Monday, January 27, 2014

Wisconsin 101: When your grandfather and the butcher's father were friends and your uncle and the butcher are friends and the butcher knew your dad, you get the Good Meat

Photo: Shirley is interested. 

You guys know that SH and I have been getting steak from the butcher in the town where my mom and dad are from, right? Every summer, when we go to the Apostle Islands, we go to their hometown, spend the night with a set of the aunts and uncles, and then drive the remaining four hours to Bayfield the next day before we take the ferry to the island for a blissful week of waves crashing on the shore of Lake Superior.

We stop at the butcher, whose name shall remain a secret because I do not want to share my llama, to load up on porterhouse steaks, bacon, and ground llama. The prices are great and the meat is all local, grass fed, etc, etc, etc.

This summer, we got no llama because there was none to be had. I asked the young woman who is the office manager - Carly - to let me know when there would be more. She has shipped llama to me before. I knew she was good for it.

But I didn't hear from her and didn't hear from her.

Then my mom sent me an email. She had been to northern WI to a class reunion and had seen the guy who owns the butcher shop. She had told him - we will call him John - what a fan SH and I are of the meat. John had told her to tell me that the next time I ordered, I should tell Carly to tell John that Lloyd's daughter (that is me) was putting in an order.

Turns out that my dad's brother, my uncle D, and John almost went to butcher school together, but then my uncle D went into the family business with my grandfather instead.

The building where John has his operations used to be my grandfather's and great-uncle's garage - the auto repair business they started in 1937, which has since turned into an auto repair/auto dealership owned and run by two of my cousins.

So the families go way back.

Of course, the families go way back with everyone. The butcher shop is in a town that has no stoplights. The current auto repair/auto dealer place is in a town with one stoplight. Wait. There might be two. So it is not hard to know everyone in town in a place like this.

Still. I hadn't heard from Carly. I finally sent her an email and asked if there was any llama. I mentioned that my mom had told me that John had told her to tell me, etc, etc, even though I didn't really think I needed to because she had shipped to me before.

Oh yes! she told me. She had been holding it for me, waiting for the weather to get cold enough to ship it.

Hit play, I told her. Send it.

Two days later, it arrived: 46 pounds of ground llama. And she undercharged me for the shipping. Again.

Our deep freezer is full again.

It's nice to Know People.


Joy said...

CF, you SO make me want to move back to Wisconsin, even though our freezer was recently re-upped with brats, butt bacon, and summer sausage when my parents visited in early January.

Joan said...

The reproachful look in that cat's eyes tells me that she knows that the good meat is not for the likes of her...

webb said...

Llama? really? what's it like, and don't tell me chicken!

I love venison, but didn't know llama were even edible. interesting.

Gaylin said...

I have eaten some exotic meats (cougar anyone?) but never llama!

Do you use it in any dish you might use ground beef in?

I have no family that goes nowhere back to anyone.

MomQueenBee said...

Llama? Seriously? Huh.

Class factotum said...

Joy, the meat here is very good. But we could store it all outside and it would stay perfectly preserved. I am done with winter.

Joan, Shirley wants to know if llama is for cats and she is ticked that we won't share.

Webb, it is like beef. :) No, really, it is a very lean red meat. I have to be very careful not to overcook it.

Gaylin, so far, we have just used it for hamburgers because it is so good and so lean. I am afraid if I used it as an ingredient, I would overcook it and it would get tough. (Actually, I know that would happen, because that's what happened with the llama chops until I figured it out.)

Mom QB, it is good!

Teen! said...

Hello CF!

Long time lurker.....But I desperately need grass fed beef bacon. ( religious dietary stuff ). Can your guy recommend someone? I won't stalk your supplier and I'd be forever grateful. My family had a wonderful hookup in Cass County, Mi but that was long-long ago. And when I viewed that box.....all my pride melteda away.

Class factotum said...

Hi Teen - Sure, I'll be glad to ask around. Leave me a post on my facebook page so I have a way to get back to you.

Anonymous said...

Oh no CF!

I'm that unhip square (L7!) person who doesn't utilize Facebook.
Can I check back here every 32 days or so for an update?


Class factotum said...

Teen, sure. I emailed my llama lady and my aunt yesterday to ask about the bacon. I will let you know.

CF said...

Hey teen - my aunt says my uncle used to make beef bacon years ago but doesn't any more.

I googled "grass fed beef bacon" and found a few sites:

Good luck and bon appetite!

CF said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks CF!
I'm on it. Updates to follow. ...... :0) Teen!

Teen! said...


I wanted to say thanks again for the referral. But I have to complete some bloodwork.
Am hoping for great scores! The wonderbread, miracle whip&bacon delites are on hold. Have a great wkend.