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Uncle Dave's Cow and Other Whole Animals My Freezer Has Known Paperback – October 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594856974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594856976
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,812,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Seattle-dweller Leslie Miller gives a lesson on bringing a bit of farm life to urban homes, starting with meat. She details, in a funny, friendly manner, how to pick, store, prep and cook a whole animal's worth of meat. ---Seattle Times

About the Author

Leslie Miller is the co-author with James Beard-nominated chef Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell's New Italian Kitchen, the recipe editor for From Tree to Table (Skipstone 2011), and is the lead author behind the forthcoming In the Kitchen with the Fish Guys, a seafood cookbook. A frequent contributor to NW Palate Magazine, her food reviews, articles, and features have also appeared in Beer West magazine, Time Out New York, and Redbook. The Uncle Dave of her book is a real, live uncle Dave who is a third generation Central Washington farmer. Miller lives in Seattle, Washington, with her family.

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Customer Reviews

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I stumbled upon this book and was so pleased I did!
KidOnTheHill
You don't need to live in the PNW to get great info from this book either.
rramstad
Miller starts her book with the story of her path to buying whole animals.
Adam S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carey Teemer on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Leslie Miller has written a fun to read book that also delivers on its promise to help consumers find local sources for the meat they eat. Thoroughly enjoyable and practical, I highly recommend.
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Format: Paperback
Uncle Dave's Cow is a quick and amusing read that covers all of the basic information you need to make an informed start purchasing whole animals. It's split into two parts. The first half of the book covers the advantages of purchasing whole animals (or substantial fractions of them) directly from the people who raise them, along with some of the logistics of doing so. It is richly embellished with anecdotes from the author's experience. The second half of the book consists of four chapters that cover details for specific types of meat, one each for beef, pork, goat and lamb. There is information on they types of cuts you can request, additional processing options that may be available (would you like you beef dry aged? your bacon and hams smoked?), along with recipes.

We've been buying meat from a CSA for years now, and plan to continue with that, but we've also discussed buying additional meat in bulk. I am much better informed about the process because I've read this book. Now if you'll excuse me, the lamb chapter has me craving kibbeh.
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By Adam S. on December 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed Uncle Dave's Cow (UDC). While there are many books out there arguing why you should avoid eating commercially processed meat, there are few that detail how to go about doing so while still maintaining your normal eating habits. Leslie Miller accomplishes this feat in a fun, informative, and humorous manner. In fact, I found her writing so compelling, that I read the book cover to cover--something I wouldn't typically do for a 'How-to' guide.

Miller starts her book with the story of her path to buying whole animals. Through her story she makes it clear that there are a plethora of reasons to buy whole, and that it makes sense for people from all walks of life regardless of politics, or socio-economic boundaries. It wasn't until reading UDC that I realized how exciting it must be to buy a whole animal. The prospect of venturing out to the countryside and interacting with a farmer has great appeal to me, as it does Miller.

There is a lot to know when choosing to purchase a whole animal, and UDC goes into fine detail describing the steps to buying, transporting, storing, and cooking. The terminology alone made my head spin, but I am now confident that when I buy my first cow or pig that I'll know what to say--or at the very least, I'll have the book open in front of me.

At the end of UDC Miller goes into specific information with regards to cows, pigs, goats, and lambs. These chapters, dedicated to each species respectively, cover the need to know information including pricing, cuts of meat, and recipes. I'm excited to try the Spanish-style Chorizo. My only critique of the book would be that I think much of the material could have been covered more succinctly and is at times repetitive. Other than that, it is a welcome addition to my bookshelf. And, I think it was just the catalyst I needed to get me to finally buy a whole animal. I think I'll start with a pig. Bacon!
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Format: Kindle Edition
First up, a disclaimer: Skipstone sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Which always scares me a little, because what if I hate it? Ugh.

Luckily, I didn't have to worry about that with Uncle Dave's Cow. From the very beginning, the book captured my attention about a subject that has the potential to be uncomfortable (and, let's face it, a little gross), and made the information presented very entertaining and readable in the process. (Whew.)

Far from being sugar-coated, Miller makes a very personal and very compelling argument for buying sustainable, locally-produced meat. She says, with humor, that the spoiler alert in any of this sourcing is that the animal does end up dead for your consumption. But, she argues, with local meat bought in bulk, you get to know *how* the animal lived, and are more grateful for it as a result, not to mention more in control of what you and your family consume. No one can argue that the meat processing system is flawed -- antibiotics, poor environmental conditions, and pink slime are all representative of that -- and going all the way around it is the journey Miller took with her own choices, and in Uncle Dave's Cow, she shares that journey with the world.

The first half of the book is anecdotal and informational. Miller shares her process of discovery, and addresses many of the things that you need to know to start buying whole animals for meat, such as storage (which needs to be considerable), what cuts to buy, how your family will react, and how to determine whether buying whole animals is right for your situation and lifestyle. Again, she handles the potentially ponderous topic with personal reflections, peppered with information you need to know, and a charming voice of experience.
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