Does anyone else remember what was written on Ben Affleck’s cricket bat – the one he used to beat on little kids – in Dazed And Confused? Fah Q. I was sixteen when that movie came out and I thought that cricket bat was hiiiiiilarious. So decades later, when the internet became as ubiquitous as caesar salads, web pages would have all of their Frequently Asked Questions jumbled together under a heading that I thought sounded like the website was telling people off. I seriously thought it was a nerdy web joke that nerds high-fived each other over as if they just beat level a billion on World Of Warcraft or something. (Same with “lol”, the WORST acronym ever, which I assumed meant “lots of love”.) Anywho tiddlywinks, I’m going to try and answer some of the more common questions people have when they come into the shop. All questions, by the way, are valid and NOT stupid. You know the old saying “there are no stupid questions, just stupid people”? Well, that’s a bit of a mantra of mine. If you never ask the questions, you’ll never get the answers, and that would just be stupid. So with that in mind, here we go! Q. Why is there sawdust on the floor? A. The sawdust helps us keep the floor clean, actually. When bits of meat or drops of blood fall to the floor they’ll get balled up with the sawdust to make for an easy sweep. Same as when you were in kindergarten and you drank too much paint and had to barf it all over little Suzy and the floor. The teacher would put sawdust down to clean up your mess. Little Suzy would just have to spend the day covered in barf. Q. Is all of your meat organic? A. No, it’s not all certified organic. I source my meat from small local farmers who raise their animals humanely and without the use of antibiotics and hormones. We try to have a close relationship with the people responsible for the animals; I find it’s more personal this way and we know what we’re getting. I do bring in certified organic products from time to time, and our chicken eggs from the Webers are organic, but I find it is hard to have a reasonably priced meat counter when everything is certified organic. Q. How often do you get deliveries? A. We get our meat in at different times of the week, but generally it goes like this: lamb comes in either Monday or Tuesday; chicken, Tuesdays and Thursdays; beef, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; game, Thursdays; pork, Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. Q. Have you ever cut yourself on the bandsaw? A. I nicked myself twice (Peter). Never, because we’re not that careless (everyone else). Q. What are Silkie Eggs? A. Silkie is a breed of chicken that is smaller than the usual hen that we normally get eggs from. Therefore the eggs may be slightly smaller, but they are huge in flavour. The Silkie eggs we get are organic and pasture-raised from the Webers out near Paisley, ON. Oh yeah, and they look like this: I know, right? Q. (This one usually directed towards the women who work in the shop.) How did you get into butchery? A. Well, we all come from a restaurant background, where we loved to cook and produce beautiful food. It is a challenge at the restaurant level to experience butchery though, so working at the shop satisfies our desire to learn this trade. You sexist pig. Q. How do you cook goat? A. Well, that is a question best answered in an entire blog post, but basically goat is cut into smaller pieces and stewed, although I have heard of recipes for roasting whole goats or simmering it gently in milk. Think of goat like lamb’s tougher older cousin. Joe Pesci to Justin Bieber, if you will. Q. Do you accept stagiers? A. Of course! Just pop by the shop or email us with your info and we can chat about opportunities. Q. How are your chickens raised? A. I get in a few types of chickens from a few different farms. We get certified organic pastured birds from near Paisley, which are raised in an open cage system. Basically these chickens are out of doors, weather permitting, in a large fenced-in area. The fence is moved around a few times a day so the chickens have fresh grubs to eat. We also get Rhode Island Red chickens in from Elora, which is a heritage breed of chicken that has a delicious meat; some compare it to chicken eaten in France (where chickens are treated like gods, so I’ve heard). Finally I get the majority of my conventionally raised birds from Sharon, ON, where King Capon Farms raises a lovely cross-bred bird without the use of antibiotics or hormones. They are fed grains supplemented with vitamins and are air chilled (this means they aren’t tumbled in a nasty ice water bath after the kill. Yummy! Q. Who did your design work? It’s amazing. A. That would be our dear friend Scott McKowen, whose illustrations can be seen internationally from book covers to theater posters. His company, Punch and Judy, has been instrumental in creating the Sanagan’s identity. It helps that he seemed to understand exactly what we wanted from the get go. And c’mon, that cleaver is boss. You can find examples of Punch and Judy’s work at www.punchandjudy.ca. Stay tuned for more answers to common questions. We’ll call the next entry Fah Q 2. I swear.
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