November 14, 2008
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Farm Sharing

“You cook every night,” Meryl reminds me. “I cook every month.” Nonetheless, Meryl’s going to join us to take a quarter-share in our winter meat CSA. It’s a new experiment — just a dozen people, six months, ten pounds of meat a month. One month mostly lamb, the rest mostly beef. All organic, hand-raised, grass-fed, from the same farm that grows our summer vegetables.

I’m incredibly ignorant of butchering, but as far as I can work my sums, we’re talking about everyone sharing one cow and one or two sheep, right? So, this winter we’re going to be eating Twinkles and Herbert?

I’ve always wondered how the farm kids who did things like 4H dealt with this. But mine is a shabby, second-rate attitude: you ought to understand what you eat. Bob Del Grosso has been writing a lot about this lately, and writing very well indeed.

We did not receive whole animals larger than lambs at Rene Chardin Restaurant, neither did we butcher and cook any animal while we listened to it's mother calling for it as I did last week.

Yeah, you read that right. Hearing that cow calling to it's calf as it lay on the table in my kitchen being cut up was sobering. Anyway...

I'm learning more about cooking in this job than I ever thought possible. I've got this whole other set of considerations regarding the ethical nature of what we chefs do staring me right in the face every day. It has not made my work any harder, but it sure as hell has made it different.