Let’s just get this right out in the open…Blood Farm is a slaughterhouse.
Knowing what goes on here and the visuals you conjure in your mind can be uncomfortable. So for the sake of this writing, the term “processing” will be used.
To know me is to know that I am a fan of locally grown and sourced agriculture. I make it my business to research local farms and stores that sell locally grown fruits, vegetables and meat products. To me, local means fresh and keeps families and farms in business. I like that.
This year has been a challenge for everyone. The Covid crisis is real. And it has impacted farms and families and people everywhere. In the Fall, we were staring down a holiday season that would look very different for most everyone. We were urged to stay vigilant and not to gather in large family or friend groups to help keep Covid at bay. For me, this meant having the holidays at home, alone….like millions of other people around the world. So I had a choice, I could be miserable and have the “poor me” attitude, or I could make the best of it.
Thanksgiving came and went and turkey was cooked, consumed and made into lots of soup. Christmas would soon be here…what to do for dinner??? I know of many local farms but none that really specialize in good quality meats. I had heard of this place called Blood Farm. I knew it was in Groton, Ma., about 45 minutes northwest of here. I’m always up for something new so I did a little more research on this place and found that it was a meat processing farm. It specialized in beef, chicken, pork, lamb and goat. They processed 50 different cuts of beef alone…never mind all the rest of what they cut. I was very intrigued by the idea of having a very fresh cut piece of beef. It would be nothing like what you could buy in the local grocery store.
So a few weeks before Christmas, I convinced my friend T to take a little road trip with me. She is always up for a farm adventure with me. So off we went to Blood Farm with my intent of ordering a special roast for my Christmas dinner. If I was going to be home alone, I wanted a special meal with quality meat. I was willing to pay for that quality. We got there and went into the little office/store they have. There were large cooler/freezer cases with lots of different cuts of meat. We could see through the windows where the meat cutters were doing their work. We could not see the processing section of the farm. We spoke with a very helpful meat cutter who happily guided us through the order process. I placed my order for a 3 plus pound boneless prime rib. T ended up ordering the same, only larger as she has more people to feed! We left there thinking about how cool it was going to be to have this amazing roast for dinner. And yes, we fully understood how freshly “processed” this meat would be.
So on Wednesday before Christmas, T and I once again took the trip out to Groton to pick up the roasts we had ordered. When we arrived shortly after 1030, there was a line waiting to get in. Remember, the office area is small so social distance meant waiting outside. We parked in the rear of the main building and got in line with about 35-40 people in front of us. Thankfully, it was a warm sunny day as the wait would be long. Soon the line behind us swelled and we knew those behind us were in for a much longer wait. But we made the best of it. A young guy was in line behind us. He was a firefighter….you could just tell. And behind him was an older woman wearing flip flops as she trudged across the muddy parking lot to get in line. She clearly had been here before as she made it clear she had never waited in line before. Our fire guy was also a regular. As more people were arriving, there were questions about how long we had been in line. One person responded “not long”. Ever the comedian, I responded “4 hours”! Everyone laughed. Really, lets have some fun while we wait.
And then it happened…..a very large truck pulled down the driveway to one of the side barn buildings we had passed as we stood in line. This was the rendering truck. T and I immediately decided we would not look back as this truck backed in ready to take on it’s load. Some things don’t need to be seen. I felt bad for those in line behind us that were much closer to this truck. So the chatter in our little section of the line continued and we had some more laughs. That is until I made the mistake of turning briefly toward the truck and saw one of the dumpster-like bins being lowered to the ground after it’s contents were dumped in the truck. It was unpleasant. As was the odor now emanating from the truck. Flip Flop lady began to describe things for us and at that moment, I could have vomited on her flip flop feet. I wagged my finger at her and advised her to stop…followed by plugging my ears while “la-la-laling” to stop her. There were chuckles…and I advised those around us that I was serious! By now, we were close to the front of the line, which now snaked all the way down the driveway and around the back of the building. I offered my spot in line to a new arrival for a price! And then it was our turn and we went in to pick up our order. That only took a few minutes and we were out again! People clapped. We really did make the best of the wait and had some laughs to help pass the time.
On Christmas Day, I cooked this roast to perfection. I can not begin to tell you how good it was. As Streisand would say….”it was like buttah…” And for those who are wondering….there is a HUGE difference in quality and taste in a piece of beef that was freshly processed.
I would do this again in a heartbeat….
The cake???? Chocolate with creme de menthe mousse filling, buttercream frosting topped with chocolate ganache!
Merry Christmas to me!!!