Saturday, September 19, 2009

down on the farm

today was the day: we drove out to solar harvest farm and picked up our whole pig and half cow.

after overshooting our destination some (what is it with wisconsin and not properly marking street names?!), we made it. we parked in a field near the house and barn, and the first thing we saw were the chickens grazing in the pasture. oh, the joy and happiness of things done right. bryan went to check in and pay and get things figured out while oliver and i waded through the grass to check out the chickens.

of course, he wanted to pet them, but being the nervous city girl i am (not to mention mean mommy), i wouldn't let him. we watched them peck happily for a bit, then made our way back across the pasture to see how daddy was doing. i noticed there were pigs penned by the barn, so we asked if we could look at them, and the farmers told us "of course!"

as we were approaching the barn, 5 tiny, tiny kittens came running up! the look of sheer joy on oliver's face was priceless. one ran right up to him and without a moment's hesitation, he scooped it up in his arms! absolutely precious. except he was holding it upside down. though the cat didn't seem to mind, i asked him to put it down, thinking, of course, that he would set it on the ground. silly me. he opened his arms and let it fall - but the cat proved the old adage to be true, and landed gracefully on it's feet.

oliver was telling me he wanted to touch the pigs, though when we got close enough, i think he was a little too scared (they were rather large). he did enjoy standing about 18 inches from their pen and just gazing at them in awe, though the kittens were far more entertaining. oliver had fun chasing the kittens around and petting them nicely until bryan came to round us up.

the jeep was neatly packed with meat (and bones, fat, and organs). i was surprised at how compact it all was - though it was neatly packed into boxes, so that made sense. we jetted home, all the while discussing our freezer organization ideas.

once home, bryan unloaded the truck, and began loading up the freezers while i took an inventory. at the end, bryan remarked how it seemed like we got more pig than cow, which was odd, considering there should have been about 60 more pounds cow than pig. we had 3 boxes of pork and 2 of cow. then we realized we were missing cow parts we had been expecting: cheeks, sweet breads, liver, heart, tongue, oxtail, rib steaks, sirloin tip, cube steaks, and tenderloin. the cut sheet had also marked that there should be been 3 boxes. i went to call the farm, and they had already left me a message, having realized the mistake. they have promised to deliver the missing box, which is great! good thing we have roughly a BILLION pounds of meat to get us through until it arrives.

more pictures in the gallery.

tonight, in honor of the delicious livestock, we'll be having steak au poivre. i'm not 100% sure what we'll be serving with it; i can't seem to think past the delicious, freshly cut steaks.

tomorrow's plan was tongue tacos, but as the tongue is in the missing box, i'm not confident that will happen. perhaps we'll have one of the 24 or so pork steaks we have.

i'm really quite interested to sort through the bags of pork fat to find the caul fat, which i'll be using to wrap around our american bronze heritage turkey for thanksgiving this year. me thinks with that kind of application on that fine a turkey, and the bird will need little else. i plan on keeping the rest of the menu rather simplistic as well: diana kennedy's corn budin (a fixure on our thanksgivings, no matter what), a traditional stuffing (more than likely with sausage i will make using the new pork), green beans (with garlic?), baked sweet potatoes, my apple & fennel pie (using an antique variety of apple from weston's apples). maybe some tart cranberry bread (and seeing that cranberries are native to wisconsin, i wonder if i can find some nice local ones??). mom's yeast rolls, of course. maybe shannon will do her gluten free pecan pie again. i do owe bryan homemade ice cream, so i'll do my vanilla bean ice cream to go with dessert.

dinner's at 6.