Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, December 22, 2017

Meat Mystery

Mmmmmm . . .

Every family has traditions at Christmas.
Some are fun.
Some funny.
Some weird.
Our family has several that fit into this last category.
One is Christmas stockings.
Okay, yes, I know that many, many families enjoy the custom of stuffing a stocking for each family member.
It's what goes into said stockings that sets our family apart.
Maybe I should explain . . .
On Christmas, after the kids have been shuttled off to bed, Mom and Dad (Spoiler Alert: Alias Santa) bring out the loot.
Erm . . . gifts.
Each stocking is laid out and stuffed full.
I look after the common, everyday, run-of-the-mill gifts:
1.Toothbrushes.
2. Socks.
3. Underwear.
4. The orange in the toe.
My Husby looks after the strange and bizarre:
1. Various styles of catapults.
2. Magnets.
3. Quirky -- ie. strange – books, puzzles and games.
4. Expanding T-shirts. Just add water.
5. And little tins of meat.
I know what you're thinking.
Why on earth would someone give his kids catapults?
You weren't?
My mistake.
Sooo . . . tinned meats.
Every year, each of our children finds a tin of . . . something . . . stuffed into the inner reaches of his or her stocking.
And I'm not talking tuna fish here.
These are tins of something fancifully called: Vienna sausage.
In various flavours.
All neatly and brightly and attractively packaged.
And yes, I realize that there may be people around the world who love Vienna sausage.
My kids were raised on the prairie.
And served beef three meals a day.
With the occasional foray into the world of chicken or pork.
If the animal didn't originally bellow, oink or cluck, they regarded it with deep suspicion.
Or outright revulsion.
Okay, the ingredients listed on the Vienna sausage tins said: beef and/or chicken and/or pork and/or meat.
But it was mechanically de-boned and mixed with . . . other stuff.
So in the words of my kids, mystery meat.
Need I say that my Husby's gifts weren't received with gladness?
Probably not.
Oh, they tried it.
The very first year.
It . . . wasn't popular.
No tin was every willingly opened again.
And when the detritus had been cleared from the front room after the all-important opening of the gifts, the only things remaining were several tins of meat.
Left where they had been dropped upon being discovered.
Husby immediately scooped them up and stowed them carefully away.
Only to bring them out and drop them into another stocking the next year.
One particular tin of sausage re-appeared six years in a row. The last a few years ago. In Argentina (where our youngest son was living at the time).
His roommate ate it.
Something we didn't think was possible.
One of our kids asked their father why he kept putting those little tins of -to them- inedible meat in the stockings.
His answer surprised all of us. “Because I want you to appreciate that we live in a place where we have plenty. That tiny tins of mystery meat can be laughed over and disregarded. We are very blessed.”
We truly are.

Over the next few days, I'm reprising my Favourite stories of Christmas. Some you may remember. All are true! :)

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful sentiment behind those cans!

    A roommate from Hawaii would've eaten it too. There isn't quite the same level of love for vienna sausages as there is for Spam, but it's close. :)

    Mele Kalikimaka!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The best part of the whole story is your husband's reason for doing it.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like a student that really appreciates "tinned meat". AND you made me laugh. Thank you.

    b+

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love your husband's reason for including mystery meat. How right he is.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is a WONDERFUL custom. (Who knows; you may inspire some other families to do this). Incidentally, I usually put pepperoni or jerky into my son's stocking - but he likes both.

    ReplyDelete
  6. OMG I'm dying laughing about the tin of sausages!! Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is a wonderful lesson as well as a fun tradition. Can't beat that :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can't imagine eating beef three times a day. Once, at dinner or occasionally twice with a cold roast beef sandwich for lunch.
    I do remember Vienna sausage though, we ate it fairly often, it was cheap and we sliced it into baked beans mostly. Sometimes dad would fry the sausages to have with eggs, bacon was rare in our house.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very funny. We used to refer to tinned meat made from cluckers, oinkers and bellowers as "and/or" meat.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very nice post.really I apperciate your blog.Thanks for sharing.keep sharing more blogs.

    หนังผจญภัย

    ReplyDelete

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