I paused. I didn't know what to say. Since there was a massive crowd there, he hurried me along ("C'mon, buddy, what'd'ya want?"), and roused from my stupor I finally said, "No, I'll break it down at home."
I got home, stuck it in the fridge, and then today, while the storm was raging, I broke that shoulder down into fat back, meat, dog food, and bone. It was an astonishingly satisfying experience.
I felt, as Tony Bourdain and Fergus Henderson state, a sense of the appropriateness of recognizing the import of every part of that hunk of flesh. I felt grateful to the pig who gave it to me. Really, I did! Bizarre though it may seem to some, I had a sort of butchering epiphany; I realized what that animal had contributed to my home, how its striated muscle cells, bone structure, and fat would contribute to my family's life. And the half hour that I spent -- lovingly, even delicately -- carving up that meat was positively remarkable to me.
I realize that this is just this side of nuts. But, since eGullet is devoted to foisting one's own obsessions onto others in the hopes of camaraderie, I ask: does any one else harbor this butchering jones?
edited to add the link to the char siu bao thread -- ca
Edited by chrisamirault, 23 January 2005 - 08:49 PM.