Friday, September 10, 2010

Bits and bits

Several weeks ago we had one of the neighbors over for supper. It was a nice evening, so we ate outside on the porch. As we were enjoying the food and the nice weather, Charlie turned to me and said, "So I know this guy who raises lambs for the fair. The fair's over. Interested in lamb chops?" It turns out that Charlie and his family have never had lamb and were looking to us for "expert" advice on how to have it butchered. Since our experience with lamb consisted of going to the butcher in Ireland and asking for lamb chops or leg of lamb, I'd hardly consider us experts. Still, he saw the opportunity and thought of us.

Charlie has taken over all the hassle of this. He asked at least three different butchers before he found one that would butcher the two lambs. He met the farmer at his work one day to pick up the live lambs and then took them to the butcher (in a trailer? his trunk? the back of his truck? I didn't ask.) The one thing that he left us is, well, the bits.

It turns out the butcher contracts with Sanimax to dispose of animal remains. It also turns out that Sanimax won't take lamb remains. I don't know why, but I sure would like to. So in addition to approximately 40 pounds of meat, we'll also be getting about 30 pounds of bits. And we'll need to dispose of them. Depending on our our solution, we may also be getting the bits from Charlie's lambs. That's sixty pounds of bits. That's a lot of bits.

On the upside, its only costing about $3.50 a pound for the processed lamb. If I can reproduce some of the leg of lamb that we had in Ireland, it's well worth it.

We haven't told the girls yet about the lamb. It turns out that Charlie, in a somewhat perverse manner, took pictures of the lambs and named them in the hour or two he had them before delivery to the butcher. I have no desire to traumatize the girls, but they do need to know where their food comes from.