Yesterday was National Cow Appreciation Day. I would not have known this if Tillamook Cheese hadn’t been so kind as to remind me in an e-mail that morning. I’ve got no beef with cows – I love ’em, in fact! – and I figured the best way to appreciate them would be to not eat them that day. At the grocery store, I picked up a nice cod filet and decided to make fish tacos. I was very moo-ved by this whole dedication to our bovine friends, and felt quite committed to keeping them off my plate for one day. Naturally, I updated my Twitter/Facebook accounts to wish everybody a happy Cow Appreciation Day and to let them know about my meatless dinner plans.
My friend Laurie brought up a good point, though. She responded to my Facebook post, I don’t get it? Isn’t the best way to appreciate a cow to savor the flavor?
I had to admit, I was suddenly flummoxed. The logic behind Laurie’s reasoning seemed sound. In order to clear up my confusion, I turned to the internet for the answers. According to holidayinsights.com, Cow Appreciation Day should be celebrated thusly:
Our appreciation for cows can be expressed in many ways. Some websites suggest you go out and give a cow a big hug and/or a kiss. While it might sound like fun, you don’t have to go to extremes to enjoy this special day. It can be as simple as pausing for a moment to think about cows, and all that they do for us.
Not having a cow handy for hugging purposes, I figured I was right on in keeping my evening beef-free. But then Laurie – she’s got a quick wit, that one – said, in response to the above quote, Maybe you could kiss a burger and thank The Grand Bovine in the Sky for providing such a juicy and delicious dinner for you. Had I read the holiday website further, I might have done so, because it went on to say,
Now that we’ve had our moment of silence, it’s time to celebrate. Have an ice cold glass of milk. Add chocolate syrup, if you prefer. Then, fire up the grill, and cook some burgers or a steak. And, don’t forget to get your fill of cheese. Sorry, goat cheese is not allowed today.
Clearly, I had taken the wrong approach to Cow Appreciation Day! But the fish was fresh and the accompanying creamy lime/chile sauce had already been prepared, so I went ahead with my taco plan. They were good, too! No complaints. I figured I would appreciate cows the next day instead.
Saturday morning dawned cool and wet. I would have sworn it was early October had the calendar not been stuck on July. I grabbed rain gear (seriously?) and headed downtown to do some shopping at the Portland Farmer’s Market at PSU. Having been limited to asparagus during my last two visits to a farmer’s market, I was thrilled this time to see a wide assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Though it may not feel like it, summer is finally in full swing around here. I found a parking meter, and had ninety minutes to visit the market, which is less time than you might think given the fact that a) it was many blocks away (a good ten-minute walk…oops, should have searched for a closer spot), and b) the market is huge. First I made a circuit, stopping to browse and try many free samples while planning what to buy. Then, since it was lunchtime, I stopped at a booth selling French crepes. Called C’est Si Bon, they offered a selection of both sweet and savory crepes. Tough decision – they all sounded good! – but I was in the mood for lunch instead of breakfast, so I chose from the savory side of the menu. I opted for a pork confit crepe: it was stuffed with slow-roasted pork, caramelized onions, apple butter, and organic herb salad. Oh. My. God. Delicious!! I later learned that Bon Appetit Magazine ranked the Top 10 Farmer’s Market Lunches and the Portland Farmer’s Market made the cut…and, in fact, they specifically mentioned the crepes at C’est Si Bon. I chose wisely!
After devouring my crepe, I went back through the market and filled my ecologically sensible canvas tote (it’s Portland, after all) with Rainier cherries, green beans, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, a wedge of handcrafted artisan cheese, and a dozen farm-fresh, organic, free-range eggs (go, me!). I’ve never tried fresh eggs from a farm, but my brother swears they are nothing like the kind you find in the grocery store, so I figured the steep price ($6.00) would be worth it. They’re a fun mixture of colors, mostly brown and beige. Can’t wait to try them for breakfast! Time was running out, so I hurried back to my car, making it with three minutes to spare. Whew! From there, I stopped at Gartner’s Country Meats, a local meat market that I’ve been going to for about fifteen years now. By meat market, I mean butcher shop and retail purveyor of beef, pork and chicken, not a seedy, dimly-lit bar where men hurl vapid come-on lines to bored-looking, curvy women. It’s a very well-known (read: packed to the rafters) place where you have to take a number for service. I was 98, they were on 67, which is about par for the course. Totally worth the twenty-minute wait, though, as I came home with a marvelous-looking ribeye steak that will truly show my appreciation for cows, especially when it’s plopped on the grill tonight and cooked to medium-rare perfection. I also grabbed some pepper bacon and garlic smoked bratwurst. I hardly ever get to Gartner’s anymore – it’s been about a year – so when I do go, I try to buy several different meats.
I have really been “getting my Portland on” these past few days, and loving it! The rest of the afternoon will be spent on my back patio, magazine in hand, records playing, cold drink by my side. My kind of Saturday!