Sunday, October 19, 2008

Know Your Rancher And The Meat He Produces

I've been posting more pictures than words. It's just how I've felt. But now I have some words to get out. So here goes.

Our quest for real food has led us down many paths filled with interesting people. By real food I mean stuff found, for the most part, not in your grocery story. Or if it's in the grocery store it's found in the perimeter of the store. It's not highly processed like the stuff in the middle aisles. You might ask, where are you going with this?

Well, last night we went to a party thrown by the rancher I first met when I was looking for meat from animals that had never spent time in a feedlot and were never fed corn, antibiotics and hormones. The rancher's name is Bob; he and his wife, Sarah, run Coffee Pot Ranch in nearby Sheridan.

We (including Harleen) got to see the animals we may eat in the future. That was a bit strange at first, but then I realized that these animals were having a good life, albeit a short one. He produces more pork than beef or lamb so I was interested to see his pig operation. Well, I've never seen such large pigs in my life. These were not "Wilburs."

We dined on a pig from their operation (delicious) and had all kinds of wonderful salads, breads and dessert.

Now I ask you, when was the last time the Safeway butcher (or any other chain store butcher) invited you to his house on a Saturday night, fed you, offered a tour of his property and offered damn fine wine and beer? Or for that matter which feedlots open up their facilities so you can see how their animals are raised? Going to Bob and Sarah's is what makes "real" food so, well, real. They have nothing to hide.

Harleen did have a special treat while we were there. She met a guide dog for the blind named Valiant. The two did pretty well together considering how trained he is and how "in training" she is.

The best part of Coffee Pot Ranch was sitting just below the porch level, food in hand, dog at feet and listening to the band that Bob and Sarah had assembled. While we did that we watched the daylight fade from the vantage point of their home on a slight rise in an otherwise flat area.

Harleen sniffed cows, sheep, lambs, horses, pigs and most importantly...a cat. She kept track of that cat all night long. Our monthly report on her socialization will have some interesting notes.

Next week at this time I will be in North Carolina visiting with blogauthor, a fellow blogger I've gotten to know over the past few years. I've never been to North Carolina. Very excited about this trip.


blogauthor said...

I have too been learning alot about food. I find that I can't find much at all I want to buy or eat at the regular grocery store. I buy everything at Whole Foods, which I used to walk through and think "who really buys this stuff?".

I am uber excited by your visit - this will be a really fun time. I'll email ya.

Rhonda said...

this sounds like the perfect evening...
I'm becoming more aware of what I eat.
I still struggle with candy.
a little bit isn't too bad right?

Mrs4444 said...

More and more, I just want to eat real food. I can't even stand to look at white bread any more; it's like eating cotton or something. This is intriguing (the farm thing). Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Nice.