Quarter Cow FAQ

Tim was kind enough to let me interview him for this post. His responses are in quotes.

What farm did you use?

Magruder Ranch. They cater to fantastic restaurants like Chez Panisse.”

What was the process like?

“I emailed Magruder Ranch to reserve a quarter cow. I was put on the wait-list and when the cow was ready I got an email. I ordered in May and it was ready for pickup at the end of July. The butcher received the cow, dry aged it for two weeks, cut it up according to the standard cut the ranch does, wrap it in freezer paper, butcher paper and then flash freeze.”

Which part of the cow did you get? 

In short, we get all of it! Well a quarter of all it. A little bit of chuck, a little roast, some ribs, some steaks and LOTS of ground beef. 

How much is it to buy a cow?

$4.25/pound. (This is the weight of the whole animal – not the individually packaged meats) Example: Cow steps on the scale and comes in at 1000 pounds. You would pay $4,250 for the whole cow. However after the butchering and aging process, you may end up with 750 pounds of meat. The adjusted price for how much meat we got came out to about $5.60/pound.

Did you get to pick the cow? Did you see a picture?

(laughs) No.

What did you get in your haul?

Here’s a picture of our haul! (Take note of their spelling of our last name) 

2014-08-21 22.27.03

Are you seriously going to eat all of that?

“Yes. All of it.”

When are you having the Feng’s over for dinner?

“Whenever they want to come! How does next weekend work for you guys?”

What’s the thinking behind getting so much meat? isn’t fresh better than frozen/defrosted?

“It was cheaper for organic grass-fed beef.” (Clicking on phone to pull up an article.) “Grocery store meats are aged 5-7 days. Locally sourced meats are aged 14-21 days. The ground beef comes from one cow which means it has a lower risk of contamination. You also get to support local businesses like the rancher and the butcher. It also means it’s less trips to the grocery store.”

Up next – the first meal I made! 

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Holy cow.

For those of you who know my husband, you know that he is extremeWhen he pursues something, there is no stopping him. A few notable examples:

  1. When Tim was learning how to cook, his first cookbook was The Ad Hoc Cookbook. There was a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich in there which in any other cookbook would be an innocuous recipe. Well… Chef Tim Sohn Keller made a brioche loaf to make his grilled cheese. It was a 2 day ordeal.
  2. Crossfit. Tim ruptured his Achilles tendon doing box jumps. He underwent surgery and stayed away for a couple weeks… but decided to go back to crossfit after a month (while he was still on crutches) because I quote, “My upper body feels fine!!!!!”
  3. Photography. Tim got a DSLR and started playing around with taking pictures. Six months later, in the last year of his PhD, while writing his thesis, he decides to intern for a wedding photography studio and start his own business.

Well Timtensity has struck again. He (or we I guess) bought a quarter of a cow from a farm.

cow(This is not the actual cow. I just found an image to drive the point home)

This is what a quarter of a cow looks like after it is butchered, aged and frozen:

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.06.39 PMAt the top right corner of this picture you can see our deep freezer. This deep freezer was supposed to be for Wes. Well Wes’ milk. I was planning on hoarding my milk to prepare for my return to work. Well since that’s not happening, Tim suggested we repurpose our deep freezer for other noble causes.

Needless to say, this is a lot of meat and we’re pretty much good for the next oh… 2+ years. I decided I start a cooking series on based on cooking through 145 pounds of beef. I’m still thinking of a fun name for this series. Hopefully I can think of something better than Hella Beef.

There have been lots of questions surrounding this endeavor that have been brought up.

  • What farm did you use?
  • Which part of the cow did you get?
  • How much is it to buy a cow?
  • Did you get to pick the cow? Did you see a picture?
  • What did you get in your haul?
  • Are you seriously going to eat all of that?

If there are any other questions you’d like us to answer, leave a comment on fb or below! We’ll get back to you on our next post.

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. And lunch. And breakfast.

Month Five

Dear Wes,

DSCF4195

Hi Handsome!

Happy 5 Months to you! Every month seems to top the other month in excitement and development. I remember 3 months ago when we would be THRILLED to see you half-smile at us. We used to ask each other, “Have you seen him smile today?” “No.. not yet.” Fast forward to now when we can make you smile for the camera on demand (granted you are fed of course).

Your new experiences this month include:

  • Your 2nd wedding (and donning the first of many bow ties)
  • Seeing an allergist
  • Your first overnight at grandparents without Mommy or Daddy
  • Your first flight to Oahu

Daddy and I have settled into a routine of taking care of you. I usually get the 11pm-6am shift which includes a feeding or two. (Both of which we are both half asleep for). It is no secret that I love to sleep and am pretty awesome at it that sometimes I wake up in the morning not having remembered if I had gotten up in the middle of the night. In the morning, your dad picks you up while I sleep in. But too often I hear you two giggle and laugh and I get up and join in the fun because I hate missing out on your morning happiness. We usually put you down around 7:30-8:00pm and you cry for about 5-10 minutes before you conk out for the next 5-6 hours. We have been weary of aggressively sleep-training you to get rid of the middle of the night stuff because you have been an itchy guy this last month. And crying usually leads to clawing your face/scalp which leads to more eczema and cuts. We are grateful that despite your skin drama, you manage to still be a delight Wes. You are responsive, happy, easy-going and fun.

So something new in my life is that I decided to take a year off of teaching to hang out with you. It was surprising how bittersweet this decision was. For some reason I thought it would be a no brainer. After all everyone told me that something would feel right and I would just know. Well nothing felt quite right. Being the occasional over thinker I am, I could see both sides of the coin. I admired my friends who were full time moms and had full time jobs outside of the house. I admired my friends who were full time moms and stayed at home during the work day. If I were queen of the world, I would love a part-time job with a live-in chef. (Still waiting for the world to acknowledge my royal highness…) At the end of the day, for now, staying at home with you seems to be the right thing for all three of us. I have to admit that I am more comfortable lesson planning and teaching than being a SAHM. But if you will have me and all my foibles, I’ll give this stay at home stuff my best shot. At the very least we can cuddle and cry together in the afternoon until Daddy comes home from work!

WesTrio

Love,
Mama

Milestones

5 days ago you weighed in at 15 lbs 11 oz. aka heavy and squirmy. These days you wake up between 6:30-7am. You eat and play for about 1.5-2 hours. Then a switch turns on and you just HAVE TO NAP. Most naps last for about 45 minutes and every now and then you are out for 1.5 hours. You still like to eat and now average about 32 ounces of milk every day!

Tummy Time Success! – You still have a big head, but finally your neck muscles have caught up. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is your favorite position to hang out in, but we have gone from crying and whining to tolerance and sometimes even a smile!

WesTummy

Rolling

Toys – You now play with toys appropriately! Before we would hold toys in front of you and you’d stare at them… or not. We weren’t quite sure what was happening in your brain. A couple of weeks ago, we gave you Sophie and it was love at first sight. You held onto her neck and nibbled on her ears and her giraffe nubs (Just googled it. Those nubs are called ossicones). It was so cute to see you so excited about Sophie! Those French people really know how to make a toy!

Likes

  • Doctor visits – I think it’s because you get lots of attention from everyone.
  • “Standing”
  • Daddy’s funny noises. He makes you belly laugh like no one else can.

Gripes

  • Being itchy
  • Being ignored
  • Story time :(:(:(  – We probably start story time a little too late. By the time we pick up a book, you are ready to sleep and try to wiggle out of our arms! Hopefully this is only a stage.