Butchering - German-Russian Social, Cultural & Heritage History
Butchering by German-Russian families was commonly done in the winter months, when there were no flies around and the meat from the butchered animal would be cold and chances of spoiling in the hot sun was less likely to occur. Here we see Henry Henkel on the right side with his wife Christina behind him. Quite often they would butcher a pig as well as a young heifer calf in the same day in order to have enough meat… both beef and pork to make sausages (Brotwurst) a common staple food for use in the winter months. You might wonder how they preserved the meat from spoiling when fridges and deep freezers were not in use as electricity was not common then. The meat and sausages were either smoked in a smoke house and / or the meats after smoking were placed inside the grain in granaries to keep cool and often frozen solid. The cold storage in grain was often the best place for meats, as vermin such as mice, could not get at it. It is a well-known fact that mice do not run on top of grain at any time. Mice instinctively know that they would disappear in the grain by running on top. The farmer would place a marker in the grain where the frozen meats were buried to identify the location. When spring came this meat had either been used up by then or it had been canned in glass sealers and cooked on a stove for preservation to be used during the summer months until the next butchering session in the late Fall of the year. Butchering of this kind usually occurred in the late Fall or early Spring, while the weather was cold and preservation of meats was possible. This picture is circa 1930's. (courtesy: Reuben Bauer collection)
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