My mother and father were great lovers of a side of beef.
She and dad had a thing about beef; in simple terms they couldn’t get enough of the stuff.
Every meal was beef in one form or other.
Braised, baked, crumbed, cured, sliced and diced, stir fried and not fried, skewered and stewed, grilled or BBQ’d it didn’t matter how so long as it was beef.
So often it turned out with mum’s cooking, a piece of elephant’s arse. But that didn’t matter to them as they’d grind, slice and masticate their way through it.
Dad made his own sausages with pig’s gut he got from the butcher. He used the scraps of beef he and mum didn’t use, grind them up in the old mincer and add a few of his own ‘secret herbs and spices’ and before long the lengthy sausage would emerge to be broken up into sizable portions much to mum’s enjoyment as she’d be goading dad the whole time with comments like ‘Wishful thinking there Bob.’ And chuckling her way back into the kitchen where she’d be cutting up the greens for the night’s dinner with the sausages.
Dad in his own right was a bit of a beefcake. He’d worked hard on the farm, long and strenuous work that had over the years given him a very impressive physique. Mum loved him and would often remark about the muscles he possessed and the strength he had when the time came for hard work.
But beef was his love, he raised the best beef cattle, he fed them the best of beef stock, he sold them at excellent prices at the annual beef sales and had a reputation around the town of being a more than regular beefcake.
It was the day his best bull bit the dust that things changed for dad. He lost a lot of the beefiness that characterised his personality and went into a decline.
Mum was powerless to stop his demise, the years began to catch up with him and on a cold day in September he breathed his last.
Into his coffin went a container of mum’s best beef stew, as she didn’t want him being hungry in the next world.
On his gravestone is written:
“A man whose beef was bigger than anyone else’s.”