There is a family who have had a meat market in town for several generations. At one time I think there were four brothers working in the business and now their off-spring run several locations.
When Hubby and I were first married, we lived in an apartment in a big old house just a few blocks from the brothers butcher shop. Neither one of us had learned to cook at home, making any meal we cooked now that we were married a real adventure!
So we started going to this butcher shop regularly to buy meat … because when we bought a cut of meat the brother who was waiting on us would then tell us how to cook it … perfect! Although unfortunately, their instructions sometimes didn’t all get remembered when we were actually doing the cooking.
After the first time we bought steaks from them, when we went back the next time they asked us how we enjoyed the steaks. We told them they were really good, but it was so smoky in our apartment that it took away from the fun of eating them. Too bad we had apparently missed the part of their instructions about leaving the oven door ajar when broiling! We are so lucky we didn’t have a fire. I don’t remember them laughing at us while we were there, but I’m guessing they did after we left.
Our relationship with these butchers continued for the two years that we lived in the near-by apartment. But after we moved to a house and had a family, and our favorite butcher shop was on the other side of town, it was just easier to buy our meat at the grocery store. And I had learned enough about how to cook the different cuts that I didn’t need the detailed instructions the brothers had provided any more.
Well, over the years I’ve become a pretty good cook, and Hubby can put out a meal too, if he has to. But something has happened recently that made me remember the early days of our marriage and the tutelage of the brothers at the butcher shop.
If we are both in town on Christmas Day, we have a tradition with our friends Candy and John to get together for a meal. Last year they had us to their home and Candy made a fantastic prime rib, something I had never cooked. It was wonderful.
So, they are coming here this year, and I told Candy I’d like to try my hand at the prime rib she did last year. And you know where she directed me? To the butcher shop of the brothers who taught Hubby and me how to cook meat 46 years ago! She said they make it so easy — it comes already rubbed with spices and they give you a printed set of instructions on exactly how to cook it.
I look forward to having a perfectly cooked prime rib on Christmas Day because I know from long-ago experience, that family of butchers are very good at instructing those who buy their meat on how to cook it.
I do have to wonder though if the brothers first thought about giving people written instructions after their experience with the newlyweds who didn’t remember to leave the oven door open when broiling and could have burned the building down!