My sister came to visit this past weekend. She lives in the big busy city of Atlanta, Georgia. I had a few things planned for us, but she just wanted to chill at the farm house. Which is fine with me, because once I get home from being in town, I typically don’t leave. Atlanta is nice if you like to eat great food and shop or if you like to people watch. There are a lot of people there, and it takes a good few hours to get far enough away to feel like you’re doing something on the down low. Staycation with my sister was just fine for me! I needed some relaxation too! My day job is very demanding, and it wears me out. Jason and I had everything mowed and mostly cleaned up for our guest. Of course, there is always something to work on, but we chose to do nothing but porch sitting with adult beverages!
Our little place out in the country does not have easy access to five-star restaurants. That does not stop us from eating superior food. We are close to other neighboring farms where they raise small batch pasture pork , grass fed and finished beef. I made sure we were going to reap the benefits of living rurally. Most of the farms around me either sell off their farm or at the local farmers market. That brings me to a topic I have only talked about mainly to my co-workers. Someone always asks how far away is the nearest grocery store? How hard is it to get dinner somewhere? I always say the grocery store trip is not that bad, but we have to cook dinner every night. We are too far for any convenience of fast food or take out restaurants. People always pause, you can tell they are thinking about themselves and could they cook dinner every night? That leads me to tell them well; I am close to other farmers.
So, while Mary Ann was in town, we made her a nice off the farm country breakfast. Fresh eggs from our chickens and hand cut smoked pastured pork bacon. This was not just any bacon; this was a heritage breed the Gloucestershire Old Spot pig that I have been wanting to try since I moved out here. I finally found a farm that raised them, Franchesca’s Dawn Farm. Gloucestershire Old Spot is an English breed and has been prized for a flavor that we do not experience in our standard grocery stores today. I can attest it was everything I imagined and I hoped Mary Ann would like it. I know she isn’t a big fan of smoked foods. After she tried it, she actually loved it and I sent her home with a slab of it to cook for her soon to be husband. This brings me to another point when you are out shopping for meats from at your local farmers market. Talk to them and ask them who processes their meat. Processors have their own recipes for smoking and curing meats. I have had bacon from another processor that had made it so salty I couldn’t eat it. If I did not know this, I would of thought eww, I am just going to stick with my commercial grocery store bacon. I also ask about the breed; you will get more flavor from your heritage breeds than your commercial cross breeds. To find out more about heritage breeds, you can read about them at The Livestock Conservancy
For dinner, we grilled up skirt steak and veggies from our garden. The skirt steak came from another local farmer, this time it was Charolais beef cattle originating from eastern France. Another breed of cattle I find that tastes superior to the Charolais are the Devon Cattle. This is a heritage breed recognized by the livestock conservancy. If you don’t know what skirt steak is, it’s the cut you would typically get when you order a fajita at a Mexican restaurant. I love this cut; it grills up with a lot of flavors since it has nice marbling of fat on it. If you are buying it for the first time, don’t let that fat bother you. It will render down, and you will have a nice tender steak.
I hope you go out and find a local heritage farmer to purchase from. I promise you will not be disappointed!