked pork loin from my uncle who will insist I take the whole piece, never just a pound or two.
I've pretty much got the system of wrapping the meat down (so my clothes won't smell like a smoke house). Although it involves yards and yards of plastic wrap, parchment paper, and aluminum foil, and in the end my suitcase weighs a ton and I have to pay extra baggage fees (a small cost in the grand scheme of things).

When I get back to the city there are a few lucky friends (mostly those who grew up in the Midwest) that receive homemade sausages and smoked goodies. I barter too (this is the good stuff!).

So this trip home was mostly summer sausage... deer jerky.. deer slimjims.. A quick shot of a few things I pulled from the freezer..

A Butcher's What?!

My father is a butcher from Eastern Europe.
I grew up with a LOT of meat! As well as a respect for the animals we eat.

This blog is all about reconnecting us to our food.
Learning more about our animals from where they live, what they eat, their inevitable death, and all the ways we enjoy them and ultimately respect them…