Pinke Post: We’re going to eat Bernard the beef
A few weeks ago, our son Hunter's friend, Paige, showed her steer (castrated bull for non-farm folks) at our county fair. We were out of town celebrating my in-law's anniversary. Paige's mom texted me a picture of Paige with Bernard the steer, an...
A few weeks ago, our son Hunter’s friend, Paige, showed her steer (castrated bull for non-farm folks) at our county fair. We were out of town celebrating my in-law’s anniversary. Paige’s mom texted me a picture of Paige with Bernard the steer, and we joked about how much time she spends with him, her other boyfriend.
This spring and summer, Paige spent hours feeding and caring for Bernard and teaching him to calmly lead by a halter. As a duo, they won their class at our county fair and reserve champion at her home county fair.
Bernard is a food animal, and while we’re grateful for the time Paige and Bernard shared this summer in the show ring, we’re also big fans of beef. Via a text message exchange while at a Minnesota Twins game with scores of family members, Paige’s mom asked if we wanted to purchase a quarter, half or all of Bernard.
I looked down the row at Hunter and said: “I talked to Paige’s mom. We’re buying half of Bernard when he goes to the locker.” A few nonfarm family members shot me a puzzled look. Hunter paused, looked at me and said: “Bernard? Paige’s Bernard? OK. But why do you have her mom’s phone number?”
Our family had a good chuckle. My answer was something like, “Because that’s what moms do.”
I highly recommend knowing who your child spends time with, along with their parents. Communication is a key to surviving and thriving in parenthood. As an added benefit to our communication, our family will enjoy Bernard the beef this fall and winter.
In early August, I called the locker in Napoleon to specify how I wanted my beef processed and cut, including steaks, roasts, ribs, hamburger and the beloved tri-tip I’ve learned to request from my West Coast beef-loving friends when I used to work in California agriculture.
My daughters were in the car as I talked through my order. When I hung up, my 6-year-old, Anika, said, “On our way home, are we going to pick up Bernard?” Elizabeth, who’s seven, replied, “Anika, you do know he’s going to be hamburger now, right?” Anika nodded.
It sparked a long conversation about pets, livestock and meat. The girls talked about their pets, four cats and two dogs, as well as their desire to raise chickens and pigs for eggs and meat. While their daddy is not a livestock guy and has yet to approve any chickens or pigs, I appreciate my girls understand the meat on their plates has been raised, cared for and processed for their nutrition and health.
They don’t shy from it. They aren’t uneasy about it. Bernard the beef will be braised, grilled, roasted and slow-cooked all fall and into the winter. He will be enjoyed at noon meals and before and after games, including our son’s upcoming 18th birthday where I plan to feed our football team a pre-game pasta and meat sauce meal.
Whether you stock a freezer with meat from a local farmer or buy safe and healthy meat from a grocery store, I’m grateful for an abundant supply of meat in the U.S.
Connect with Katie Pinke on her blog thepinkepost.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.