Feasts well prepared

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE butchers and seafood stores have been "flat strap'' this week, as residents stock up for Christmas lunches.

Mick Daly from Daly's Quality Meats said the store had already sold out of hams.

"We've been flat out ? we make our own hams, and can only smoke 13 hams at a time so we've been working around the clock,'' Mr Daly said.

He said the store had sold about 700 half leg hams this year, and had been smoking hams "up 'til midnight'' to fill orders.

"Now we're sold out so it's been a good year,'' Mr Daly said.

He said pork and poultry were less popular this year, although some peo- ple were still keen to have their roast dinners with pork, chicken and all the trimmings.

More people were choosing to buy their meats without the bone.

Mr Daly said other popular items in- cluded barbecue meats and sausages for family barbecues.

He warned people to get to the butcher before stocks ran out.

"Especially if you're going away, it's probably a good idea to place an order because the shops will be running down before the four-day weekend,'' Mr Daly said.

He said after the busy Christmas pe- riod, most small businesses were look- ing forward to the long weekend, but would re-open from Wednesday.

Steve Bonney from Barney Point Butchers said the store had been "very, very, very busy'' and was open Christ- mas Eve to meet the needs of last-min- ute customers.

"Hams and legs of pork have been very popular and everything they can get they will in the lead up to Christ- mas Day,'' he said.

Mr Bonney said Christmas was generally a busy time for butchers, but particularly this year more people were stocking up on hams and other meats for their Christmas lunches.

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