August 31, 2011 § 15 Comments
I know I’ve mentioned that I have a meat CSA (community supported agriculture) in addition to a vegetable CSA before, but I can’t remember if I’ve spoken about it at length. And it’s been a long day, and I’m too lazy to check the archives, so I’m going to go ahead and make the executive decision to speak about it at length. In particular, to say: I looooooooooove it! I love it! It’s the best! To be able to get your meat, in a wide assortment of cuts and types, once a month from a farm where you know the animals are being raised sustainably and humanely. Just thinking about it induces a little sigh of relief.
(Given that I can’t eat legumes, many nuts, or unsprouted whole grains, meat winds up being fairly important in my diet, and before I found my CSA it was quite a struggle.)
Kim, the farmer, is wonderful. So friendly, gregarious, and accommodating, and completely uncompromising of principles. They have an open barn once a month so you can come out and “meet your meat,” which is something one really ought to have a chance to do, if one is going to eat meat, and is also a signal, clear as a mountain brook, that they have nothing in their process to hide. And, did I mention the hen house? When the chickens aren’t running about in the fields, pecking and scratching for insects, they roost in an old bus, salvaged from a dump.
An old bus! How wonderful is that image?! And, even more fascinating, between the solar heat and the heat from the feathery little chicken’s bodies, the bus requires no extra energy inputs to make it a pleasant abode for the birds, even in the winter. A chicken Hilton, on wheels…with tires that have gone flat.
And everything we get from Kim just tastes so much better than most of the meat you encounter. When someone says, “tastes like chicken” about something, they mean it tastes chewy, bland, generally inoffensive and entirely uninteresting. But, that’s not what chicken should actually taste like, it turns out. It should taste like chicken! (I’m afraid there’s not really a good way to describe it, so you’re going to have to make some inferences from the bold italics. It’s juicy, nuanced, and I swear you can detect fragrant hints of grass and wildflowers in there – maybe they soak it in while they’re scritching and squabbling about.)
February 7, 2011 § 9 Comments
I packed the saddest lunch with me to work last Friday. Well, maybe not the saddest, given that I’ve packed some pretty sad lunches with me in my time. Like the day in college where all I managed to scrounge together was a couple of Tablespoons of peanut butter in a Tupper ware. Or the day of cold leftover rice and a can of tuna mixed with mustard. These are the strange, pathetic things that happen when the refrigerator is virtually empty and I’m going somewhere for the weekend, so I put a moratorium on grocery shopping. Such was the case on Friday when my lunch consisted of a tiny limp dressing-less salad – saved from being entirely irrelevant only by the presence of a few chunks of avocado – and a piece of sprouted grain bread.
I think I was hungrier after I finished eating it than when I began. Then I decided to walk the 5 miles to a meeting I had to go to. It was sunny out for the first time in days and this had convinced me that walking was the best way to get from any given point A to any desired point B, which I think would have actually been true, except that the sun had not taken it upon itself to bother with melting the thick coating of ice on the sidewalks, so I wound up walk-skate-slip-sliding the 5 miles. By the time I reached my destination my stomach was growling loudly and angrily, and for whatever reason, the only thing I could think about was meat Stromboli. I probably would have eaten a stick at that point, but what I really really wanted was a Stromboli absolutely packed with lots and lots of meat. Feeling borderline deranged I rushed into a Whole Foods next door to where I was going, and when I beelined to the deli/cafe section, miraculously, they were serving Italian meatball Stromboli! Saved! My guardian food angel must have taken pity on me.