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) 

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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.

10 years.

Ten years ago, I got in my car and drove up the street to Tim’s apartment so we could have the “talk.”

A week ago over MLK weekend he had reluctantly (no exaggeration here) told me over the phone that he was interested in me. He was definitely not meaning to be in a relationship, nor did he even want to be in one, but as one paralyzed with love by Cupid’s arrow he had to make his feelings known. That and we had way too many study dates, late night AIM chats and midnight burrito runs to be in the friend zone.

When I got to his apartment, we had a super intense talk about our past relationships. I don’t even know why we felt like we had to say everything that night, but we definitely recreated our own little baggage claim that night. We discussed baggage after baggage, our mouths the never ending conveyor belt chucking out our worst fears and insecurity. At the end of the night we just looked at each other with looks of “(baby) can you handle this?” It was so unromantic, unhot and ungiddy. But what do you do when you see a future with the person in front of you, and beauty even in the both of you? After hours of talking, Tim gave into his exhaustion and said “Let’s go for it.” And had I known the words YOLO, I would’ve yelled it then.

Tim thanks for taking a chance on us and believing in what we could be. I love you and promise I’ll make you cheesy cards again like I used to before we got married (damn you Candy of 10 years ago for making me look bad).

Do you remember this TV show? Tim and I were OBSESSED with it so I had to make an envelope to pay homage to Sydney Bristow.

Do you remember this TV show? Tim and I were OBSESSED with it so I had to make an envelope to pay homage to Sydney Bristow.

Happy Four Years to Us.

Four years ago today I married Tim.

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There’s a lot to say about that day but one of my favorite moments happened during the ceremony. Our pastor encouraged us to write letters to each other and on the day, he would read them on our behalf (brilliant). Ever since then, Tim and I exchange anniversary letters every year. When we were doing pre-marital counseling, one of the conversations we had was how we receive love. I sheepishly admitted that yes I love words… but I love me a written word! There is something about the written word that fills my love tank to full. I think it’s because I can hold it, mull over it and remind myself of it. Written words are so special because they are prompted not by a social cues (as spoken words often are) but by affections of the heart.

To commemorate our four years, I dug up my letter I wrote to Tim on our 0 year anniversary:

Timothy,

First of all, before I forget to tell you today, you look really great in your tux!  All that working out with P90X really paid off!

Tim, I am excited to be standing next to you today.  I don’t know if I have told you this, but when I was in 9th grade, I planned out my wedding down to what the cake’s flavor would be.  Since then, about once a year, I dreamt about walking down the aisle with my dad and then getting to the top of the aisle and seeing a man in a tux with his face blurred out.  It would scare me out of my slumber every single time.  When you asked me to marry you, those nightmares stopped.  My excitement about the perfect wedding evolved to excitement about marrying you.

Tim, I love you. 

I love that you are a good friend to the people around you.  I love that you are always down for adventure and are totally responsible as you are.  I love that for you the reason behind doing something is just as important as the act itself. I love that you love to eat. I love how your smile takes up your whole face. I love hearing about you talk about God because it always makes me want to love Him in bigger and new ways.

Thank you Tim for giving me a clearer picture of how Jesus loves me.  Thank you for wanting the best for us no matter the cost.  Thank you for loving peace. 

Though dating you has been immensely fun and growing, I hear that this marriage stuff is a million times more fun and growing.  I’m looking forward to walking beside you through it all.  I want to be a wife that lightens the load of life for you every day.  I want to be the bringer of encouragement, comfort and joy your heart… all this while being the president of the Tim Sohn Fan Club.

I have no idea what God has in store for us, but I know that if we make Jesus all of our hope and all of our joy, we’ll be more than okay.  I love you and I couldn’t be happier that it’s your hand that I’m holding today.

Finally yours,

Candy

Muggle Problems

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I love you Harry Potter.

Topping the list on my “30” before “30” is reading the entire Harry Potter series FOR THE FIRST TIME. I am pleased to report that I am on Book Four. However I am starting to feel so sad that I’m reaching the midpoint in the series that I have contemplated taking a break to make it last longer. Then my addictive nature kicks in and says SCREW IT. GIVE ME MORE HOGWARTS. I have been so obsessed with Harry Potter for the last week and a half. Sweet Tim bought me a Kindle to encourage productive hobbies during this summer so I don’t end up watching hours of Hoarders or begging friends and strangers for lives on Candy Crush. I don’t think he knew he would awaken the dormant (very dormant) book monster.

I am still getting up before 6am (thank you circadian rhythm that has been forever changed by teaching) but now I just lay in bed for an hour reading HP. Car rides are really quiet now that I am reading. Tim actually made me put down my book a week ago while in the car so I am reminded to be a well-mannered human and have a conversation with him. Thank the Lord he has been so supportive of my HP obsession despite my recent(?) social ineptness. Last week in NY while riding the subway I sighed, looked at him and said “Tim, I wish there were wizards, witches and magic!” He responded, “There are! They are just hidden from us Muggles.” So. Sweet. I love this man. I almost kissed him in the subway right then and there.

Today while making travel plans for the wedding we are attending in SoCal, I hit a new low (or high depending on how you look at it). I literally let out a big sigh and said aloud, “I COULD REALLY USE SOME FLOO POWDER.”

“30” before “30”

Taken from Flickr - HankWord.

Taken from Flickr – HankWord.

I started hearing about this list a few years back when a few of my friends started turning thirty. This milestone is getting close enough that Tim asks me once every three weeks what I want to do for my THIRTIETH (in a voice reminiscent a grade school teacher teaching his class how to say the word thirtieth) birthday. I always answer the same way: “I don’t knowwwwwww” in that whiney indecisive voice I save exclusively for my husband. After that I usually try to change the subject because I am a firm believer that things will not come to pass if you simply ignore it.

But when I am alone, I do think about turning thirty. And then I get excited and start scribbling down ideas, hopes, dreams and adventures I want to have. I have written several iterations of this list and it’s actually been really hard to come up with a solid 30 before 30! Because I like following rules, I’m going to change them so suit my needs.

Rule #1 – It doesn’t have to be 30 things.

The moment I tried to push myself to hit 30 things, the list started moving toward things that I felt like I should do instead of things I genuinely wanted to do. Examples of these obligatory adventures include: watching the Star Wars Trilogy, Reading a Tolstoy something and going to Chinese/Korean school (feel free to convince me otherwise). This should be fun, challenging and life-giving – not out of guilt or obligation! (This is a reoccurring life-lesson for me)

Rule #2 – It doesn’t have to be by the time I’m 30.

Not that I don’t love deadlines. Because I actually love them. I didn’t want to feed the fear of turning 30 by imagining that something was over. Thankfully Tim has gone before me and I’ve seen first hand that 30 doesn’t suddenly you turn into dinosaur. Not only that, you may actually get better. This analogy is totally kitsch but last time we were wine tasting, the wine guy (what do you call them??) was saying how young cabernets are like teenagers – loud, in your face, lacking sophistication… but as they age they are more refined, smooth, and confidently comfortable in their own skin. I want to believe that this is exactly what getting older is like. So there is no hard deadline for this list. I’ll just keep chugging along as I am alive and kicking!

Candy’s “30” before “30”

  1. Read the entire Harry Potter series
  2. Successfully carve (The snowboarding kind)
  3. Order room service at a hotel
  4. Fitness Goals (Dead lift 2x my body weight, Clean and Jerk my body weight, Back Squat 1.5X my body weight, run a 7:30 mile, complete 10 doubleunders, carry Tim up a flight of stairs)
  5. Give  something away every day for 30 days straight
  6. Take a shot. No mixers. No ice. No chasers.
  7. Memorize a meaningful piece of writing verbatim.
  8. Write a letter to my grandparents in Chinese.
  9. Write a letter to Tim’s parents in Korean.
  10. Grow something from a seed and eat it.
  11. Expand my egg cooking repertoire: poach the perfect egg, make hollandaise, soft-boil egg, fried egg
  12. Make macarons
  13. Debone a chicken
  14. Bike somewhere to run and errand and bike back (background info, I just learned how to ride a back last summer in a Google Parking lot. I haven’t gotten on a bike since.)
  15. Make curtains and pillows.
  16. Make a five course gourmet meal
  17. Learn all the lyrics to a rap song.
  18. Watch a movie in a park (I am not allowed to fall asleep)
  19. Swim (getting in the water counts) with a large mammal (non humans)
  20. Visit the South (as defined by me) This includes: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina
  21. Read a play in one sitting.
  22. Complete a race of some kind.
  23. Write a letter to Obama.
  24. Give generously. Anonymously.
  25. Build something out of wood.

Let me know if you want to join me on an adventure. I would LOVE the company!

Love is…

Shortly after Tim and I started dating (9 years ago!), he had to go to England for six months. So sad! We both had to celebrate each other’s respective birthdays across a big big pond. I will always remember what he got me for my birthday that year. 

No flowers. No jewelry. Just a box from Omaha, Nebraska.

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My first birthday present from Tim.

His friends warned him that maybe he should go with something more traditional… maybe something a little less… bloody? Tim could not be dissuaded. Tim insisted that Candy was a different kind of girl. So that birthday I opened a package of bacon wrapped filet mignons with a side of loaded potatoes. In all honesty, at the time I thought it was a kind gesture, but it did left me scratching my head: “What does this mean?” “Does he even like me??” My friends didn’t get it. I hated admitting it at the time, but like 50 cent so eloquently put it, I was that kid – like a fat kid loves cake steak. 

Fast forward 9+ years to today.

During lunch I picked Tim up from work so he could do a Costco run with me. He was standing under a tree holding something behind his back.

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I’m sorry about the beastly bite taken out of the short rib. I bit into the short rib before I remembered to whip out my phone.

Love is packing a doggie bag for your babe when you are served her favorite cut of meat at work.