Tuesday, October 20, 2009
There's no point in denying it any longer. How can I maintain any semblance of sophistication, how can I pretend that I still have any city polish, when I spent the last three hours butchering a roadkill deer? When I think that my mother was a debutante in Scarsdale, with her picture on the society page... well, let's just not go down that path any further.
To be fair to myself, it was not my idea to bring home the freshly killed doe, nor did I have any say in the matter whatsoever. It was simply there when I got home (I would pay quite a bit to have been a fly on the wall as Homero was lifting this 175 pound animal onto his car. It's a busy road. Many people must have passed by. Nobody offered to help, that's all I know.). If I had been consulted, I would have argued against it.
In less than a month, we will be butchering the goats. We've never killed anything bigger than a chicken before. It seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up. If it was good to eat, we'd eat it. If not, well, it was practice.
Homero hoists the doe up and ties her to the top of the kid's playset - the only suitable place we could find. Now the playset is forever associated in their little minds with blood and guts.
Homero uses his closed fist to separate the hide. He cut a little too deeply at first and some intestine bulged out - but was not perforated.
I attempt to skin the foreleg.
The skinned and gutted carcass with the damaged meat removed. The doe was hit in the right side, and pretty much that whole side was destroyed. We decided we would not use any meat from the right side of the animal, not even the foreleg.
I am looking rather absurdly proud of myself for having removed the left tenderloin without too much destruction or waste. I ran this into the house and submerged it in red wine and garlic.
We then attempted to remove the left hindquarter. We did eventually succeed, but let's just say that no pretty roast was going to be had from that quarter. It was pretty well massacred. I decided to try and dissect what was left, and I did in fact separate it into it's component muscle groups, but I haven't the foggiest idea how to use them. I thought I'd cut it all up for stew meat, maybe.
While I was wrestling with a ribcage, a hind leg, and a foreleg in the kitchen sink, Homero had disposed of the rest of the deer by dragging it out to the farthest section of the property and leaving it for the coyotes (whatever is left tomorrow we will bury). Then he sat down at the computer and did a little research. Which convinced him we shouldn't eat any part of the deer.
I wonder how many women, in this day and age, when presented with a freshly killed large animal would gird up their loins, get out the knife sharpener and the kiddie pool, and get to work. How many would go look up on the internet how to cut around the anus and then actually do it - how many would throw a whole bleeding haunch over their shoulder and throw it down on their kitchen counter? Figure out how to cut it up? Wrap it in plastic wrap and tinfoil and put it in the freezer? Marinate the choicest cut and seriously intend to cook it up and eat it?
I'd wager it's not a really big percentage. I'll be frank, it took some time - and some fortitude - to psyche myself up to tackle that animal. It wasn't a whole lot of fun, but I did it. I was fairly pissed off when Homero suddenly decided we weren't going to eat any of it. Not even the dogs, he decided, could eat any of it.
Well, what the hell did you bring it home for??
It was good practice, I'll give him that. It was good practice.