black and white cow eating grass in field

Aging Weather

Well, aging weather is here.

Looks like this will be the first week of the winter where temperatures will be hanging steady around the 40 degree mark. If the forecast holds true, then we’ll be able to age our beef for at least a week, hopefully longer, but in the absence of a cooler how long will depend entirely on the weather.

And, honestly, I couldn’t possibly have more mixed feelings about the whole thing.

On the one hand, I doubt I’ve had beef a handful of times this year.


I’ve got beef on the brain and it’s going to take some self-control not to blow through our newly stocked freezer with recipes like this on my pinboards:

And this:

And this:

Oh, and don’t forget these:

STOP ME! Stop me NOW!

(This isn’t making matters any better!)

But, oh, did I forget, making quarts and quarts of beef stock with my new pressure canner? (I bought this one upon the suggestion of my canning mentors and can’t WAIT to break it in!)

Why so long between meals of beefy goodness?

The plan for meat is to eat what we raise and I stretched the last of Caesar as long as I could. Has it really been three years already??!

It very well may have been three years but the trauma of that day – and the driving force of my mixed emotions- is still fresh enough to cause a great deal of anxiety to well up inside of me when I consider what Saturday might hold.

I mean, Gus was born onto our homestead with a purpose. And while I’m not about to go soft in that regard, I understand that and having raised and butchered most of the meat we’ve been provided with the last few years, I want for this to go as smoothly as possible for the sake of the animal. Out of gratitude for the blessing of it nourishing our family for months and months to come. Because, frankly, the way ‘Gussy’s daddy died was nothing short of inhumane.

And that is nothing I ever want to have a repeat of on our homestead!

While that event has put some experience under our belts and we plan to do things differently and hopefully more organized, I’m still a nervous wreck and it will be a HUGE relief to have those first few steps of the process behind us.

I’m not going to be posting any tutorials or anything here this year. Maybe next time and only if all goes well tomorrow. As it stands I lack the confidence to come back and say anything with a shred of authority,  let alone “How to Butcher Beef on the Homestead.”

However, I’ll journal some of it (naturally). I say “some” because I can assure you I won’t be stepping out of this house until someone confirms to me the deed is done.  I know me well enough to know I can’t handle it if it doesn’t go off without a hitch.

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