Today I took delivery of a quarter-ton of meat: 660 pounds of beef and lamb, to be exact. It was quite a morning, and an excellent way to celebrate one's birth, I think — Happy Beefday to me!
While I am a born-again carnivore, the Potato Non Grata and I are not planning to eat all that meat ourselves. Oh nooooo. I was doing this as a bulk order for the Bay Area Meat CSA, the meat-subscription service I am still struggling to get off the grass after stupidly mentioning the idea in October to the SF Chronicle. BAM CSA (pronounced bamska) has almost 60 members, and over half of them (plus friends) were ordering fresh, not frozen, meat through me as one discounted bulk order. Totals ranged from $20 to a staggering $875, cuts from tri-tip to kidney, and I had to write a check for $4,600. High steaks, indeed.
I'm not going to say where we got it from, because I don't want the farmer to be overrun. Rest assured that these were 100% pastured, grass-fed cows; in fact, after our delivery, the driver was headed to Chez Panisse.
Considering the logistics that went into Operation Beef, the delivery went pretty smoothly. Five very nice beef elves showed up at 8 a.m. to label (and in some cases, weigh) individual cuts, then distribute them into the bags and boxes to which I had attached our homemade order forms. We weren't missing a single thing, and in fact we had an extra tongue. This was because the tongues came two to a vacuum-sealed package, which was kind of a bummer as we had five orders for one tongue each.
I have never seen a cow's tongue before, or at least one that was not still inside the animal's mouth. It was disturbingly large, with the thick throat muscle still attached. A very heroic helper volunteered to divide the packages. Like me, she is an ex-vegetarian — there seem to be a lot of us in BAMCSA, I guess because we're smart enough to recognize that eating meat ethically is an OK choice too.
There are certainly some things I will do differently for our next order. But as with everything in my 35 years…live and loin.
And now, I must stop punning and change my coppery-scented clothing for dinner out. Tonight, I just might order vegetarian.