Home > Saints and Sinners > S O B — State of the Blog (and hamburger)

S O B — State of the Blog (and hamburger)

Haven’t been around much.  Got so bad Linda sent me a note to see if I was OK.  The thing is, I started seeing myself as a cracked record.  To much of what I was saying sound too familiar.  Worked for a poker blog but not in the new era.  So, I’ve back off to avoid being the most boringly repetative blog on the net.

A lot of me lives in the past it seems.  This is supposed to be a kinder gentler place but I have trouble seeing it at times.  Here’s a bit about my family as a lead-in.

My Grandfather was a butcher.  He own his own store.   He was a short wiry guy but could haul half a side of beef out of his old freezer and dump it one a hook to cut into parts.  The cooler was wood and the meat blocks were too.  The floor was covered with sawdust that’d accumulate dropping during the day and they’d get raked out in the evening.

My dad owned a supermarket and except for the metal freezer it was pretty much the same setup.  His butchers served the customers out of service cases with bare hands.  The aprons for the back room cutters were red by the end of the day.  They didn’t change to process chickens but they did them on a separate table and always cleaned their hands when switching.

This seemingly primitive setup processed cattle and hogs and chicken and lamb and you name it.  The current standards would shut it down at first glance.  Yet they had a great reputation and a steady, healthy clientele.

This week I was in the grocery and picked up a package of nice looking hamburger patties.  They were glowing red like all meat these days.  Meat in the old days darkened over time and could end up in the hamburger.  Never saw meat then that glowed red like those patties.

Butchers aren’t like they were.  Most of the meet is broken and process in some giant production line with rigid standards observed by inspectors.  I’m not sure how many current butchers could break a side of beef or work in that old  system.

So what’s all this about? Well, when I took a glowing red patty out to fry it, it was only red on top.  The inside was a dirty grey.  It tasted OK.  But, I’ve had the dribbling you-know-what since.

Now I ate greyish steaks like crazy back then.  A porterhouse that had started to look less pristine was headed for the hamburger where the red inside still made great hamburger.  We ate them at home like crazy because we were eating steak at hamburger prices.  I never got sick eating Dad or Gramp’s meat.  They didn’t have fancy chemicals and steam cleaners and all.  Yet, they put out a wholesome product.

The vendors knew they weren’t going to put a bad side or quarter in Russel O. Prevo’s meat cooler.  Stuff got sent back if it wasn’t just right.  Today, you can’t tell if it is right.  Everything stays that dayglo red even after it start to smell.  I can’t blame the people putting those sealed packages in the counter.  After all, it as red as can be.

To much of what goes on these days is on the surface.  I don’t know what they spray on the top but its only skin deep.   And that isn’t just at the meat counter.

Well, I’ll sign off.  Have a bit more to say but I need to visit the commode.

Addendum:

Saw a quote I liked from a 19th century guy…

No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
Judge Gideon J. Tucker
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  1. April 24th, 2014 at 12:30 | #1

    We have been buying only ground turkey for some time now. However, I certainly remember looking carefully at hamburgers to try to make sure that the nice, red outside wasn’t hiding the old grey meat.

  2. April 24th, 2014 at 16:13 | #2

    Other stuff is loaded with preservatives. Guess we’re better off no knowing what’s in most food.

  3. April 25th, 2014 at 15:16 | #3

    Ken, I used to work as a prime meats butcher shop as the clean-up boy as a teenager. We had the wooden blocks for cutting up meat, that I had to clean each day with bleach spray and then a sanding tool (manual, not electronic) to literally scrape a layer of wood off. I also had to rake and sweep the sawdust on the floor daily. Reading your post reminded me a lot about those days. The work sucked, but the experience was great.

    I feel your pain about the changes nowadays. Butcher shops, good ones at least, are a totally different creature than the supermarket butcher counter. The supermarket closest to my home won’t prepare anything for you. If you ask for a certain cut, they’ll point you to the shrink-wrapped stuff sitting in the open fridge type thing. For my money, I rather have a butcher who can actually cut some damn meat. The stuff that is shrink-wrapped is like playing roulette; you never really know what you are going to get.

    Now, I try to stick with grass-fed beef. It’s more expensive, but it also tastes better, and even though the stuff I usually get is pre-packaged from a delivery site no-less, I can’t help but feel like it is better quality because they are taking the effort to do it right (grass fed, instead of corn, etc., fed).

  4. April 25th, 2014 at 15:27 | #4

    @Jordan

    Jordan, really great to hear from on of the oldies but goodies. I sure we both miss the good old days when you could enjoy the game and share your views.

    You certainly remember the subject of the blog well. And, bemoan what pass for meat at the super.

    Thanks for the memory punch!

  5. April 25th, 2014 at 22:01 | #5

    Nice to see you back at the scene of the crime… *clears throat* Sorry you got the stomach blues. May not have been the meat, that ploy of putting something on it to make it bright red usually isn’t a stomach grabber. But almost everything on any supermarket shelf these days has something that gets you sooner or later. I miss the old days of gardening and trading and people working to help each other – until my sanity returns and I realize how much easier daily survival is now. 🙂

  6. Very Josie
    May 2nd, 2014 at 12:36 | #6

    Hi Sugar,

    Please write more posts about your past. xoxo

  7. May 5th, 2014 at 20:54 | #7

    Very Josie :
    Hi Sugar,
    Please write more posts about your past. xoxo

    Hi Josie, If that comment was for me. I will…thanks for commenting. If it was for Ken, sorry for the intrusion. 🙂

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