Monday, October 28, 2013

I am NOT the Pioneer Woman, but...

Boy, would I like to be!  The Pioneer Woman that is!  I am catching up, I am sure of it.  I even told my husband I think he married the real Pioneer Woman.  His kindly answer, "No, I did not!"

This family has been busy learning a lot of new things since our move west.  There are some things that are just made for western living...growing your own vegetables, raising chickens, canning food, butchering cows. But just like anything else, some of those things are just better learned from someone who knows what they are doing.  Luckily, we have met wonderful new friends that are humoring us and putting up with our crazy ideas and teaching us a little about homesteading.

And butchering!

Yes, this family has butchered it's very first cow.  (That's it up there!) For those who are concerned, don't worry, I have kindly put most of those pictures in a separate place for your viewing, or not, pleasure.  (You can thank me later!) Even then, I promise I tried to be as careful as possible as not to offend.  If you think you will be, please just skip that link.  I do not aim to lose you as a follower!

On the surface, butchering a cow seems harsh to me. After all, they are cute and once were probably even a little cuddly.  Thank goodness, I have not known this one that long.  I am still not sure how I would handle the whole thing if I had raised that cow from birth.  It was hard enough that our friends have what I consider beautiful cows.  They look like big teddy bears, and I did ask if we could not call her "her" but it.  Hey, it made me feel better!
The men folk!
I will also just tell you upfront that I wimped out and did not stay for the kill.  I was just was not sure how I would feel about that, so for my first time, I decided to play it safe.  My oldest son and I reentered the activity in the middle of the skinning process.  It is an amazing process and I was proud of myself for being able to handle it.  We skipped the gutting process (hey, I told you I am not QUITE the pioneer woman yet) but did go back while it was being cut up.  At that point it was just a piece of beef.  Chalk it up to too many old Rocky movies, maybe.

Did you know processing a cow takes a lot of time?  It does make you understand slightly more why you pay such high prices at the store.  It is not a quick process.  We spent (meaning mostly our friend, with a little help from my hubby) a half day one weekend and then, with four of us working, about 7 hours a second weekend.  While the men cut sections and ground hamburger (our friend is a chef, so BONUS) the women packaged and sealed up all the meat.  Sounds like an easy job, but not so!

This time around we split the cow so in the end we can home with:
- 45 packages of 1.5 lbs. ground beef
- 6 packages of stew meat
- 10 packages of various steaks
- 4 packages of shank meat
- 12 roasts

And the "whys" because I know some of you well and I KNOW you are wondering what has gotten into me...

Because we want the healthiest food possible going into our bodies and that of our four children.  Knowing that a cow, or any other choice of meat, is raised locally, humanely, and without a bunch of junk going into their bodies makes me feel better.  When we are eventually done with our current way of life (military/moving) we pray that The Lord will allow us to raise our own animals on some land.  I told you I was working on being the Pioneer Woman!  Hopefully we will remember all that we learned last month.  I also hope that this experience has taught us to be more appreciative of where any of our food comes from and who helped to get it there.  Regardless of the details, raising or producing food is HARD work and I would be willing to bet a pretty thankless job.  I think my kids have a much better appreciation for the farmers of the world now.

Next week, I will show you my other new skill in the kitchen!  Pioneer Woman, watch out...this city girl is learning lots!

A BIG thank you to the H family.  We could have never done this without you, and your cow obviously, hee hee,  and we are blessed to call you friends.  The Lord has used you to help open up doors that we never dreamed could be opened and we are having so much fun learning from you.  Your patience, guidance, and friendship are much appreciated.

For you brave souls or fellow pioneering woman...
ready to process

Blessings to all,

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Linking up with Amy today at Raising Arrows!  Hop over to read posts from some amazing bloggers!


  1. the daughter would like to point out that she hid in the house during the whole butchering process.


  2. You are so very welcome!! Having you all made the whole process fun! We are so thankful for your family and our friendship! Jennifer

  3. well done. I do up my own rabbits, it's good to have meat that you know where it came from. :)

  4. That is awesome I totally want to learn how to do this. Well I guess first I would have to get a cow. You rock!

  5. I think it's great that you guys are learning how to do so much yourselves. We are trying to do the same thing as a family. I am curious...does next weeks post have anything to do with steam and pressure? ;)

  6. Grass-fed, local beef is awesome! Good for you for making healthy choices. I wouldn't have the stomach to participate until after the deed was done, but I have great respect for those who do. My grandparents were all raised on farms and their generation was much healthier than ours!

  7. Impressed! And Jealous!! Good job! :) Mrs. Taffy (Carissa)

  8. I am not sure I could have been there for the process. I didn't realize that it took so much time to butcher. I learned something new today. It's great that you are learning new things.

  9. Wow, not sure I could ever do this, but very impressive to say the least. You are almost the Pioneer Woman.:-)

  10. Wow, don't think I could ever do this, but it is very impressive. :-)

  11. Is that a Scottish Highlander?

    1. Yes, it is! Beautiful animals! I wanted to have the hide tanned, or whatever the correct phrase is, but could not find anyone local to do it for us at a reasonable cost. Maybe in the spring!


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