Always Something . . .   Leave a comment

Always something different going on, that is.  Yesterday a boarder’s cousin showed up at our door, wanting to know if we wanted a beef liver.  They had just butchered a fine grass-fed steer that morning, but nobody they knew wanted the liver.

Now we both like liver, but don’t like to buy it from the store.  There’s no telling what the critter has been fed, and the liver filters toxins.  I was happy, therefore, to have a chance at some good clean liver — and a heart, too.

But a beef liver is huge.  It was still warm, despite being iced down in a cooler, and I could barely lift it into the sink, even though part of it had already been given away.  (She must have known one person who liked liver.)  My plan was to cut it into manageable chunks, freeze part of it, and cut up some for immediate cooking.  It was more than I could manage, though; and I called Billy’s sister to see if she wanted some.  She did, and I haggled off a large hunk for her.  I don’t have any good sharp knives right now, and I was really feeling the lack while up to my wrists in fresh bloody raw liver.

I got it cut up, though, and put away, and tackled the heart.  Heart doesn’t have a strong flavor like liver, and has a chewy but pleasant texture.  It’s good country fried.  Again, though, I needed a better knife.  I got the top, with most of the tubes and fat, cut off and gave it to the deliriously happy dogs, along with the jellied blood inside it.  I cut the rest into chunks, figuring it would be easier to trim the fibrous structures inside after it was well chilled.

Tomorrow, then, I’ll slice some liver thin and set it to soak in milk.  This helps to mellow the strong flavor.  Then I’ll  fry up some bacon and drain it, flour the liver and fry it in the bacon fat with some sliced onion, and make a gravy.  The crumbled bacon will go over the top, and I’ll serve it with mashed potatoes or rice.  It’s not the world’s healthiest meal, but we don’t do it often.  It might give a vegan a heart attack, though.  But this steer had a good life, and never knew what was coming.  I’ve seen cattle slaughtered, when we were raising our own beef, and they just look at the butcher curiously as he walks up, and collapse instantly when they’re shot.  It’s not violent or frightening for them.

This liver had better be good, considering the work involved.  I’m not squeamish, obviously; I’ve done this kind of thing before.  I do draw the line at tongue.

This morning, we got a visit from a deputy, asking about a tack theft from a couple of weeks ago.  I was able to point out our ferocious watchdogs, who were curled up snoring at his feet.  He wasn’t the last law enforcement visit for the day, though.  I went for a ride a bit later, and three unmarked police cars in a line drove in.  One stopped to ask me if they could get up onto the levee from here — without a horse.  I pointed out the ramp, and off they went.  Up there they met a loader and a couple of dump trucks, so they were headed to clean out the latest round of homeless camps.

It’s only three o’clock.  We could still have more interesting events today.  The sheriff’s helicopter was circling overhead a few minutes ago . . .

But nothing’s on fire!  Here’s a pretty picture to end on.



Posted June 5, 2013 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

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