I'm having a cow. (Sometime in 7th grade this became the phrase to say. "Don't have a cow." --or don't get upset. Why did we say it? I don't know. It was 7th grade.) But, I am going to have a cow. On Wednesday Mr. Farmer will be delivering a full cow to my house.
Our congregation was challenged to make a "Happiness Pledge" last year. This was to be something that would simultaneously make the world a better place and make us happier in some way. CD and I decided we would purchase grass fed beef and then eat much less beef than normal. Hopefully that would keep the cost reasonable across the time frame.
The farmer keeps about six cows at a time, completely back yard grass fed. He also raises chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, goats, lamb, and pigs. We call it "happy cow" and try to take a moment to thank the cow, in a Native American style, before eating it. I like that the boys care so much about the source of their food. They ask at most meals about who grew the food they're eating. I'm pleased to say that we often know. (Not that Kroger isn't frequently the source.)
This farmer brings meats to our weekly organic farmer's market so I purchased a few steaks to see if the family liked grass fed beef enough to make the leap before we each bought about 25 pounds. Two families shared 1/4 of a cow with us. We kept our pledge and were successful in changing our eating patterns, and in becoming spoiled for really, really good quality meat!
Now, I'm not sure that meat should stay in the freezer for a full year, but I pulled out the last sirloin steak today, and it was still incredible. CD marinated it in soy and garlic and then put it on the grill. That is some of the best meat I have ever eaten. (That and some potatoes sliced and grilled with Dijon mustard, horseradish and olive oil which were referred to by the boys as "happy potatoes" since they were also grown on an organic, "happy" farm.)
This year I decided to spread the love. I found eleven other families to share a full cow. The price per pound goes down naturally as you buy more, so the full cow was my goal. The meat is all cut and labeled and approved by the government, vacuum packed and pre-frozen before delivery. I've made everyone promise to keep complaints to themselves if they have any. The cow will do its best but, for example, it has only so many ribs. The coolers will not be identical, but I will try to make the distribution as fair as I can. CD thinks I'll regret this. I'm just going to try hard not to have a cow.