Jon Tester travels with his own meat


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What do you insist on packing for a road trip? A favorite pillow seems to be a common answer. My kid has to have her special blanket. I know a few people who always keep a flask.

But how about a rib eye?

The New York Times has the story of Sen. Jon Tester's meat, which the organic farmer packs in carry-on luggage for his flights back to D.C.

...the senator, a first-term Democrat, can often be found lugging an extra 40-pound roller bag, which he gingerly stuffs into the overhead bin. His precious cargo is neither briefing books nor an extra raincoat, but roasts, ribs, round steak and (his favorite) rib steak.

“Taking meat with us is just something that we do,” Senator Tester, 55, said over a meal of beef stroganoff cooked by his wife, Sharla, in their Capitol Hill town house. “We like our own meat.”

Just as some lawmakers cannot part with their pillow from home, the Testers do not like to leave their state without its meat, which they have been schlepping around the country for years, including to a family reunion in Hawaii.

The only thing more surprising than Tester lugging his own meat across the country is how his wife prepares it: with canned cream-of-mushroom soup and a squirt of ketchup, cooked down in a slow cooker. The article also mentions a favorite side dish of boiled purple barley (also packed from the senator's Big Sandy farm) smothered in Cool Whip.

Anyway, what Montana delicacy can't you live without?

As soon as I figure out how to fly back east with pints of Big Dipper ice cream, that'll be in my roller bag. And I'll serve it smothered in Cool Whip.


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