Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Highlanders

... I'm not referencing anything having to do with Doctor Who or professional wrestlers (google "the highlanders" - a lot comes up!).  No, I'm talking about bovines.

Joe and I visited a farm last week... it's right across the street from the orchard we frequent in the summer and autumn months - and we never realized it was there.  They have just a small, unassuming sign at the edge of the road.

The only reason we knew to look for it was someone told us about this terrific grass-fed-only cattle farm and the approximate whereabouts; and from there, we had to google it for more details.

(Why did the turkeys cross the road?)

(Because our car scared the daylights out of them!  Sorry turkeys.)

Look at how furry (hairy?) these highlanders are!  How do they even see?

Enjoying a lazy afternoon in the sunshine.

I'm not sure how I feel about the nose ring.  They say bulls can be awfully testy (that's a naive way of saying dangerous), and the rings help the handlers keep them in check, if need be.  I wouldn't want any handlers to get hurt, but it still makes me a little sad for the animal.  The two fellas behind this fence seemed gentle as a hound when I stepped up to take their pictures.  And I really just wanted to reach my hand over the fence and tousle that hair on his forehead!

This one was stone-still, watching me!  He let that hay just dangle out of his mouth for a good minute and a half while I captured my shots of him. I wonder what he was thinking. (And notice... this guy doesn't have the nose ring, so I suppose if they only use them for cautionary purposes on the suspicious ones and not by default, that makes me feel a little better.  Still can't imagine, though, that the two that had it were terribly feisty.)

Haha... if anyone was feisty, this one came the closest.  He is the other one with a nose ring, and had situated himself on the other side of the hay bale from that handsome strawberry blond.  And when I say he came "close to feisty," all he did was raise and lower his head, watching me bend at the knee as I determined which rails I wanted to take his picture through, the lower or the upper.  He was laying down, simply keeping his gaze on me and the black thing in front of my face.  I didn't feel threatened - not one iota.  He as actually pretty cute - too bad I was facing the sun.

This past Saturday, we went back and made sure to get there while the farm stand was open.  That is, the door was unlocked, but no one was there.  They use the honor system.  They have half a dozen commercial-sized refrigerators and freezers stocked with beautiful, healthy, grass-fed beef valued at thousands of dollars, and they trust their patrons to come and make their selections, use the calculator to tally it up, and leave cash, check or charge slip in their lock-box. 

Isn't that something?  I love that.

We bought skirt steaks (and farm-fresh, pastured eggs since we were there and they were available).

Joe likes to brown it, slather it in duck sauce, and broil it in the oven.  It's fantastic!  Grass-fed beef?  There's nothing like it.  So tasty.

(Did we have company for dinner?  No, that's just for the two of us. We do love our beef.  But, yes, we did have left overs... that was the plan!)

You know the saying, "Hunger makes the best sauce."  Well... guilt-free selections make a pretty good sauce, too.  We felt good knowing that the animal that produced these steaks was well cared for and fed a nutritious diet of pasture grasses and hay.  These cows feel the sun on their backs and the cool dirt on their bellies.  Not to mention, that because they are healthy, happy cows, eating their meat is not a detriment to our own health!

Now, I just have to come up with a homemade duck sauce.  I found a recipe online which was simple enough, but then I realized I'll also have to come up with a homemade recipe for the apricot jam it calls for.  Seems you can't obtain either of those handy jarred items that aren't riddled with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. 

So, that means my next mission is to find fresh, non-GMO apricots! Oy - what a snowball effect this healthy-eating has!  Baby steps.

Linking up with Fat Tuesday, Scratch Cookin' Tuesday, Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop, Our Simple Farm, God's Growing Garden.

(Anyone have a real food duck sauce recipe to share?!)

1 comment:

Mom said...

Once again Pammie, I've gotten an interesting lesson on what can be found living the rural life!! Great photos, I might add! Joe is still into his duck sauce smothered skirt steaks! Some things never change, huh? xoxo