“I’ve got meat”!

Today I finally got my mixed pack of Omaha Steaks (and some pork which will go to friends) that had been advertised on the radio as a huge discount. I rarely eat red meat, but on a recent blood test, I was borderline low on iron.

My dad and stepmother once sent me and Earl four filet mignons with bacon wrapped around the sides (OK, I like bacon, pepperoni too) from Omaha. We kept those steaks frozen forever, kind of worshiping them in the freezer. On Dad and Joan’s last ever visit to us in 1994, we had a family dinner-yep, the four filets. They never knew they were eating their gift to us.

So after I ordered the meat package, I started worrying that it wouldn’t fit in my freezer. Omaha Steaks said they couldn’t cancel the order. One of my phobias is food poisoning, so I worried also that the dry ice the meat was packed in would disappear. I looked for days out the front door. No food.

Today, it was there, a really nice styrofoam crate to keep. But no one rang the doorbell. One of the Fed Ex guys is scared to death of sweet little Ivy and her raging bark, and won’t even ring the bell. She lets me know he’s coming when he drives into the neighborhood. Nine dog bites on the legs from vicious mutts will make one a little hesitant, I guess.

Would the meat still be rock-hard frozen? Would it fit in my freezer? Yes to both. I had to move some things around, and I won’t be having ice anytime soon, but all was well.

The Omaha Steaks Saga brought back some memories in my quirky old brain. One of my fellow teachers, my friend “Z”, lived on a ranch north of town and raised cattle and horses. Z asked me one day if he could borrow our old horse trailer to bring back a horse from Scottsbluff. Sure, no problem. Use it as long as you like.

A couple of weeks later, Z dropped by with a large packet of steaks from one of his steers. Wow! We didn’t expect anything, we never did when doing a favor for a friend. This was great, and we lit up our barbecue to enjoy the meat of Bos taurus.

Earl, in his job as Animal Welfare Veterinarian for Colorado, knew a lot of people in the racing industry. Earl being Earl, he made some good friends from people he was checking to see if their animals were being treated humanely. His favorite couple lived out on the Eastern Plains. In addition to racing animals, they raised beef cattle. Earl would visit occasionally, and come home chattering about what a great time he had. These folks, Mary Ann and Gary, owned the ranch. They were among the people Earl had to keep track of, but he made good friends with them, and would visit the ranch.

Mary Ann and Gary had a gigantic, black Angus bull, named Bubba-their best breeder. He was so huge that he scared the pants off of people. Yet, Earl was mad for Bubba, and talked about him all the time. I asked him when he would take me to meet Bubba.

He finally took me out to the ranch to see Bubba. I still had the willies from my job right after vet school in the anesthesia section of the  hospital when I had to anesthetize a 2400-pound Santa Gertrudis bull. But Bubba, instead of being a testosterone-crazed two thousand pound  harbinger of death at the strange vet hospital, this gentle giant was the sweetest, cutest breeding male food animal I have ever met. He loved to have his head scratched, and would crawl in your lap if he wouldn’t crush you to death. I was seriously in love with Bubba.

Mary Ann and Gary kept some of Bubba’s sons around as  bulls for breeding, and steers to sell for meat. One evening, Earl, my sweet, gentle husband, came in the house carrying a styrofoam cooler not unlike Omaha’s. With a caveman face and voice, he said, “I’ve got meat”! Fortunately, Z’s meat was eaten. Earl filled the freezer, leaving some steaks in the other side of the fridge.

Wow! I had never tasted such awesome beef ever. Flavorful, juicy, and tender, this meat was first class. As we were chewing and chatting, I asked who the bull was that engendered this delicious steer. As it turns out,  we were eating Bubba Junior! After my initial shock wore off, I finished my steak thanking Bubba Junior for his sacrifice for my gastronomic pleasure.