Sunday, October 18, 2009

Flippin' Sweet Moves

This was such a fun weekend! Our good friends Mark and Katie came to visit. It was Katie's only break in her fast track teaching program and they came to see us--what a treat. The weekend didn't exactly go as they expected. Usually when we get together we do things like climb rocks and ski tours, but this weekend we met Jesus. That's hay-SOOS for you whiteys.

I don't know how many of you have been following my FB updates, but Mike and I have been having a few issues getting the elk from whole legs in a cooler on the porch to nice little white packages in the freezer. Tuesday, I took it to the only game processing people within about 100 miles, walked in the door, picked my jaw up off the floor after seeing the $350 price tag, got back in my car and drove home. Mike and I got psyched and proceeded to debone and carve up an animal for the first time since either of us had moved away from our fathers. We worked from about 5:30 to about 10:30, at which time we ceased to be psyched. Our eyes were sore, our fingers were covered in elk goo, the floor was a disgusting mess, there was way too much good meat in the trash, and we had only finished one of the smaller quarters...ugh.

Wednesday came and went, no butchering to be had. Thursday too. We were dreading starting the process again and the elk was going to spoil if we didn't get on it. Friday, I went to the local Carniceria and bought beef fat. For you non-hunters: it is customary to add a little fat to elk burger because it is so lean it will not stick to itself and burgers will fall apart. That's where I met Jesus. I had already called and knew that the shop wouldn't butcher the elk. But my proposal on Friday was different--I asked the guys behind the counter if they would butcher it for me after work. After some run-around, one agreed and I was to bring the elk to the shop at 9:00pm. Meanwhile, Mark and Katie showed up, I made an AMAZING curry that I will share later, we ate, drank, etc. Nine o'clock rolled around and the boys loaded up the cooler with the remaining 3 elk quarters and drove to meet Jesus and Giovanni at the Carniceria. As they approached the door with the huge cooler, the boss man looked at his employees with a frown. Apparently, they had expected him to be gone by closing time. El Jefe and the butchers traded some words before Giovanni stuck his head out the door and said, "Uh, out back or your house". To our house they came.

I wish I would have videoed the entire night. Jesus and Giovanni had the most incredible knife skills I have ever ever ever seen. I could have dressed in spandex from head to toe and they could have swung their knives around for a few seconds and my clothes could have been on the floor and my skin unscathed. They meant business too, even refused cervesa while they worked. They butchered the rest of the elk in an hour and a half. It was SO COOL! Mark and Mike wrapped up the meat, Katie labeled it, I just kinda stared at them in disbelief. We paid them $80 each, not bad for guys who normally make between $5 and $6 an hour (apparently they aren't even getting minimum wage). I will SO be calling them next year. Not the evening our friends expected during their visit, but definitely one none of us will ever forget.

Giovanni on the L, Jesus on the R, Katie looking on.

Not a great video, but the best we had from the evening. Here they were trying to tell me how to make fajitas.

Mike had a XC meet Saturday so the rest of us had a relaxing morning. I gave them a campus tour--not a bad looking place in the fall, eh? Here is Katie riding around the school. After the tour, we rode to town and hit up the thrift store.

Selah in the Chariot.

Mike arrived home around 3 and we all decided we needed to get out to do something, though none of us were very motivated to do anything requiring much effort.

So we shot the guns. We tried to get the dirt bike out as well, but it had a flat.
Selah could not hear anything through the earmuffs. She didn't even look up or flinch when the guns went off. And they looked so cute on her!

Mark had never shot a rifle or shotgun before so he had a blast red necking it. Mike taught him how to shoot clays with the 20 gauge....he was kind of successful. Katie had never shot a rifle and caught on very quickly. She's a little Annie Oakley.

Mike explaining how the shotgun works.

Katie working the 243.

Me with the 300 Savage, my dad's gun from his childhood.


Selah feeling over it.

That night, Mike made us elk medallions wrapped in bacon, grilled asparagus brushed in balsamic vinegar, and sauteed potatoes, onions, and carrots. Yummm. M and K don't eat beef, so the elk was a very special treat of red meat.

Katie sweetly giving Selah a bottle.

They made friends...

Selah is always standing up in her crib now!

Is this normal at 6 months???

We all ran about 5 1/2 miles together this morning before they headed home. It was gorgeous out today! It was so nice, I did another 10 miles this afternoon with Selah. Felt awesome, too, and trying to get ready for the Vegas marathon in December.

Mikey and I taught ourselves how to make sausage today. We made about 10 pounds of Italian sausage, beer brats, and beer-cheddar wurst. Not the nasty fake cheddar and fatty sausage you can buy in the store! Where else can you get super lean, free range, grass fed, organic, 100% fresh and natural meat made into a sausage with real cheddar cheese and a good microbrew? Can't wait to try those!

The extruder fits onto our hand meat grinder. You put the casing on the extruder and guide it as the meat comes out. When you have your desired length, you twist the casing and cut it. Easy!

Our finished product.


meg said...

Couldn't have done it all without Mark and Katie. I remember them talking about loving fishing, and stuff like that. I think this must fit into the "stuff like that" category. Great time for you all.
Love the sausage guys, you rock!
Ma n Pa

Carrie said...

Your meat looks amazing! Way to go you two. I was really worried about your meat. Your story about Jesus and Gio is hilarious! Those guys should start their own in-home game butchering biz and give that Jack-y up the road some good old competition.

Selah is adorable. It was great to see you guys on Skype last night. Our friends have a 7 month old who wants to skip the crawling and just walk. He's great at crawling backwards, but only goes forward if you place a bottle in front of him. He started getting up from a sit to standing about 2 weeks ago and meanders around coffee tables, couches, etc. It's such a fun time. They seem to do something new and amazing every day!

Okay, got to go. Next time you're up in JHole, bring some of your beer brats! Chow!

Karen said...

You and Mike never cease to amaze me. Is there anything the two of you can't do?

I can't believe how Selah has grown. I think she will definitely be a climber if her work in the bed is any indication.

Hope to see you in Vegas at the marathon.

Olga said...

Selah is absolutely precious, and you look awesome! I am jealous of all the meat you guys processed, we need to visit you two:)