If walls could talk... this meat house has been worked in by 4 generations and many friends and family in between. It, along with other cabins at the ranch, were brought in from Labarge, Wyoming in the 1950s. Although a meat house now, it originated as a milk house, bath house, and wash house.
My great grandma had 13 milk cows that she and her daughters would milk twice a day every day. She would pack the milk from the barn to the milk house where she would stain it. The milk house is near the spring with a spring box. She would lower the milk into the box of cool water to keep it cold until they could transport it the five miles to the highway to sell.
There was a wood burning stove in the milk house where they would heat water, that they had to pack up from the spring, to pour in the big bath tub that was in there for bathing. This is where my great grandparents and their five children, along with anyone else staying at the ranch, would wash up.
The building no longer has the bath tub, stove, or milk straining equipment, rather a meat saw. And instead of processing the milk from 13 cows, today we processed the meat from 13 lambs.
One lamb at a time, we pack them in from the walk-in cooler adjacent to the now meat house. Jim, my step-dad, and Koleman, my amazing boyfriend, begin by cutting it into fourths and then all the different cuts, such as chops, ribs, leg bones, and roasts.
The cuts get passed on to our good friend/hired retiree from west of Reno, Larry, who does any necessary trimming and puts them in plastic bags according to cut and how many are wanted in each package.
My mom and our other good friend/pilot/mountain Lion hunter, Lavern, wrap the sacked meat into freezer wrapping paper.
They pass the finished product to me, where I write what it is and box it, to either be delivered or moved over to one of our freezers.
Of course, the dogs can't miss out on all the action, and the scraps getting tossed out the door to them! (This is only 2 of the 10 that are actually out there patiently waiting for some meat.)
Although it is a lot of work to cut and wrap 13 lambs, it is worth the conversations had amongst friends, and the amazing product we get to share at the end of it as well.
EAT LAMB, wear wool!