The Christmas Tree season is half over and it has been great seeing not only our regulars, but so many new families as well. If you ever wondered if we really have the perfect tree for everyone, check out the tree this young couple cut down! We just got our second load of fresh trees from Oregon, so we have a great selection of beautiful Noble Firs and even a few of the rare Silvertips available. Santa and friends will be here Sunday from noon until the last child gets a visit. Another tradition of ours is Trees for Troops. In honor of our late patriarch, Col. Marvin H. Good, we have been a proud supporter of this program since Laura and I took over operations. Trees for Troops delivers real Christmas trees to our troops overseas that can’t be home with their own families, because they are protecting ours. We have donated over 500 trees over the past few years and you can help! For just $25, you can sponsor a tree and bring a little bit of home to a soldier. Come by the farm and fill out a personal message on a tree tag and we will handle the rest.
I have said many times that I am a meat purveyor, not a butcher. What I have not said is that I have every intention of becoming a serviceable butcher. That and learning Spanish are my two big personal goals for the coming year. So to that end I invited my good friend and master butcher Dave the Butcher from Marina Meats in SF to come and work with me for a few days. It is impossible to have enough time to get his 25 years of experience in my brain over a few hours, but I feel like I got a TON out of it. From learning simple knife techniques, to roast tying lessons, to different ways to cut the same muscle, I am excited for all the new possibilities for our customers. This is going to come in handy as we will do about 60-80 special orders over the next two weeks. It also means that we have a ton more options for you.
We also talked about marinades and rubs, and how he uses them. I have a “thing” about marinated meat in a grocery store. I would never buy it, as it is too often used only as a means of extending shelf life. The plan for my shop is what I’m calling the Snowcone Treatment. I want you to be able to see the freshness of the meat you are buying. So you come in and pick out that beautiful Pork Tenderloin that was just trimmed up for display and ask for some marinade. We will take that tenderloin, put it in a vacuum bag, pump your choice of marinade into the bag, and seal it up! For starters, we will have very simple marinades. Dave brought up a couple of great points while we were discussing my plan. First, that by keeping the marinade simple (for example olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped rosemary and a few secret ingredients) it makes it more accessible for our customers. Meaning if you have a high intolerance for salt, it wont be a problem because there isn’t any in the marinade. You can season the meat when you get home to suit your diet and taste. The other point he made was that I have built my business on earning my customers’ trust. Therefore, he didn’t think anyone would question a pre-marinated cut in the grab n’ go case at Community Market or at one of our farmers markets. Any feed back YOU can provide would be greatly appreciated. I’m really interested how many of you would like more “flavored” options. Dave has graciously agreed to let me come work with him at Marina Meats for few days to further my education. That means more new things to come, so stay tuned!
If you find yourself in the City, stop by Marina Meats at the corner of Divisadero and Chestnut. It is a real deal butcher shop and Dave and his crew are not only eager to serve you, but have the same commitment to supporting local farms and educating their customers as we do.