Archive for the ‘Local Somewhere’ Category

Grass fed. The next adventure. I cowpool.

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

I’ve joined a cowpooling venture: with six others I’m the proud owner of the meat from a grass-fed steer that was raised without antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, or feed animal byproducts at the foot of the Sangre de Cristos in Southern Colorado. Butchered and wrapped my share is 52 lbs., which looks surprisingly smaller than I expected it to. A lot (25 lbs.) is hamburger and stew meat, but the rest is an interesting selection of familiar and not-so familiar cuts. This exercise in good taste has necessitated the purchase of a small chest freezer that is now also stocked with Wisdom’s chicken and quite a lot of peeled green chiles.

This sounds like a lot of beef, but according to the Humane Society the average American in 2007 consumed 222 lbs. of meat, of which 66 lbs. were beef. This is up from 144 lbs./44 lbs. in 1950, which is both surprising and disturbing.

I did this for both health and sustainability reasons, and my hope is to eat less, but better, meat than before. We shall see, but mindfulness is the first step.


Oswald Cattle Company

Local somewhere. Pimientos de Padrón. From Virginia.

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Pimientos de Padrón are succulent thumb-sized green peppers that are traditionally grown around the small town of Padrón in Galicia. A classic tapa, served there and in Madrid, is made by simply sautéeing a couple of handfuls of peppers, stems on, in olive oil, then adding sea salt to taste. The result is a smoky, salty delight, eaten by grabbing the stem of the pepper and biting off the body of the pepper. Most are mild but a few have a surprising amount of heat: “Spanish Roulette,” according to the New York Times.

La Tienda, based in Virginia, noted that Galicia and Virginia share an Atlantic coast. They have persuaded a local farmer to produce the peppers from imported seeds, and the results are available every year about this time. Thinking back to last summer in Madrid, I could not resist ordering a couple of pounds. Since overnight shipping is a given, I also took the opportunity to tack on the only-just-available Jamón Ibérico Bellota Paleta in a 4 ounce hand-sliced package. That is the subject of another posting, but I can tell you that the peppers alone were worth the shipping cost.


La Tienda