Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cleaning fish

I read that CindyS is considering what to do with freshly, eh, recently, caught fish.

Which reminds me of a butcher story. As I've said before, husband runs a high end, all-natural, mostly organic butcher shop. (Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, quail, goose, rabbit, and homemade sausages. $30.00 steaks. Very pricy stuff.)He got a call from a guy last week who said that he had a deer in the back of his truck. He asked if Butcher could portion the deer for him.

Husband says, "Yeah. Bring it over. I'll give you the saddle and make venison sausage for you out the rest." Hunter exclaims with glee. There aren't that many non-corporate butcher shops anymore--they all tend to be part of some supermarket or another--so it's been hard for this guy to find someone to help him with his deer.

Deer was cleaned, so that was a blessing, but it still had the skin and head on. (I will edit the part of the story which involves skinning the deer in the bed of the pickup and decapitating it.) Husband brings the deer into the shop and hangs it in the walk-in cooler to bring it to temperature and to age the meat. (Walk-in has a glass window to the aisle--kind of like those reach-in doors you pull your milk cartons out of at the grocery store. So from the side aisle you can see cuts of meat aging on racks, and usually there's a full lamb or a side of pork hanging hygenically in the window.) Tells the owner of the deer to come back the next day to check on the temperature, and he can help butcher portion the venison. Satisfied customer.

Now, husband's butcher shop is in a marketplace set-up. When you walk in, it looks like an all-natural grocery, but each station in the grocery, fish, wine, bakery, etc., are all their own independent businesses. The clerks in the all-natural grocery tend to be politically correct vegans, and they cannot seem to fathom why a butcher shop is in the marketplace. (Since the butcher shop opened everybody's profits have increased, so the owners are pleased to have him there, but the teenaged "principled" employees have been a royal pain. Apparently they have no problem with the whole fish being sold at the fish market, but beef roasts send them over the moon.)

Husband comes by the walk-in later in the day to find the manager of the cashiers talking to a customer. "That is just so disgusting. This guy has no class."

"Excuse me," says Husband. "Can I have a word with you?"

Manager blanched and mumbled something about having to get back to work. Husband says, "I thought that was what we were doing."

Apparently the owner of the grocery had some sort of sit down with her employees after this happened, but I mean, really. Are we all this immature?

As Maili would say, "Le Sigh."


CindyS said...

Can you imagine the balls on some people. Oh, he could talk smack in front of a customer but have an actual discussion with your husband. What an asshat! (I can say that on your blog, right ;))

Real live butchers are a dream! I have no such luck where I am, it's all grocery stores, like you say and because of my nocturnal ways I end up getting served by teenagers. Half the time I'm not sure they know what they are talking about.

I will always accomadate vegans etc. but don't get into my eating habits. I get that you made a choice and good for you but God put incisors and molars in my mouth for a reason. ::cough:: I'm ranting, aren't I....oops.

At least your husband knows customer service!!


Nicole said...


I miss the butcher shop back in GF. Not organic, but it was family-owned and run.

MMM.....venison...did he make jerky out of any of it? *drool* venison jerky is so good.

Suisan said...

Venison jerky is amazing!!

I think he's getting some venison for our own use, but since this carcass was bounced around in the back of a truck for a while, he cannot sell the meat to customers. (Just kind of wanted to make that clear, not sure I did that in the post.) Mostly though, he's making sausage for the hunter.

Venison, pine nuts, sumac, other middle eastern spices. Yum. Think we get some of those too.