Tuesday, February 1, 2011
While I was growing up, it seemed completely normal for me to be taken out of school for at least one Monday and Tuesday every mid November. It was not until I hit Junior High that I realized I was the only kid at school that thought the deer hunting season meant no school. It made sense for education to take a backseat to the gathering, securing, and processing of food necessary for survival right? Well, maybe not essential to my or my family's survival...but it sure was a lot more economical and healthier than buying store meat. I have so many memories of the whole Weber clan (mom's side) gathered together to butcher the men's catch (or trophies, if you will). As youngsters, my cousins and I took lessons from our grandfather in the art of carving meat off of a thigh bone and how to get the last bit of scrap off of a rib. We learned how to ground meat, encase sausages, and dry jerky. We became apprentices to a dying art, a vanishing tradition. It did not even register as gross to us - this was food, it was art, it was natural. This last year, only my mom, dad, my aunt and me were there to clean, carve, and process the deer. It was bittersweet to have lost so much family, but glad to be around those who were left.