The meat has arrived. Several weeks ago, in fact. I got the call from Farmer Mark at the beginning of the month to tell us that not only was the lamb ready to be butchered, but our cow was ready too. I wasn’t expecting the cow until Fall but we have the chest freezer and the money was already set aside. So on a Monday afternoon, I headed down to his farm with our friends Bethany and Stephan following in their van.
Y’all. (Being born in Texas and living there as a baby is enough to give license to a few “y’alls” when you really need them.) There was meat. Meat, meat, and more meat. Do you know how big half a cow is, even when it’s nicely butchered and packaged? It’s A LOT. That must have been some cow. My two coolers were able to hold most of the ground beef. But not all of it. NOT ALL OF IT. And that didn’t count the two boxes of roasts/steaks we still had to load. Oh – and the big box of lamb. Half. Half a cow, and half a lamb. A. Lot. Of. Meat.
Luckily, it was frozen – so even though most of it was still in boxes, I cranked up the A/C, covered it with blankets, and drove home with as much of a lead foot as I could, considering I had both girls with me, and it was raining. We made it home right in the middle of a huge downpour and of course got completely soaked bringing everything in. But we did get it in, and filled the chest freezer. Right to the tippy-top. I had some chicken, some sausage, one small pork roast, and our ice-cube trays already taking up a little space because they wouldn’t fit in our fridge’s freezer, but everything else in there is grass-fed, hormone-free, organic meat.
Did I mention that in order to fit the meat in the freezer, I had to empty it? Did I mention that the freezer was mostly full of blueberries when I had to empty it? No? Ah…well – I got this e-mail….you’ll never guess from whom. She was ordering 60 (SIXTY!) pounds of blueberries. Did I want to get some as well? Yes. But not 60. Let’s try 20. Turns out, 20 pounds of blueberries is still a lot. Tom and I spent about 2 hours washing, de-stemming, and bagging the fruit.
I managed to just squeeze them into our fridge’s freezer, after some creative rearrangement and a bit of prep-work over the last few weeks of actually using what was in there (what an idea!).
Since then, we’ve been whole-heartedly enjoying both. We’ve used the berries in shakes and pancakes, but our favorite way is to drizzle raw yogurt or kefir over pumpkin-flax granola and then pour them on in a pile of antioxidant goodness. Yum.
Our first taste of the meat was with probably the easiest dinner I make. Take any kind of beef (or pork, for that matter) roast, dump it in a slow cooker with a jar of green salsa (or two, depending on the size of your roast) and cook. 8-12 hours later, some shredding with forks, and – voila’! You have an amazing filling for tacos.
Corn tortillas, queso fresco, spanish rice, black beans, cucumbers and tomatoes from our garden, drizzled with balsamic. Fantastic. We’ve also had burgers, stir-fry, Swedish meatballs, and marinated steak with Bloody Mary sauce (recipe to come soon). All delicious, and yes, you can tell the difference! Come on over, I’ll make you something and you can see for yourself – we have plenty to share.