Today was a big day here at the ol'South Pork Corral. Nope, no piglets from Sophie yet but she was looking a little irritated tonight.
I speak instead of our decision to eliminate the restaurant portion of our meat business. After delivering our pasture raised, organically fed, raw milk sloshed hogs to numerous Chicago restaurants for the last three years...today was our last day.
We took a HUGE hog to the first restaurant who ever bought from us, Old Town Social, and we took a smaller 1/2 hog to The Vincent, their first (and last) purchase from us today. You might recall how last month we made the decision to start decreasing our dairy herd while maintaining enough cows to meet the dairy needs of current customers as well as our own family.
This new decision allows us to concentrate on the areas that are working best for us, our own Farm Store , our carcass sales to customers who pick up their meat at the locker and then the four grocery stores we sell to. On the way home we did indeed feel sad, these restaurants took a real chance by buying meat from an unknown producer AKA tiny farmer, and they helped us promote our business, They also introduced us to the world of FINE dining.
By "fine" I do not mean 12 forks and 10 courses, I mean fresh ingredients from local farmers prepared in extraordinary methods. We wined and dined with some wonderful chefs and their staffs and we learned mega amounts about how to prepare good food, well. We are especially indebted to Jared Van Camp of Old Town who took our word about our animals being raised on pasture and risked his business and his own customers by using our pork, often our Red Wattle pork to make award winning sausages. He also taught me how to say (and eat) charcuterie.
Read more about Jared Here http://www.starchefs.com/cook/chefs/bio/jared-van-camp
But, as we move closer and closer to this dream we have of living very simply and producing just enough food for ourselves and family, we have to keep letting go of the complexities that have gotten us to where we are today...really tired :)
We have to push away from the more and more, faster and faster, crazier and crazier lifestyle we created for ourselves these last few years. It's not easy to say goodbye but there was a sense of impending RELIEF, on our way home from the big city tonight. A sense of energy as well, which can be put towards areas of neglect. Perhaps we will get to take TWO showers this week.
We will always be grateful to the following outstanding restaurants and we hope if ever you get the chance you stop by and treat yourself to a special meal. You will not regret it.
Old Town Social http://www.oldtownsocial.com/