I recently learned about a family-run farm close to my house that raises goats, lambs, pigs, and chickens for meat. Called Fox Hollow Farms, they are all about natural farming, and so their animals are pasture raised and aren't given any antibiotics or hormones. I really liked the idea of this because supporting local farming and eating hormone-free meat are two very important things to me, and I told my mom that I wanted us to go visit the farm.
Since my sister and I moved out, my parents have eaten mostly vegetarian for health reasons and because of the fact that we, as a family, have issues with the hormone and antibiotic-laced meat that is sold at supermarkets. Both my dad and I are carnivores at heart, however, so I've been wanting to find a source of high quality, local meat, rather than having to rely on Pennsylvania or Virginia farms or eat semi-vegetarian. My mom was very interested in the idea of grass-fed, pasture-raised animals, and so this morning we decided to stop by the farm to visit.
It was a further drive than expected and we actually had to call to confirm their location, but it was absolutely worth it. The store is connected to the family house, and visitors are invited to come to the back to see the animals. We could see the goats grazing, and few of the chickens came over to say hello. My mom swears that one of the sheep made a connection with her and would have smiled if it had the facial muscles to do so.
After a brief chat with one of the owners, we went back in. We loved the set-up and how the animals were clearly happy and healthy and had plenty of space to grow. We decided to buy a carton of goat milk, a dozen fresh eggs (taken in just this morning!), a broiler chicken, some frozen cubed goat meat, and a rack of spare ribs (pork). It wasn't cheap, but we were both excited about our purchases when we left. We actually ended up sitting in the car and sharing the goat milk immediately because we were hungry and wanted to try it. It was delicious. Creamy, flavorful, and vaguely sweet. I've had goat milk before, but it was a very processed supermarket brand and I wasn't very fond of it. This milk I thoroughly enjoyed. A tall cold glass of this could cheer me up on even the worst of days. That's what good food does for a person.
When we got home, we decided to soft boil a few of the eggs for lunch and have them with some green beans and black truffle salt. I didn't want to do anything too dramatic with them since they were so fresh; I just wanted their natural flavor to shine. And oh, they were delicious. Plus, the eggs were gorgeous. Look at that light speckling of white on the outside! Nature is beautiful.
Best of all was that fact that I actually spent the entire day in the kitchen with my mom. It's rare that I have time to come home and just immerse myself in food (not literally, of course; I never do that), but today was one of those days. I mixed and baked and tasted and improvised and made various sweet items while my mom cooked goat curry, baked the ribs, marinated the chicken, and made some savory sticky rice. My dad played French music in the background and worked close-by. Then, after a wonderful dinner and cleaning up, we watched Food Inc. on my computer. It was a perfect day.
I will be posting the recipes for what I've made in the upcoming days and weeks, but I just thought I'd throw you a bone now: there is a candy recipe, a cupcake recipe, and a frosting recipe waiting for you. Future plans do include a cheesecake and some chocolate goodies.
It is good to be home.