Here’s the beef

Posted on May 4, 2011


Last fall I arranged to purchase a beef quarter from Marshall and Cathy McAuliff. No, we are not going to visit an Old Fashioned Beef Slaughter. We did that with the hog and once is enough for any blog. We are simply going to visit the McAuliffs on Pickup Day.

Drive in past the Cattle Xing sign and park by the 1915 barn. Take turns loading up. If you are a blogger, arrange everyone for a photo opportunity. Meet Cathy and Marshall McAuliff on the left. Becky Norris is in the middle. She brought her sisters along, as they quite sensibly share an order. That truck they’re leaning on is full of boxes of frozen beef cuts, all neatly labeled. Five of those boxes are mine.

While McAuliffs loaded Becky’s boxes, I ambled over to take pictures of the cattle. The reason I decided to buy beef from McAuliffs has everything to do with driving past there a lot, stopping for eggs now and then, and observing for myself how the cattle are treated. These are the only cattle I know of that have a view of the Bay.

They were very curious about this creature with the camera stuck to her face.

It’s a busy time at McAuliffs. As of Saturday they had a baker’s dozen of new calves in the field and a steady stream of customers arriving to pick up orders.

So now I have two freezers full of beef—my friend Katy had space in hers—and a head full of questions. I’m a carnivore for another year. At least, says Katy’s son, I have purchase Ethical Meat, by which he means meat from pastured, grass-fed, hay-fed animals raised without hormones and antibiotics.

Miss Sadie and the Cowboy have no questions at all. We have roasts, we have steaks, we have shanks and soup bones, we have quantities of excellent ground beef. They are very pleased with our acquisitions. Miss Puss, well, you know how she is.