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The cowpool 2011

September 4th, 2011 at 02:12 am

Apologies that it's been so long since I've written. Its been quiet, I've been paid, and we are in the midst of a three day weekend. What could be sweeter?

We (about 15-16 of us) in the beef consortium are about to get our beef. This second year, the cow was named Gosling. She is going to be a big one, with a package weight (I call it that - its the total of all the white packages we will get) of 480 lbs! Ginger, last year's cow, was a glorious 402 lbs. I was the designated call-ee - the butcher asked one of us to make a call and confirm the cuts that we wanted. I didn't want too much too fancy, but I did want the cuts to be an inch thick. Last year Ginger was 3/4 inch thick. The thinness made making rare steak a challenge.

Last year we developed a pretty straightforward distribution system. The farmer drove up into the parking lot where we were all to meet. We asked the consortium beforehand to bring coolers and food scales if they had one. We collected four large boxes and broke them down into pads, each representing a quarter. (I and my cow-partner comprised our quarter).

We set the cardboard pads down on the concrete. We sorted the cuts out by package so had a good idea of what there was a lot of and what there was only one or two of. We took the packages we had the most of (hamburger) and dealt them out, then dealt the next most, and all the way down to what we had packages of four of.

Cow-partner and I had to split what we were dealt between the two of us. I asked DH what he most wanted and what he thought would be nice to have. I think we got it. This year though, the cow-partners are a couple of very close friends of ours - DH might find it easier to give up some cuts betting that we'll eat at a dinner party.

The fun began with the 1-2 package cuts. That's when the food scales came in handy. We cleared the pads again (people put their dealt cuts into their coolers and bags). We called out the cuts - the cooks amongst us called out what you could do with the cut. Whomever was most enthused about the cut, the dealer put it on their pad. We kept those cuts on the pad until those cuts were dealt, so that if we could see if someone was shorted. We also traded between the pads on a pound for pound basis.

So I admit that this technique works best if all parties have a sense of adventure, and while excited about meat aren't total booby-heads if they don't get every cut. I throw it out there as a public service - buying a whole cow is suddenly fashionable, but no one talks about how to divy one up.

2 Responses to “The cowpool 2011”

  1. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Sound like a good plan to me! Enjoy your bounty!

  2. SicilyYoder Says:

    My adopted uncle owns a meat house in Manchester, and they are a pretty busy place. The meat tastes so much better than store-bought meats.

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