Friday, May 31, 2013

Liver Pills and Beef Tallow, Oh My!

I don't like liver.  There I said it.  I know people who love it and I know people who hide it in their meatballs or hamburgers.  Neither worked for me.  I have had liver sitting in my fridge for months, taunting me.  I know it is good for me but I did not know how to get it down.  Enter the great idea of liver pills.  I don't really remember where I saw it first but I think it was Liz from Cave Girl Eats that suggested cutting the liver up in tiny cubes and swallowing them.  But, I was still chicken.  Finally, I decided to give it a try and you know what?  It worked!  It was super easy to make and I did not taste the liver one bit.
Why liver you ask?  Liver is full of vitamins.  Now, I am not talking about the liver you would pick up at the grocery store.  I am talking about 100% grass-fed, local beef liver from a reputable farmer.  These livers are full of vitamin A, B vitamins, folic acid and iron just to name a few.  For more info on liver check out this The Weston A Price article.

So, here is what I did.  I defrosted the liver in the fridge just a little so it was still partially frozen.  I then sliced the liver into pill size portions.  I put them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes to flash freeze them.  That is it!  I then put them in a container and I keep them in the freezer.  I am taking about 3 liver pills in the morning.  If you use fresh liver, it is advisable to keep the pills in the freezer for 2 weeks before consuming to kill off any pathogens or parasites. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Now, time for the beef tallow.  When I was at PaleoFX, I bought some tallow body lotion.  It was fantastic!  You can buy it here-Kasandrinos Olive Oil.  But, I thought to myself, I should try to make this.  I love experimenting and making my own products.  So, I ordered some beef fat from my farmer-Yonder Way Farm.  The rendering was easy but very time consuming.  Now, I understand why the lotion was expensive!

I cooked mine on the stove but I am going to try the crock-pot next time.  It will take longer but I won't have to stir it as often.
I defrosted the fat in the fridge for a few days.  It was still solid, kind of like a block of butter.  I cut it into tiny pieces taking out any meat or anything that wasn't fat.  I put all of this in a pot on the stove and set the burner on low (I have a gas cooktop).  I stirred every 15 minutes for 3 hours!  Everything turned to liquid except for a few brown pieces floating on top that are called cracklings.  Some people like the cracklings but I did not.  My dogs have enjoyed them though!
I skimmed the cracklings off and set them on a paper towel.  Next, I poured the hot oil into a colander covered with a tea towel (you can also use cheesecloth) over a large bowl to get out any impurities.  I then poured the oil (still very hot) into a quart size glass jar.  I kept it on the counter overnight.  It can go in the fridge when it is cool.  So, I think I had about 5 pounds of fat and that rendered one full quart for me.

I have not made the lotion yet but I am going to experiment with lavender and lemon essential oils for the fragrance and olive oil for the oil.  I will let you know how it turns out!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Yonder Way Farm Visit

A few weeks ago, I finally went to visit my farmer Jason's farm.  I have been buying from Yonder Way Farm for almost a year now but had not had a chance to visit.  Yonder Way Farm  delivers pastured pork, chicken, eggs and 100% grass-fed beef to the Houston area.  The more I talked to Farmer Jason, the more I could see the love he has for his farm.  He really loves and cares for his animals and wants them to live a happy life.  He is also very patient and will answer any questions you throw at him ( I know this because I asked hundreds of questions at first).

The farm visit was wonderful.  I also was finally able to meet Farmer Jason's wife, Lynsey who was just as sweet and beautiful as could be.  I also met two of their four daughters.  What a wonderful life these kids have on the farm!  Lynsey showed me and Julie from Homegrown Paleo around the farm.   We saw lots of chickens, guineas, turkeys and even some baby chicks.  We also got to bottle feed baby piglets that they were taking care of because they were not getting nourished from their momma.  Their were tons of baby pigs to watch as they played in the mud and did what pigs are meant to do.  The pigs were so friendly and came right up to us!  I was a little nervous because they were so big but they were nice.
 The animals at this farm live a life that farm animals are meant to live, with plenty of grass and sunshine.
They also had a brand new litter of kittens!

 My visit was great and I can't wait to go back and visit again.

 Now, I know for sure where my meat and eggs come from and how the animals are raised!  Do you?