Posts Tagged ‘’

A bona fide steak: Beef at The Country Cat

May 28th, 2010

What do you look for in a steak?  Price? Hearty flavor?  Quality of life for the cattle  and a humane slaughter?  A healthy feed profile?  Eating isn’t simple anymore, and eating meat isn’t what it used to be.

In a world inundated with corn fed, chemically dependant cattle, it is difficult to get a good steak anymore.  Have we forgotten what good steak tastes like? Good beef tastes like the earth.  Like integrity.

The first real boss I had taught me about integerity.  Chef Willie Matson sat me down and explained  that a job accomplished with attention and focus was a job well done, even the humble washing of dishes.  Living life with full attention and focus is all one can really  endeavor  to do.

From the farm to your plate takes integrity: cattle raised with respect and fed healthy food; slaughtered quickly and humanely;  fabricated by your local butcher or chef.   That attention to detail is beginning to happen all around the country.   Attention to detail from Adam Sappington at The Country Cat

Cattle raised on industrial feedlots  ingest a steady diet of anti-biotics  to combat the destructive effects of a corn diet.  Certainly pasture raised beef lead a healthier, stress free life without anti-biotics, and the meat is healthier, but a partial grain diet does not necessarily degrade the health of the cattle.  In fact, the addition of grain to the diet can heighten the quality of the meat from a consumer’s point of view.  Adam’s palate for beef

The important component is the respect being given each animal.  That respect extends not only to the animal during the raising period, but also to the slaugther, fabrication, and the presentation to the end consumer…the public.  Respect the Customer and the Cattle

Grass fed, healthy cattle can be found.  Even grain fed, healthy cattle can be found.  Quality meat, raised, slaughtered and fabricated with integrity is out there.

The customer has to ask for it.  Put the onus on the butcher.  Ask the restaurant staff where the beef is from.  Find out whether you can purchase quality meat direct from the ranchers in your area.  In Portland

Integrity is beginning to be a valued commodity.  How do you like your steak?

Is that what we eat?

October 6th, 2009

I posted a link to the video that I edited of Skeeter breaking down a hog’s head to make headcheese for the restaurant.  My friend, John Moody (, and I had filmed Skeeter process a whole hog into manageeable parts to be served at the restaurant.  This was the biggest hog that had come through the doors yet.  This beast was only 8 pounds lighter than Skeeter!

I was fine with Skeeter carving out the hog’s shoulder.  Cutting out the neck seemed merely an addendum. Even slicing off the flank of the hog failed to scare up a hackle on my arm…but watching Skeeter hew the skull into pieces without hesitancey set me aback a little.  That quiesiness drew my attention and I pursued that little sickling through my mental labryinth and tried to bring it into the open scrutiny of my conscous mind.  Hewing of the Hog’s Head

Watching the lifeless jaws yawn up at me tightened my bowels a little bit.  I would have averted my gaze earlier when Skeeter gauged out the eyes, but I was editing and so had a duty to fulfill.  My girlfriend squeeled and scurried from the room, exhorting me to care for her peace of mind  a little more earnestnly.

I couldn’t tell whether I was uneasy with the concept of eating my fellow mammals due to the inane wrongness of it or because I was so inured to only consuming already processed, packaged protein which held no suggestion of origin.

Perhaps because there is very little genetic difference between a hog and a human, and I am of the imaginative type, the undoing of the head into smaller pieces which could then be cooked ina pot to create headcheese creeped me out a bit.  I understood that humans need protein to survive, and the current predominant cultural method of procuring protein was to slaughter animals, and I knew utilizing each portion of the beast was the only way to honor its death (and maintain the bottom line of the business).

To resolve this issue I thought it best to follow this quesiness to its logical conclusion.
Go witness the slaughtering of hogs meant for the dinner plate.

September 19th, 2008
together we cook!

together we cook!

Sometime about 4 years ago I was kicking it with my dad at his house.  We have lived together a few different times and have always enjoyed cooking, drinking wine and chatting, with each other and whomever is around.  So, about 5 years ago we had an idea for an internet tool.  Although I have a good touch with food, I have a deplorable memory, and soam sometimes forced to call my dad to ask questions about timing, temperature and other specifics.  In an effort to immortalize my father’s clean, simple, basic approach to food,

So we came up with the concept of  The paradigm grew into  duckspoon, although the actual name of the site had not revealed itself until recently.

This was in 2005 when we started this endeavor: before the video recipe encyclopedias was ubiquitous.   Google had just started recording the volumes in libraries.  We could see that the ides of free information was growing and we wanted to throw in our passion and love of food done correctly.  Hence the simplicity of

We did not want any of the sensationalism that was so abundant on the cooking shows.  As much as I admire  Anthony Bourdain’s writing and revel in his adventures, he has ushered in the concept of the celebrity chef…and pop culture loves the celebrity chef.

We weren’t interested.   Straight, to the point information without wasting  time was our goal.  Just the right information.

I wanted folks in the middle of dinner to be able to rely on going to my site and finding the answer to their question quickly and easily.  How long to you roast the chicken for?  What temperature?  Those questions.

Now by  creating an information system that was sleek and easy to use, and by limiting the video recipes to 3 minutes or under, we were omitting certain components of the meal.  When you are watching us make lentil soup, you don’t have to wade through the chopping of carrots, the mincing of onions, the dicing of bacon.  Unless you want to.  In the written instructions to the side of the actual videos are links to “chopped carrots” and “minced onions” and “diced bacon” that you can hit and see the instructional videos which will  guide you through that particular chore.

The site is finally coming together.  Granted may be way behind the curve now and probably not considered innovative, but I funded it myself and it’s mine.

I’m about having a lot of fun and I hope that it becomes a useful tool and that others will enjoy duckspoon as much as I do.  I am fortunate enough that the owners of the restaurant that I at, Adam and Jackie, support my project and allow me access to the entire life of the restaurant.  It’s a beautiful little concept that has grit and whose owners are ready to walk the long way home.

So, have fun with me.