From The Kitchen

Butchering and the Family

At first you would not think the practice of butchery would have a great place or environment for the family. When you look back on history, and even local traditions, the art of butchery was a time for family to gather together and help in the labor intensive art. Early in the morning, the men would go out and prepare an area for the work at hand. The women and children would come out later when the work was ready to start. They would have a fire going to cook fresh meat for their breakfast and to render fat for making soap and lard for cooking. The kids would join in to stuff the sausages and get the larger cuts of meat ready to salt. The family would gather around a large table and work on different cuts of meat and talk throughout the day. It was a time that the whole family could gather together and spend time with each other.

This is where the true art of butchery comes. It was meant to pass down from one generation to the next. All the masters’ secrets were passed down, not in book form, but with time spent together during long days working side-by-side. So much knowledge has vanished over time as one generation after another stopped practicing the art. What has been lost is the special time with family and passing along traditions and history that makes us who we are. No matter what our field of study is having time with family and learning from one another is what truly seasons and flavors our lives.

Michael Sullivan, Butcher


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