I am planning a small dinner party with old school chums and their spouses for later this week.
Both gals are accomplished cooks with educated palates and are very well traveled.
Therefore, there is not much I can offer them that they cannot do quite well themselves!
However, sometimes it is just fun to have a dish prepared for you and sit back and enjoy.
So, I put Osso Buco on the menu.
What an education I have had these past four days!!!!!
I began my search at the West Shore Farmers Market at prime meat stands......no, they carry no veal shanks.
Then I started calling around to the food stores in the area......either they do not carry veal shanks
or they "might" be able to get them, "maybe".......
I supposed this was the joys of living in central Pennsylvania!
However, I had a lengthy conversation with a "meat clerk" at the Giant food store this afternoon. He explained that Giant (and almost all other foods stores) no longer employ butchers. Instead, there are distribution centers (which are now becoming fewer and larger) where all foods are processed and shipped to the area store outlets.
All meats now come in to the stores pre-packaged, take it or leave it.
Gone are the days when I would talk to a butcher about the cut of the meat and how to cook it. Those butchers were amazing! So full of knowledge and happy to educate you!
When I was catering I used to travel to south Jersey for my veal......at a wonderful place called Meadowbrook where the butcher had a wooden block with a huge dent in the center from the years of cutting on it! You could go in there and pick out whatever steak you wanted and they would grind
it up for you for your ground beef!!!
This new generation coming up is missing quite a lot! (Boy, do I sound like an old fuddy-duddy)
But, it is such a shame.....some things really were wonderful and the lack of them is quite disappointing!
(If only I were in New York City right now.....I could walk in and walk out with my Veal Shanks!!)
It will be interesting to see if we can keep Osso Buco on the menu for my dinner party........or not!!!!