I just picked up this new cook book by Terry Walter, a CT native, called Clean Food. You can get it at Granby Village Health. She's a great proponent of eating close to the source and the book is a collection of recipes to help keep our bodies in balance organized by season. Here introduction of "new" foods is inspiring as is her suggestion to try one new vegetable per week (I think I'll take that challenge). Highly recommended!
I picked up the beef from the packaging place today. Browned up the ground beef in the skillet for dinner and sold some to our first two beef customers! It tasted delicious. I don't know if it was just the meat I was tasting, or also the satisfaction of raising it ourselves. I'll be trying different cuts to see how it is and if we can improve anything for next year. I hope you will try some too and give us your input. Tomorrow I'm looking forward to a Rib Eye steak! I will take it just one piece at a time, though, as I am trying to cut our family's consumption of meat down in general. It seems like we have a grocery store of meat here now, but we still need to be judicious about how it is used. Our country can't continue on eating as much meat as we have become accustomed to. I combined the ground beef with barley today, since I am trying to introduce my family (and myself) to grains we aren't so used to. I have some lentils to cook next. I'm really spending a lot more time in the grains and beans section of the grocery store these days. I'm looking forward to reading Jonathan Safran Foer's new book Eating Animals. I don't think he'll convince me to become vegetarian, but his slippery-slope comparison of animals we consider for meat and those we consider for pets sounds interesting. Thanks Lauren for the suggestion!
I practiced cutting up a chicken last night! It's really so easy. And I hope to convince you that it is too. With one 5 lb roaster, I used the breasts for dinner, gave the legs to the grandparents, saved the wings in the refrigerator still, and used the rest of it for a delicious stock -- just throw the body in your biggest pot, cover with water and simmer for a couple of hours or as long as you've got. If you have an onion or some carrots - -even better! I'm going to show you all of this at a party I'm hosting on December 3, so save the date! Pampered Chef expert Marion Paterson will show us how to roast a chicken in the microwave! (How's that for fast food). And we'll taste all of Maple View's latest products including our grass-fed beef and eggs. I hope you can join us. Look for your invite in your e-mail box. Meanwhile, I have FRESH roasters right now. You won't get anything like it at the grocery store.
By the way, I am LOVING my kindling from the Kindling Kid, Alex Merriam. It lights like a match and has helped us start a couple of fires already this season. Look for Alex and his kindling bundles (tied together with our recycled baling twine) at our Christmas tree lot this season. Until then, find him at www.kindlingkids.com.
It's currently at the USDA packaging plant "hanging". Beef is hung for 10-14 days to allow moisture to evaporate and that delicious beef-y flavor to intensify. They said we should have it back by the end of the week or early next week. We can't wait to try it. We hope you will too. CLICK HERE for a price list and give a call or e-mail to place your order. We had such a fun (and challenging) time with our two beefers this year, we're ready to expand to four cows next year. We've found that cows make excellent use of our pastures and also do a great job clearing fence lines that have grown up over the years. Before the frost set in, Jason and I planted posts for where next year's cows will live. We're also tossing around the idea of pigs. We have lots of acres that were once clear that we'd like to have back. What better way to clear some land than letting the pigs do the work they were born to do. We're hoping to get some fencing together to have at least two pigs next year, so we'll be adding bacon and sausage to that delicious egg breakfast :) In moderation of course.....
On my reading list these days:
A Nation of Farmers by Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton
Food Matters by Mark Bittman
I'll be returning them to the Granby library soon so you can read them next!
A blog about farming and food. Kate Bogli owns and operates Maple View Farm, raising livestock and growing veggies, with her husband Jason. The farm has been in his family for 65 years.