Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A blog about yesterday’s steak. . .



I normally wouldn’t write about a piece of meat, but this particular cut made a little bit of “history” in my household. Covered in onions, I placed the most expensive single cut of meat I ever had in my 46 years of being alive into my cast iron skillet. I seasoned it with nothing more than some fresh ground pepper and McCormick's Italian Herb Seasoning.

This glorious, juicy, tender and wonderfully delicious cut originally started out as a cow at some feed lot outside the city. Once slaughtered, the meat was cut and neatly packaged. At Fry’s #672, the cut found its’ way to the meat counter and was put on display in an attempt to lure a customer.

And there it sat. At a whopping $9.99/pound, this beef loin cost $18.48. I’m sure there are scores of people in the metropolis of Maricopa that would flock to the store to buy it. To the disappointment of the greedy manager with the “Super-Inflato” price gun, there were no takers. As this meat approached the expiration date, it was marked down to $10.88. That’s $5.88/pound. Again, there were no takers.

I’m not picking on Fry’s. They have some of the best meat prices in Maricopa. Basha’s is the only other grocery store and they are gougers on everything they sell. In a recession, not many people would spend almost $20.00 on a single piece of meat for use in a single meal. A person could go to the local Native New Yorker and enjoy a nice steak dinner with sides for less than the asking price for that particular cut.

Going back to my New York Strip bone-in beef loin. We are getting extremely close to the expiration date and finally in a last ditch effort to sell this cut, the store dumps it on the “manager’s special” rack with a red sticker. At that point, the asking price was $7.26.
And again, not one person wanted it. I visit this rack all the time and my spending limit is usually around $4.00 for a single cut.

Ultimately, this piece of meat was removed from the shelf because it’s shelf life ended. This could have easily been the end of the road for my potential meal. It could have ended up at the rendering plant or the trash. Fortunately, the F. O. R. Food Bank in Maricopa gave this beef loin a chance to get eaten.

On Monday mornings, I hang out with some of my retirement buddies at the food bank. We usually spend close to three hours socializing. When 10:00AM arrives, our names are called and the bags are handed out. Just like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolate, you never know what you’re going to get. I was astounded when I opened my bag to find several packages of meat.

I enjoyed one of the best meals I’ve had since my birthday (steak at the Native New Yorker). Nothing was wasted. My dogs, Booger and Bonehead spent the evening gnawing on the bones.

The only losers in this was Fry’s and the consumers that will eventually pick up the cost of the things that don’t get sold.
 

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