Looks like a white Christmas. Not that there was any doubt. We got 12″ of snow yesterday and another 5″ today all after I took the photo above. We are deep in snow. I guess Mother Nature is making up for last year. I spent most of the morning plowing and delivering hay. The first plowing of the year is slower and trickier as the ground has not yet fully hardened up.
I buried the north and west sides of the whey tanks to protect them from the wind and cold. A good snow bank does wonders for keeping things warm.
For afternoon reading I’ve been researching butchering. Here’s a good read for those who are interested. I butcher for our family but for pigs we sell we take them to a USDA inspected butcher about an hour away. Actually, there are three we use, each about an hour away in opposite directions. It makes a grand circle around us that also defines our meat delivery route to stores. We’re out in the middle of somewhere.
So why am I studying meat charts? Because how I butcher for our family is different than a butcher does for commercial cutting. I don’t have a bone saw and work primarily by deboning and dejointing. Being self taught my cuts look different than what one gets from the store. It works well for us but I am curious to learn. I don’t know where exactly all the cuts of meat the butcher makes come from. For example, I had no clue as to what the ‘tender loin’ was despite the fact that I do use every part of the meat and thus must be using it. Interestingly, different people disagree [1, 2] so maybe it isn’t so simple… or at perhaps not standardized between the old and new world.
According to the USDA IMPS 400 manual:
Item No. 415 – Pork Tenderloin – This item is prepared from Item No. 410. The tenderloin shall be removed intact and shall consist of the psoas major, psoas minor, and iliacus only. The side strip muscle (psoas minor) shall be removed if not firmly attached. The anterior portion (tail end) shall be trimmed so that the tail is not split more than 1.0 inch (25 mm). The tenderloin shall be practically free of fat.
And from the Canadians we have:
The term “pork tenderloin” may be used to describe the main muscle (psoas major and minor) removed from the inside (ventral) portion of the loin.
So, the Canadian and US governments are in lock step. Everything is to be read and reread, with a grain of salt. I’m incline to go with the IMPS 400 definition and will keep reading now that winter is setting in. This matters because we are selling to restaurants who want to be able to call up and order the right thing. The butcher we work with uses the IMPS 400 so that is what I’ll follow most closely.
By the way, the silly three toed, two legged blue & brown iridescent pig in the photo above is actually our Araucana rooster. His breed ladies lay whitish, blue and green eggs as opposed to the brown and tan eggs we get from the rest of the hens.
Outdoors: 18°F/4°F 5″ Snow, Windy
Farm House: 53°F/46°F eH1 1 round bale south house end shed
Tiny Cottage: 40°F/37°F eH1 Ladder work & Library south partition