Friday, August 26, 2011

Nothing Better Than a Nice Juicy Steak

I confess, we love meat at our house. It's just true. We're carnivores. Nothing makes Utah Dad more angry than a wasted sausage. Let a piece of bacon fall on the floor and really, it's just about the end of the world. The boys take steak kabobs to the Annual Father and Sons' Outing and we splurge for a rib roast at Christmas. Utah Dad doesn't think it actually counts as a meal unless there is a substantial percentage of beef or pork or possibly chicken (heaven forbid) in the recipe. And all of my kids agree.

My dad once told my mother in their early years of marriage (hopefully I am remembering the story right) that he preferred meat and potato dinners. He wasn't a fan of casseroles. As a result we mostly ate meat and potato dinners when I was a kid. There was always a vegetable on the side, rolls and dessert. My mom excelled at the square meal.

Since my dad was a hunter, we ate various forms of meat--elk, venison, pheasant, quail, rabbit--pretty much whatever was in season. We also lived on a small farm so we had a few cows and every now and then we raised a pig.

My brother and I were very young children the first time we raised a pig. We named him Homer and we visited him now and then in his pen. It certainly wasn't a "Fern and Wilbur" type relationship, but my parents were worried about our reactions when we found out that Homer had been butchered and that we were now going to eat him. They told us gently and were rather shocked by our childish responses. With gleeful faces we shouted "We're eating Homer!" over and over as we chewed piece after piece of ham. My parents had trouble eating their own dinners that night.

We don't live on a farm but my children have spent time on their grandfather's farm and they love to see the animals. They also know that meat comes from those animals. Over the years we've had several humorous conversations with the kids.

When Amberly was about three years old, one night at the dinner table she told us: "Cows give us milk. Pigs give us bacon and rabbits give us carrots."

Lilly, whose favorite stuffed pet is a little pink pig, was eating pizza on Monday night. Thomas watched her pick a pepperoni from her pizza. Pulling a pepperoni from his own pizza and holding it up in the air, he taunted her, "Pepperoni is from pigs, Lilly." She paused with the pepperoni half way to her mouth and countered, "No, pepperoni is from cows because cows have spots." Then she shoved that delicious circle of meat in her mouth and chewed with her supposed victory.

But today Neal and Thomas watched Food, Inc. on Netflix after school. This evening, Thomas was playing with Legos. I asked him what he was building and he announced, "It's a slaughter yard. I'm going to work in a slaughter yard." I haven't seen the movie but I've heard about it and I highly doubt that was the director's intended outcome.

Meat. It's what's for dinner (at our house, anyway).


Unknown said...

So we heard all about Food Inc from Becks. She told us it is about the real TRUTH they don't want people to know. Sounds like something that she would learn at your house... Not science fiction enough for us....

Mom of 12 said...

I grew up on a farm. Taking cows to the slaughterhouse was just a normal part of life. We sure enjoyed those big steaks every Sunday.

Rheanna said...

Love me a good documentary about food! I haven't seen that one, I'll have to watch it and see if I get the same reaction as your boys-haha!

Brimhalls said...

Neal is so funny.

I was watching Food Inc., with Ammon during a "stay at home" date and was eating orange chicken. Orange chicken has never been the same for me. Sad. I also read "The Omnivour's Dilemma", from the author featured on Food Inc. It does give you a lot to think about.

Catey said...

I am dying at his reaction to watching Food Inc!! lol I started watching it, but wanted to continue to eat my food in peace so I turned it off. ;) I've never gone back to finish it.
I love that your kids understand these things though, I can't believe how many kids (and adults!) don't.

The rabbit carrot connection is fabulous too!

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Laura@livingabigstory said...


Ok, I have to share this story. My BIL raises rabbits so my kids love to go over and pet the babies. They also know that the bunnies are eaten when they get older.

Ok flash forward several months. They are begging for a pet. I tell them in they are more responsible with their rooms and their chores, we will get them a guinea pig. Buddy says that if we get them a male and female one, they can sell the babies and earn money. Then Goldie says, "Yes, let's do that. Then when the babies get older, we can eat them!"

We had a vegetarian dinner that night :)

Christine A. said...

I have watched Food Inc and would not show it to my kids (4,2). I try to show, explain where some of our food comes from and the 4 year old seems interested. We grow some fruits and vegetables and they enjoy helping, picking and eating!

Utah Dad said...

I should read these more often. I have to live with being the sausage king. Hmmm.