October 04, 2010

another graduating class of piglets make their first little hoof prints on the rough streets of general population. as they leave the small piglet pen they have inhabited for the last month, they are leaving behind their entire world.  it’s all they know. 

knew. 

as they walk into the forrest they walk towards the rest of the herd:  baby mama and her newborns, two of babymama’s pregnant sisters, the drifters, the landracers, the mulefoots, and of course—baby scooter.  each of these distinct family units melts together in the pot we call pork chop hill.

and for the new class?  in addition to another group of landrace, from the same mamas our current landrace came from, we let go of our sentimental grip on oprah’s three remaining piglets:  brutus, pink pearl, and ol’ black nose.  after bottle feeding and hand raising these three piggies, it was bittersweet motel watching them join the herd. 

they just grow up so fast.


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September 29, 2010 baby piglet photo gallery

if cute baby piglet pictures could be used as currency, i’d be the richest man alive.  i’m the lebron james of cute baby piglet pictures.  i’ve resorted to storing my undocumented plethora of piglet pictures—under an alias, of course—in an offshore bank account in barbados, to avoid domestic taxes.  i wake up in the morning, uncle scrooge mcduck dive into a giant swimming pool of cute piglet pictures and backstroke it to work. 

in case you haven’t gathered, they enjoy milk, piling on top of each other, and piling on top of each other while asleep.

this character, despite his brother’s nosing, fell asleep—standing—at the tit.

and he’s out.


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August 26, 2010 meat-o-mania

the invitation reads:

wednesday, august twenty fifth

we are so pleased to extend an invitation to a first-time farm255 happening…a culmination of blood, sweat, mud, hides, hair, and muscle. a paradise of sorts for the admirer of our farm toil, kitchen fire and fat. we’re bringing our good friend brent j. young { chef, butcher & steeler } down from his shop up in brooklyn, new york { the meat hook }  to seek together with our chef, matthew palmerlee, and our sous chef, jake o. francis,  the off & over & insides of our various animals and make them into a six-course tasting supper during the hot, dead middle of august.

through the door, and on the bar, we are greeted with a simple bouquet in a mason jar, an icy trough of beers, and a whole cow’s head, simply roasted.  scattered amongst the bar, the tables, and hanging in the kitchen, lay a handful of copies of tonight’s menu—sharpie on butcher paper.  the prix fixe, five course feast of a menu is presented through the eyes of the butcher—the animal’s name, and the cut of meat— no other description.  with items such as lamb:testicle, pig:brain, and chicken:heart scribbled around the room, we took seats at communal farm tables and waited for the three hour onslaught of beast to attack. 

it came, and it came, and it came.  a roller coaster journey across the butcher’s cut sheet—foot, head, face, tongue, liver, heart, skin, belly, testicle, brain, oh my.  the inspired menu was narrated in-between courses with explanations of flavors, stories of late night chicken wing benders, and various other antics by the chefs.  by the end of the night the crowd waddled home, jeans unbuttoned, with a new car shine glistening from within their bodies.  enough grassfed, pasture raised, pure animal fat was involved in the night to fuel our farm for a month.  the finale, for dessert, these sick fucks served figs with toast, and whipped lardo.   and that, ladies and gents, is when a room full of grown ass people willingly spread pure pig fat onto toast and called it dessert. 

here are some other highlights:

welcoming


prepatory


sausage party


brent holds fire


chef’s eye view, cow’s heart on knife


a round of honey mead for everyone


lamb and cow testicles


homemade sausage, pretzels, and kraut.  mustard two ways.


dessert:  figs with thyme and honey.  whipped pig’s fat on toast.


three chefs serving shots for the road.  rye whiskey with a drunk crisp of big pink (a storied sow in our herd’s history, and truffle’s mom)


a kiss good night

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a fantastic evening, and a fantastic performance by the farm255 crew.  general delight aside, the night was personally meaningful in my journey from brooklyn to farmer.  brent, the guest butcher and chef who was brought down here for this event, was my butcher for the last couple years living up in new york.  when i was looking to find a farm, i asked the guy’s at the meat hook, amongst many others, and brent’s recommendation to check out the farm in athens is what brought me here today.  so, that worked out.

furthermore, my company at the dinner table—a collection of local farmers, their loved ones, and some good friends from farm burger—truly made the evening a rewarding experience. 

more selfishly, a thirty minute pig montage i put together played over a movie screen for about half of the evening, my efforts as farm apprentice were cheered by the guests enjoying their feast, and a take home door prize of pickled chicken feet was the cherry on top.

this morning, when i awoke from the protein induced coma, i decided to go on a three day raw vegetable binge to clear out the ol’ blood stream and give my liver a break.  no bread, no cheese, no meat—just veggies.

a couple hours later, however, jake called me and told me he just picked up truffles from the slaughter house and asked me if i wanted any.  long story short, i’ve been boiling truff’s backbones all day, along with a chicken we slaughtered last week and some vegetables, in order to prepare a dank stock for the truff ribs i’m going to make tomorrow.  after that, i took some herbs from my patio, some garlic from our farm, some honey my friend’s bees made, and some kosher salt, rubbed it all over truff’s belly, and started the process of making bacon. 

looks like the cleanse will just have to wait a few days.


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June 04, 2010

this is a video of the pigs being slopped with ten gallons of leftover buttermilk.  i may have some sort of problem, because it seems like three times a day i’m reminded of the saturday night live gap girls sketch—and this hog video is no different.

for me the best part is at the end, when the pigs realize that a “bottom of the milkshake” style slurp is the best approach. 

p.s. despite me liking the way the buttermilk and the background trees stand out, the color effect on this video was unintentional.  i must have had it on a weird setting. 


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March 25, 2010 roll me home

this is how a burger tasting goes down.  the farmer, the cattleman, farm255’s chef and sous chef, and the apprentice around a table.  a butcher’s board of the finest burgers in all the land in the center of the table. each takes a bite of a burger and passes, hands crisscrossing every which way.  with egg yolk dripping off my fingers, and salsa verde, bacon, and beef in my mouth, i felt pretty good about my decision to move to georgia. 

covered in dirt and full of beef i had a flashback to my closet in brooklyn.  suits, all in a row.  shoes, stacked neatly.  cuff links, my watch, and my work id badge on the dresser.  i feel like i’ve been down here for a lifetime, while it’s really only been fifty days. 

today was the second round of tastings for farm burger’s menu.  my initial understanding of farm burger was that it was to be a classic burger joint with all grassfed and local beef and farm fresh produce.  while yes, that is a good idea, it speaks nothing of what farm burger is.

i hope the pictures speak for themselves.  these burgers are special.  i’m having the hardest time making my fingers type anything that can explain how good these burgers are, so i won’t even try.

if i’m not mistaken, i think the group favorite was probably the burger banh mi ™, featuring pickled carrot, cucumber, red onion, daikon and some cilantro, just like the vietnamese classic baguette.  my personal favorite, however, was the salami and provolone burger.  both the salami and the cheese were subtle in comparison to the juicy burger, but the combination of the three was so smooth and so delicious i’m still thinking about it hours later.

in this previous picture, behind the sunny side up burger, is my housemate and friend, monsieur francois, who is also the sous chef at the restaurant.  the only reason i’m mentioning this, is because i wanted to give him some credibility before showing the next picture.

this is jake hugging mr. white stripe, our favorite berkshire on the farm.  although this picture has nothing to do with the burger tasting, i thought it was special and should be shared.  last night at the restaurant, i had the best pork chop i’ve ever eaten in my life.  it was brined, and then cold smoked for flavor, before being grilled and topped with a maple sherry gastrique. 

pig farmer/sous chef monsieur francois hugs pigs because he loves them…best pork chop i’ve ever had in my life… coincidence?  you tell me. 

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to see a post about the first burger tasting, and other burger news, check out farm burger’s site


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