Counter

The Nifty Fifties – The Butcher’s Shop, Behind the Counter

All floors were covered in sawdust to catch any blood flow – even the front section, as Dad would take selected cuts of meat by the front display window to roll and weigh for the client. But the ‘working’ section had a really thick layer, since the jointing, cutting and clipping undertaken within this area could result in more serious ‘trickle’ absorbency.

Hidden under the counter on this side, were shelves containing all manner of essential things, like – a heap of pre-cut white paper along with greaseproof sheets, sticky tape for procuring the beef parcels, order books and docket books, and all types of extras required for fast and effective refurbishing of this wrap paper atop the counter tops csgo ranked accounts.

Along one wall was another display of several openings of
meat

cuts, with a sizable leaning mirror to signify all of the sides demonstrably – and lighting which has been NOT coloured such as today – simply used for the best illumination of the merchandise. And at a huge ‘U’ shape, running round three sides, has been a rail suspended from the ceiling to put up strong ‘S’ hooks, with large sections of beef hanging from them, or so the purchaser could select the size he required, and be ensured freshness.

In one single corner there is a cold room with a big barred doorway – and that is the whole bodies of beef will be hanging, back out of a railway and hooks – willing to become jointed to more manageable sizes – and once more, kept in as large pieces as possible. To guarantee the highest quality merchandise. There has been a side door to this component of the shop, plus it opened to your driveway, allowing delivery of the bodies of beef directly from the refrigerated shipping van into the cold room at any given moment. The delivery men would wear a wheat bag (slit open up one side) within their shoulders and heads to protect them along with their clothing from undesirable stains and greasiness. If their were such things as ‘strikes’ on, my Dad would have to overlook one of them to unload their or her own meat himself – when the drivers themselves were not ‘out’ as good. Then he had to get the meat from the distributor himself apparently – I was too young to own knowledge of this bit.

The significant source of pride because of the Dad was his precious chopping block. Exactly what an remarkable shrub this block should have begun its lifetime from – a solid block of wood, perhaps not much less than a metre square, securely mounted on four sturdy wooden legs on its corners. The timber used must have been tough, (maybe Jarrah or Ramin) because it had been quite infrequently that the scarring of these knives and choppers ordered a light sanding – and also a regular salt scrub was all which has been needed to maintain it sterilised. I cannot remember any oiling of this cube – figure that the fat trimming of the meat saw towards the potential ‘drying out’ problem – naturally.

A strange turn of term, you may be thinking, as implemented to butchery. BUT – the chopper would flash from nearly his head flat, to unerringly a part each dip in exactly the appropriate spot of the joint, as quickly as swiping seconds – truly! And also his other hand moving backwards, JUST in time to avoid amputation. An answer to his skill has been that he still had 10 complete palms in the conclusion of the lifetime – what else could I say?

And down below, under a lift-up trapdoor and at the base of a small steep flight of stairs, a sinister place called ‘The Pickling Cellar’ existed. In this ‘gloomy dungeon’ was an enormous Oak vat, filled with a pickling method of unknown content (for me!) – but apparently a blend of Butchers pickling brine – Butcher Salt (pure, coarsely-ground crystals, curing salts including nitrates, Sugar, Saltpetre, Bay leaves – for 3-4 days. Most pieces of beef to become pickled, required using a brine injection pump which forced the brine into various areas and alongside bones.

The Burger greens curing in here includes a grisly appearance – a kind of pinkish/grey – in a variety of strange shapes and sizes. It did cross my juvenile and fertile imagination that it would be a excellent repository for Mafia-style ‘disposals’.

And at the very back of the workshop, was a brief flight of steps that caused the Office to your shop, and a door out of there led in our property. A convenient access for me arriving home from school – but actually not designed specifically for me – Oh!

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