Baby Beef


My husband loves the old fashioned American diners that you can still find on the East coast.  Nothing like the hamburger joint in Pulp Fiction, way too upscale, but he likes the ones with meat loaf, roast beef specials and enormous breakfasts that include pancakes with eggs, bacon, home fries, buttered (margarine) toast and jam.  He’s not obese and no more than middle age overweight, but it’s a good thing he got that new valve.

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Anyway.  Our house is a mess.  Our things from Germany haven’t arrived yet but we already had a house full of thousands of pounds of boxed household effects that have been stored for decades.  In those boxes, somewhere, is a ridiculous amount of cooking pots, pans, cooking utensils (mine and my mother-in-law’s), etc.  This, plus the stuff coming from Germany, is more than anyone would need in a lifetime, so I must unpack the boxes in order to cook anything worth while instead of going out and buying more things.  I’ve been unpacking unenthusiastically and slowly.

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We’ve had breakfast in a diner at least 5 times since I arrived on August 5th and on August 17th, my husband’s birthday, he wanted another early morning blow out.  There are several diner-like places in the small town of  Honesdale, Pennsylvania where you can get breakfast and my husband has tried them all.  On the outside of one of his favorites, and the one he chose for his birthday breakfast feast, is a sign that says “Baby beef liver.”  I was curious.


We ordered our meals and I asked the very friendly, very efficient waitress if the sign was a cute way of saying veal.  No, she said and explained to us very carefully and patiently that, like the pork cuts of ham and bacon, beef also has a cut called veal and that it is located somewhere near the shank of the cow.  Baby beef, she said a bit sadly, comes from cow babies.

I nodded, kept my head down and refused to look at my husband because even though he looks like a really nice, sweet, leprechaun kind of a guy, he’s bad to the bone and would have made me laugh out loud, embarrassing the nice lady and probably getting me barred from the diner for life.

There are two things that are puzzling if not appalling about this:  1)  Honesdale is a farming community and livestock is common.  2)  What in the world does the Wayne County education system require for a child to graduate from high school?!  We discussed this for hours, giggling over several glasses of Prosecco in the privacy of our own home, while wondering if we should home school Jade.

I haven’t figured out the light in the kitchen yet and my tripod doesn’t arrive until Tuesday but I really wanted to start posting from Honesdale.  The light situation could be caused by the glare from the enormous stainless steel refrigerator.  I’ll try covering it with a sheet. The out of focus pictures are caused by the trembling hands of the aged.  Tripod.

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The Farmer’s Market here in Honesdale is somewhat of a disappointment.  It’s like they moved those roadside vegetable and fruit stands to a parking lot.  Not a big selection but I did find those beets and some lovely wax beans.  I made a salad with the beans.  The plate is hand painted from Austria and was the first set of dishes I owned before my marriage 38  years ago.

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The butcher didn’t have baby beef flanken ribs but did have some from mature adults.  I rubbed the ribs with my Bavarian Essence, refrigerated them for about 6 hours and then grilled.  The salad was a mixture of steamed wax beans, drained and rinsed canned pinto beans, sliced scallion, roasted red pepper, sugar, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.





About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes, Salad and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Baby Beef

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Hilarious post – you made me think of Julia Child returning from France, though I bet you don’t speak like her! I wonder if they teach kids that meat is a vegetable in Honesdale… ?
    Your ribs have got the most amazing marbling – almost Kobi 😉

  2. Laura says:

    Great story, I am giggling over several glasses of Albarino … (I expect that Jade has had enough extra-curricular learning about food that she will be fine on cow’s anatomy regardless of the Honesdale schools, not to worry!)

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  4. cecilia says:

    Oh you are going to miss the market in Sens, your steak looks good though. SO when are you going to come out and meet my baby beefs! After the mammoth unpacking i think!.. c

  5. Michelle says:

    Oh dear.

  6. You sound really happy to be out of Germany and back in the US. Love the idea of those breakfasts….can you carry spare valves around with you?

  7. Oh dear…I think you are really going to miss France 🙁 Jade will be fine – she has the best teacher in you. And that meat looks amazing!

  8. Effing love this… And I’m loving your husbands styles – a man after my own heart! 🙂

  9. what a great story – you have to love that waitress, ignorance and all!! full marks to you for not getting the giggles right in front of you, I bet it was very difficult :)! And the beef ribs…. give me Angus beef any day.

  10. Karen says:

    Well it certainly is not like being home on the range in Texas. Baby beef where I grew up was usually young beef cows that had enjoyed eating grass and were larger than young calves. I’m looking forward to your new life experiences and I’m hoping all goes smoothly. It won’t be anything like France but I hope your family is very happy.

  11. Beautiful beef ribs, and I love the story here, there’s so much confusion surrounding meat out there.

  12. My wife would like those pieces of beef served on her birthday … and many other days each year!

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