February 2014: It’s 5:30 am, dark, windy, and the thermometer reads 5 F. I trudge out to the barn to do chores before going to work, barely able to breath through the cold and wind. As I carry water buckets (because the pipes in the barn are frozen), I wonder when the weather will finally break. My next thought is one that has haunted me all winter, “Why the hell am I doing this?” The answer is twofold: I believe both in feeding my family healthy meat and in the importance of maintaining genetic diversity in our domestic livestock. While these answers are important, they are not always easy for me to hold on to through long, cold winters.
Fast forward to the following November and an email from Josiah Lockhart inviting me to Slow Food’s Nose-to-Tailgate event at a Giants game. A few weeks later, amidst the culture shock of football stadium parking lot on game day, I found people who understand what I’m doing better than I do myself. Talking to farmers, chefs, and folks from Slow Food at #nose2tailgate was amazing! Instead of looking at me like I’m crazy when I say I raise critically rare Mulefoot hogs, people I met at this event were incredibly excited. The energy that came from this diverse group of people caring about Slow Meat and heritage hogs was totally contagious. This contagious energy is what will carry me through the coming winter and beyond.
Living in a society where norms are set by conventional agriculture and fast food, it sometimes feels like my family is swimming upstream. This makes it all the more important to have a community out there that values the “bigger than us” and “more important than $” reasons for #SlowFarming.
Thank you Slow Food, Josiah, and 16F/D2 Tailgate Crew!
At our house, it often feels like we have plenty of meat in the freezer, but very little time to cook it! Luckily, Slow Meat is so full of flavor that simple recipes are often the best. Sauteed pork chops are one of our favorites.
Pork chops (preferably 1 inch thick)
1 T butter, olive oil, or lard
Rinse and dry chops. Rub both sides with salt and pepper. Heat skillet with butter, olive oil, or lard (or any combination thereof). Add pork chops and brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Turn heat down, cover skillet and cook for 4-5 more minutes on each side. When done, chops should be firm and show clear juice as you press down on them.
Become your own favorite farmer’s super fan and join the Nationwide Nose-to-Tailgate Party for Super Bowl Sunday!