Yes! They are back. Baseball and soccer. Swimming in the river. Going to the beach for the afternoon. Camping. Community dinners and weekend festivals. Picnics and parties outside. Friends and family gathering and celebrating together. Kids running around on the lawn, turning on the water hose and getting everyone wet. The barbecue in full swing. All the blessed pleasures of life in Canada in the summer, a land that is “glorious and free” after the long and harsh Canadian winter. How we took all this for granted before 2020! To quote Joni Mitchell; “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.” Here’s hoping that we are always thankful for the inestimable privilege of being able to enjoy all these simple things. They really are the “stuff of life” – the great times together that form our childhood memories and develop our identity as a people.
Our first batch of chickens is in the freezer, so we have wings, and thighs back in stock as well.
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June is the month when it really shines! The method of production that we use here at Zettel Family Farms is often referred to as ”Pasture based livestock production” or more simply “grass farming”. This year, for the first time, we had no spring seeding to do in the fields. All of the land is seeded to pasture and hay. Most of that acreage is used for feeding our cattle. They are ruminants and are able to thrive on grass in the summer and dry hay in the winter, with only a vitamin and premix supplement and no grain. The pigs, chickens and turkeys, while they also enjoy being out on the grass, require some grain in their diets, which we purchase from other organic farmers. Seeing all the animals outside, clean and healthy in their natural environment is one of the great pleasures of being a grass farmer. Animals on pasture are healthier and happier, and (read the whole article on our website)
Do you have a favorite meal that you save for when you really want to impress some special guests? A special recipe, marinade or secret sauce? Maybe you could share with us and our readers. Personally, I find nothing easier and surer to please than our sausage. Don’t overcook them! They should be taken off when they’ve shrunk a little, are brown all the way around and still juicy. One distinctive feature of pastured pork is the quality of the fat. You will notice this when you eat a sausage cold – that they are delicious – like candy in the fridge. So barbecue a few extras!
Last week Ted Sr. (Great Grampa) tried something new. All these customers were ordering brisket roasts and talking about smoking them or roasting in the barbecue. This is not a cut of meat that we grew up with. The brisket would traditionally have been ground into hamburg or stewing beef. So finally, he thought , “it’s time to try this out”. A five pound brisket roast was allowed to thaw fully then seared in olive oil and butter for a few minutes on each side. It was then placed in a foil roasting pan with onions, pepper and salt and a wee bit of water. The foil top was perforated at each end to let steam out and the wood smoke in, and the roast was in the wood barbecue/smoker from 5:30 in the morning until noon. This experimental technique proved to be a resounding success. Sam, Joe and Gran were all there to join in feasting on “hot beef on a bun”. The sliced roast was exceedingly tender and moist, and the leftovers made the best cold sandwiches imaginable. The analysis is that this particular cut , which has a high internal fat content, is not prone to drying out. The long, slow heat is ideal to soften the meat and bring out the deep flavour of grass-fed, organic beef. Gran suggests 4 hours at 325 degrees F. for those of you who want to use the oven in the kitchen.