We Are Off to London Tonight, Full of Food For Thought

This morning Grandma Joanne noted that compared to the ferry ride ( 4 1/2 hours, not including the two hour delay in leaving, and the fact that we arrived 45 minutes early) the Juneau-Seattle-Dulles epic day (we left at 6:00 am and got home to Va. at midnight, and the time change is just 4 hours), the London trip (one flight, 5 1/2 hours) should be a piece of cake. (Or at least a warm scone.) Speaking of food, we have been eating well thanks to local farms. Last night we roasted organic chicken from a nearby farm, along with corn, green beans, salad and new potatoes. The herbs were from our kitchen garden. A friend who works at the barn came by and stayed for dinner (these farms hum with activity all the time, when we leave, there will be plenty of people here to care for the dogs, horses, homes and grounds), and we talked about fox hunting and that chicken which was so good. Turns out the woman who owns the organic farm where the chicken was raised has closed her property to the local fox hunt. The neighbors in this fox hunting area don't like that. At the same time, they do like her food and how well she has restored the big old farm. "It's all about the land," Grandma Joanne says. The day before we ate at a farm-supplied pub, owned by the same non-fox hunting gal, and I had a a rose veal salad. A flyer that came with the menu explained that to have a dairy, even an organic, humane, natural one, the cows must have a calf each year in order to produce milk. Dairy calves don't make good eating, so traditionally have become veal, and placed in awful tiny pens and fed milk until they are slaughtered, thus the white color. Rose veal, pink meat, comes from treating the calves better before they become dinner. They play in the grass and are fed well. The same flyer noted that chickens, like the one we ate last night, tasted better when they have been allowed to scratch in the yard and generally ramble about the garden before they are killed humanely. Our dinner companion used to be a fox hunter, but said she doesn't do it much anymore, because she hated to see the fox killed. Not that she likes foxes, but that the way the dogs tore into them was often so brutal. There were  seven dogs at our feet --four fox killing terrier types, two corgis, and a Schnauzer -  would these cute little dogs really kill a fox? "You betcha'," Grandma Joanne said. "They go right in the hole after gophers if I am not watching."  Even darling little Bizzie, who has a face like Paddington Bear? "Absolutely. It's what she's bred for." All of which remains food for thought. 



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