WARNING! This might be considered by some to be gross, inappropriate, or tragic, but I think it is extremely important share the how’s, what’s and why’s of our food. If you have any questions about anything you see please ask – I love to share about the ranch.
This past summer I met a wonderful man, Basque Mike. And over beers at our neighbor Pete’s house, I learned that he was an actual real-life shepherd that came to America when he was 16, with bread and wine, to herd sheep. He has a very heavy accent that was sometimes hard to understand, but he was a serious kick in the pants. My conversation with Mike inspired me. Mike told me that he would teach me to cut lamb the Basque way. The only problem with that is I don’t raise lamb.
I had a pair of bottle lambs when I was a kid, but for the most part, my experience with sheep has not been pleasant. I’ve been chased around by a mean ram, had a really bad experience with awful mutton and generally distrust sheep because they are evil. I really think it is a cattlepeople thing – we just aren’t used to things like goats and sheep.
After months of hemming and hawing I decided to buy some lambs. This was not an easy choice for me. I just wasn’t thrilled at the idea of having sheep back on this ranch. Even my dogs were not sold on the idea of sheep. And our bottle calves were absolutely horrified.
But, I have a friend from college that just happened to have some lambs ready for slaughter. Neighbor Pete said he would help cut and wrap them if I wanted to learn. It was meant to be. I had cash because I sold my car (so sad!!!), I bought some lambs from my friend’s Stacie and Taylor at Heart P Livestock. After a week on the ranch, they were slaughtered and hung.
After a few days of hanging I went to learn how to cut and wrap a lamb from neighbor Pete. Pete is incredibly fast and amazing at what he does. We cut and wrapped 3 lambs in no time. It blew my mind. I learned my basic lamb cuts after the first two lambs, so by the third I was able to wrap and label with no assistance.
Since before this time, I was not a fan of lamb, I decided to split my lamb with another neighbor. I regret that now. Getting my hands dirty, being part of my own food, made me like lamb! (Plus it was quality lamb to begin with, I highly recommend Heart P). Go figure, that I would like lamb! Plus I have all kinds of people wanting to trade lamb meat for cool things. I LOVE trading! Since I don’t have a steady cash income anymore, I’ve started trading my time and talents for things I need and want. It is awesome.
Although Mike and I haven’t connected for a Basque session I feel much more confident in my lamb knowledge.
I would have been embarrassed to even have him attempt to teach me anything before this because I just did not have enough basic knowledge about lamb to make it stick. I took the first step, I got some lambs, I learned about some lambs, I wrapped some lambs. Lambs are good. I’m ready for next time.
fun ag fact of the day: Pumpkins are usually orange but can sometimes be yellow, white, green or red.
fun ag fact of the day: Pomegranates will make a metallic sound when tapped when ripe
fun ag fact of the day: tart cherries contain 19 times the of beta carotene of blueberries and strawberries.
Fun ag fact of the day: The United States is the largest importer of pumpkins in the world.
Fun ag fact of the day: Italy is the world’s largest producer of artichokes, kiwi fruit, peeled tomatoes, vermouth, and wine!
fun ag fact of the day: There are over 700 varieties of peaches!
fun ag fact of the day: China is the largest producer of peaches in the world; they consider the peach as a symbol of longevity and good luck.
fun ag fact of the day: Both the Texas State Fair and Minnesota claim to have invented the first corn dog, sometime around 1940.
fun ag fact of the day: It’s nation filet mignon day! Filet Mignon comes from the tenderloin or psoas major muscle, which lays along both sides of the beef animal’s spine. It means “Dainty Filet” in French. This cut is the most tender muscle in the beef animal and it’s delicious!!
fun ag fact of the day: there is only one gene that separates peaches and nectarines – the one with the fuzz.
fun ag fact of the day: California is the nation’s number one Ice Cream producer, churning out over 131 million gallons last year.
fun ag fact of the day: 1 gallon of milk equals approximately 345 udder squirts!
fun ag fact of the day: There are more than 1,200 varieties of watermelon. CA and AZ are top producers.
fun ag fact of the day: cotton is in the same family as hibiscus, okra, and swamp mallow.
fun ag fact of the day: 99% of the commercial U.S. supply and 3/4 of the world trade of walnuts now come from California.
fun ag fact of the day: Cucumbers are believed to have originated in India 3,000 years ago.
fun ag fact of the day: Pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees, and are one of the only two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11). Humans have eaten pistachio nuts for at least 9,000 years.
fun ag fact of the day: A pig’s squeal can be as loud as 115 decibels, 3 decibels higher than the sound of a supersonic airliner.
fun ag fact of the day: Spain in the second largest producer in the world of almonds, citrus juice (conc), mule meat, strawberries, tangerines & vermouth.
fun ag fact of the day: Spain in the largest producer in the world of carobs, olives & olive oil.
fun ag fact of the day: The United States is the largest producer of soybeans in the world followed by Brazil & Argentina. The United States, Brazil & Argentina produce roughly 80% of the world’s soybeans.