From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Good Weather for Butchering

A cold spell is ideal


Dennis mentioned to one Mennonite neighbor that we hadn't seen the other Mennonite neighbors working around their barns and sheds for several days. We thought that perhaps they had gone on a trip to visit relative, but it turns out that they have been busy with butchering a beef. Our informant told us that this spell of very cold weather is perfect for butchering.

Most "English" farmers around here would take an animal they wanted butchered to a meat processing plant like Hampton's Meats in Hopkinsville. However, some of the Mennonites and Amish prefer to do their own butchering. It's a way of being frugal. Why pay others to do what you can do yourself?

After we learned what the activity of the day was, I remembered that several times, these neighbors have given us a little package of their freshly ground hamburger shortly after Christmas. The meat was neatly wrapped in white freezer paper and frozen.

Most of the Mennonites in our community have electricity to power their freezers and many other things around the farm. Those who choose to live without electricity usually have propane-powered freezers. The Amish also use propane for their freezers and refrigerators. So the butchering may be done in an old-fashioned way, but the preservation of the meat is quite modern.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.