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What would you bring back from "the good old days"?


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Not rarities. Extinct.
I am 54 years old. I have lived in various places in the US. I have never seen a butcher shop.

In Philadelphia, I can think of at least three or so butcher shops (depending on whether you count the poultry-only place) in the Reading Terminal Market alone. There are some other butchers elsewhere in the city as well. So, unless we have different ideas of what a butcher shop is, not extinct, no.

Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)
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I am Malaysian so my idea of the 'good old days' might be quite different! What I miss:

i) the little trucks selling fresh vegetables or noodles/rice dishes which drive through the backlane of your house

ii) the bread man on his motorcycle doing the same thing

Both identifiable by horns and what-not.

Nyonya in The Netherlands

My Blog- Deliciously Lekker

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Move to MN if you want a ton of quality butchers. They not only butcher their meat, they also cure and/or smoke it -- stuff it into casings, etc. We're planning a 100 miles road trip on Saturday that will take us past 8+ meat markets. Foley, MN (pop 2300 something) has three of them!

Like MN, south Louisiana has its share of butchers, with a decent range of local charcuterie (tasso, chaurice, ponce, boudin, andouille, headcheese, cracklings, etc). Heck, I can think of 3 places within 30 minutes of my house that do custom slaughter...you bring in the animal, tell 'em how you want it cut & packaged, and when you want to pick it up. Here's a pic of one at work (interestingly enough, she was also on "who wants to be a millionaire" a few years ago). What I miss from the goold ol' days (I mean the late 70s): not knowing that my mama's Crisco pie crusts might put us all in early graves!

butcher.jpg

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In regular grocery stores: Russet apples, Chieftain corn, Northern Spy apples, cream with only cream in it, ditto for whipping cream, peas in the pod, calves liver, etc. (just give me time...)

Actually I cannot remember the last time I saw a Russet apple and as for corn; we can't buy any kind other than peaches and cream. :sad:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Thought of one other thing. Whipping, or heavy, cream that was not "ultrapasturized". It just doesn't yield the same results as the old time stuff.

It may also be the breed of cow. I recently bought some heavy cream from a local dairy called Milk Thistle that uses Jersey cows instead of the much more common Holsteins, and it was another thing entirely. It seems to have a higher fat content.

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Move to MN if you want a ton of quality butchers. They not only butcher their meat, they also cure and/or smoke it -- stuff it into casings, etc. We're planning a 100 miles road trip on Saturday that will take us past 8+ meat markets. Foley, MN (pop 2300 something) has three of them!

I am lucky that my small local grocery employs a real butcher. We get excellent cuts of meat for reasonable prices. Maybe it's because the rural community is used to this. I also have a variety of artisnal meat producers nearby for outstanding sausages, etc.

Edited to say: Yes, Jersey milk has higher butter fat content than other breeds, yielding tastier dairy products. (Not as lucrative for beef.)

Life's hard in the Finger Lakes!

;-) Cxx.

Edited by Corinna (log)

Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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Thought of one other thing. Whipping, or heavy, cream that was not "ultrapasturized". It just doesn't yield the same results as the old time stuff.

It may also be the breed of cow. I recently bought some heavy cream from a local dairy called Milk Thistle that uses Jersey cows instead of the much more common Holsteins, and it was another thing entirely. It seems to have a higher fat content.

My parents live next to a dairy farm that only has Jerseys. They do produce a higher fat milk. IMO, It's also better tasting. (although food can affect flavor as well) Jerseys aren't as large as Holsteins, so they don't produce the same volume, but it's definitely a case of quality over quantity.

Once, when I was a teenager, the dairy that buys the milk from the farm had a power failure and couldn't take any milk, so the farm gave us large amounts of raw milk. (normally, their contract does not allow them to sell/give milk to anyone but the dairy) We made butter and fresh cheese from that milk and it was amazing. I have never had better butter. Also, we had several pounds of the butter in the fridge (we should have frozen it) and, oddly enough, it had a cheddar cheese flavor after a couple of weeks' time.

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Thought of one other thing. Whipping, or heavy, cream that was not "ultrapasturized". It just doesn't yield the same results as the old time stuff.

It may also be the breed of cow. I recently bought some heavy cream from a local dairy called Milk Thistle that uses Jersey cows instead of the much more common Holsteins, and it was another thing entirely. It seems to have a higher fat content.

My parents live next to a dairy farm that only has Jerseys. They do produce a higher fat milk. IMO, It's also better tasting. (although food can affect flavor as well) Jerseys aren't as large as Holsteins, so they don't produce the same volume, but it's definitely a case of quality over quantity.

Once, when I was a teenager, the dairy that buys the milk from the farm had a power failure and couldn't take any milk, so the farm gave us large amounts of raw milk. (normally, their contract does not allow them to sell/give milk to anyone but the dairy) We made butter and fresh cheese from that milk and it was amazing. I have never had better butter. Also, we had several pounds of the butter in the fridge (we should have frozen it) and, oddly enough, it had a cheddar cheese flavor after a couple of weeks' time.

Wasn't that butter wonderful? About 20 years ago, a friend of mine told me that the dairy farm near her was selling fresh butter. I asked her to pick up as many pounds as $30 would buy. I distributed this butter throughout the elders in my family and neighborhood, who remembered butter before it came in yellow sticks. One of my aunts cried, because it took her back to the life she led and remembrances of the relatives she left behind in Eastern Europe.

The farm is now gone, sold off and turned into an over-priced housing development. All the other dairy farms around here belong to a collective, and are under contract similar to what you described, otherwise I would be right there, buying whatever they could sell me.

Theresa :smile:

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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I'd bring back the idea that snacking spoils ones appetite for dinner, and the idea that no dinner is complete without dessert.

IMO, dessert should be the spectacular finale to every dinner, at home or in a restaurant.

Agreed. And I'd add that I'd bring back the idea of the whole family sitting down to dinner at the same time, no cell phones, no TV, no distractions - just good food and conversation. I'm 57, and that was already going out of style when I was a kid - I guess I'm nostalgic for something I never really had. I don't have kids of my own, but if I did, I would absolutely fight for the family dinner hour.

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Actually I cannot remember the last time I saw a Russet apple and as for corn; we can't buy any kind other than peaches and cream. :sad:

Oh, yeah, I remember corn-flavored corn--where did it go? It seems to be almost completely replaced by sweet and mixed yellow-and-white corn. Who asked for that? Not me.

Yes--good (i.e., not ultra-pasteurized, not adulterated) cream is hard to find. Or actually not that hard to find, in the sense that I know, at least around here, where I can find it (Whole Foods and Russo's). But I have to have it to make ice cream.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Hi,

Better than a real butcher would be a 1950's meat market. We used to go into the sawdust floored wooden cooler room with a few carcasses hanging from the ceiling and watch the butcher break out a primal and divide it to suit our needs.

Recently I was permitted into a very cold and extremely clean locker to show the butcher exactly where he could find those spider steaks. That was a rare treat and there were no inspectors around. The steaks were wonderful.

Tim

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I went to this thread as a voyeur. I wanted to see what people miss. So here is the rub, or the challenge. If you miss a butcher, find one, drive out of your way and become her best friend (our town butcher is a lady), if you want to eat meals with someone without the cell phone, then do it, look at this thread and make a decision to change what you don't like. I can't change the effect of a Butterscotch Krimpet on my waistline, but I can go out of my way to use a good butcher, to make soup stock, to spend less time on the computer and more in the kitchen or with my family.

OK. I'm totally off the soap box now.

Well one more p.s. I moved to Italy for a lot of the reasons that you are mentioning and that is a sacrifice on many other levels, so maybe I know a little about what I'm preaching. Maybe.... I could just be full of hot air.

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Thought of one other thing. Whipping, or heavy, cream that was not "ultrapasturized". It just doesn't yield the same results as the old time stuff.

It may also be the breed of cow. I recently bought some heavy cream from a local dairy called Milk Thistle that uses Jersey cows instead of the much more common Holsteins, and it was another thing entirely. It seems to have a higher fat content.

My parents live next to a dairy farm that only has Jerseys. They do produce a higher fat milk. IMO, It's also better tasting. (although food can affect flavor as well) Jerseys aren't as large as Holsteins, so they don't produce the same volume, but it's definitely a case of quality over quantity.

Once, when I was a teenager, the dairy that buys the milk from the farm had a power failure and couldn't take any milk, so the farm gave us large amounts of raw milk. (normally, their contract does not allow them to sell/give milk to anyone but the dairy) We made butter and fresh cheese from that milk and it was amazing. I have never had better butter. Also, we had several pounds of the butter in the fridge (we should have frozen it) and, oddly enough, it had a cheddar cheese flavor after a couple of weeks' time.

Wasn't that butter wonderful? About 20 years ago, a friend of mine told me that the dairy farm near her was selling fresh butter. I asked her to pick up as many pounds as $30 would buy. I distributed this butter throughout the elders in my family and neighborhood, who remembered butter before it came in yellow sticks. One of my aunts cried, because it took her back to the life she led and remembrances of the relatives she left behind in Eastern Europe.

The farm is now gone, sold off and turned into an over-priced housing development. All the other dairy farms around here belong to a collective, and are under contract similar to what you described, otherwise I would be right there, buying whatever they could sell me.

Theresa :smile:

Don't know where you are, but if you're anywhere close to an Amish community, you might check to see if they sell butter. I can buy it in big rolls. Wonderful.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'd certainly move to Italy (or France, Thailand, or Spain) if I could afford to do so, believe me!

Another thing I miss: fish stores that had an extremely variable selection because it all came off the boat that morning. (RI Fish Company was my go-to back in the day....)

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Jaymes -

I live about half an hour from where the outermost Amish farms start.

I had told a friend of mine who lives here, but grew up in Brooklyn, about this thread. As we were waxing nostalgic over the foods of NYC that are not available here, she mentioned that she knows of, and will show me how to get to, a farm not too far from here, where they churn their own butter and make their own cheeses for public sale. She said the butter is as white as snow, and has no salt, coloring, or preservatives. She also said that they sell bulk items (flours, grains, sugars, beans, spices, etc) inexpensively, so be prepared to spend some big money there. I can't wait to get there.

Theresa :smile:

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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I'd bring back the idea that snacking spoils ones appetite for dinner, and the idea that no dinner is complete without dessert.

IMO, dessert should be the spectacular finale to every dinner, at home or in a restaurant.

Agreed. And I'd add that I'd bring back the idea of the whole family sitting down to dinner at the same time, no cell phones, no TV, no distractions - just good food and conversation. I'm 57, and that was already going out of style when I was a kid - I guess I'm nostalgic for something I never really had. I don't have kids of my own, but if I did, I would absolutely fight for the family dinner hour.

And further to this ideal, everyone in the family ate the meal that Mom put in front of them!

Anyone else in Southern California miss the Helms Man?

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Oh the Helms man....boy does that take me back! in later years, besides the bread items, they had a great selection of candies, always had to have the wax lips and the wax bottles lol.

Yes, yes, yes! And no other bakery has ever been able to duplicate the cinnamon crumb cake doughnuts. Many have tried, all have fallen short.

Watching those long shallow drawers slide out of the back was a real adventure.

One of my neighbors down the road has a whistle from a Helm's truck - his father worked for them until they went out of business and was able to buy his van. Sadly the van is gone but the whistle remains.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Anyone else in Southern California miss the Helms Man?

Oh. My. God. YESSSSSS ! Oh yes. The *original* (at least original to me) Milano cookies. The doughnuts. THE BREAD. The little sign in the window.....ohhhhhh, Helms. Their trucks were sooooooo cool. The woodwork on the bakery trays was fantastic. What a special after school treat when I lived in an area where the Helms Man came in the afternoon.

OK, how about this one, also from Southern California. The Van De Kamp's Ladies IN THE GROCERY STORES, helping you find their products, in their blue dresses, with the white, starched pinafores and white starched, winged caps? And the Swedish Twist? And the Dutch Girl Cookies.......ahh, Van De Kamp's how I long for your baked goods, and not the massed produced twaddle that bears your label these days....

Swedish Twist....*sigh*....

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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