About two years ago we tried our first grass fed beef. We have never gone back. Grass fed beef is lean and has a wonderful flavor. As far as cost, we ended up paying about $4-$4.50 a pound after the cutting and wrapping and butchering waste. This is $4 a pound for hamburger and $4 a pound for T-bone steak. Overall cheaper then the grocery store and the grocery store beef is simply not in the same league as far as taste and quality goes. We are pretty good at calculating our use but if we run low on beef we cringe at the thought of having to buy "supermarket" meat. Thank goodness we have a local butcher who can tide us over until the next beef is ready.
Grass fed beef is cooked completely different then the fatty meat you get at the market. I used a meat thermometer on mine for quite a while when we first started cooking it. Remember "Low and Slow is the Way to Go" with grass fed beef. Cook it right and you'll never want to eat that plastic covered stuff in the store again.
More recently I found a great egg source right on my way home from work. I get to see the actual chickens that lay the eggs. True free range eggs are full of more nutrients then cage raised commercial birds and have an exceptional taste. Their yolks are a deep orange color as opposed to the pale yellow eggs you get at the supermarket. They also are tougher to break so they make great over-easy eggs! Canfield Farms also sells locker lambs and sheep breeding stock too.
|Aren't they beautiful?|
Two weeks ago I bought the first raw whole milk I have had since I was a kid. My plan was to skim off the cream for my coffee and drink the rest. I got a little over zealous and bought a whole gallon instead of a half. I was a little afraid it would spoil because I don't drink milk that often. I got it home and skimmed the cream off and then poured myself a glass of the milk. I liked it instantly, I really thought it would taste too thick or weird but it tasted wonderful. The cream works great for my coffee as well. I have also found that I really like a glass with dinner every night. I swear I feel better after drinking raw milk with my meal. Must be all the good probiotics that pasteurization kills. I was fortunate enough to find a store that sells milk from the Old Silvana Creamery nearby. I can also run up to the farm and pick it up. It is only about 30 minutes away. They run a small Jersey herd and are passionate about making a safe and delicious product. I am excited to try making some Kiefer soon!
|The Farm Stand|
Just tonight was my first time eating free range chicken. I recently visited R Heritage Farms in Gold Bar, WA just a few miles from my house. They have a wonderful little farm raising free range poultry and true pasture raised hogs. The birds were butchered on Saturday. I got the chicken on Sunday and aged it in my fridge for five days until Thursday. On Thursday one went in the freezer whole and the other one got cut up for grilling. It was my first time cutting up a whole chicken but I think I did pretty well:
|Not bad for a first time!|
Of course the back and other bones went into the freezer for soup stock down the road. I cooked the chicken on my gas grill at a low temperature. I cooked it to the proper temperature using a meat thermometer. The results were very different then "regular" chicken. True free-range birds have a much more pronounced flavor they have much more "chickeness" then the store bought version. The meat was much firmer than I have had in the past. I remembered these birds actually used their wings and legs so they are larger and have a firmer muscle. all of the pieces were nice and juicy. The breasts were not the pumped up supermarket size but were moist and delicious. I hope to be able to try some of their pork this April when they butcher next.
|The "herd" at R Heritage Farm|
So those are a few of the things I have tried in my transition to whole sustainable foods. In addition to these I have been trying many different recipes and eating fresh produce from my own garden and local organic when I can.
It's been an up and down journey but overall I am making progress. What steps have you taken to begin eating real foods?