Monday, January 4, 2010

Skagit River Ranch: Seattle's Locally-raised Meat

Best laid plans... etc. You start to pick up around the house and the next thing you know you are arranging the photos on the fridge in chronological order.

So it happened on Saturday that Sarah and I had wanted to get out to the u-district farmers market to pick up some good grass-fed meat, but instead ended up making the trek all the way to the homestead...that is to the farm in Sedro-Wooley, WA. It was the best decision ever!

The resident chef, and all-around sweeter-than-a-pumpkin-pie hostess, Betty, showed us around and helped us make a decision as we tried to decide what to buy from the slew of meats and cuts they had to offer. From italian pork sausage, to beef roasts, to whole chickens, it was a hard decision.

In the end we ended up rifling through Betty's recipe box to see what caught our eye and then picking the meat based on that.

The best thing about visiting the Ranch instead of just the booth at the Market, was the strong sense of being where the food is. It's not hard to imagine these animals living near-perfect lives as you arrive at Skagit River Ranch. Just outside the farm store, which sits in the gorgeous Skagit Valley, mountains loom over the flat lands making a quite-epic backdrop to the intentionally quaint farmhouse where Betty sits cooking. It is a beautiful scene and it makes enjoying the meat that much more enjoyable to imagine the grazing cattle waking up here everyday. Happy cows indeed.

In the end, we ended up getting the staples. Ground beef, since we are going to stop eating ground beef unless we know who made it. A whole chicken, which Sarah is going to butcher, because we saw the chickens outside the store and it's hard to imagine a better living environment. We got bacon ends for stocks, soups and general deliciousness. And finally we picked up some special eggs, a dozen hand-picked "odd balls" as Betty put it. These are the eggs that were oddly shaped, too small, too big or just plain weird... and boy are they delicious!

If you want to visit the ranch in Sedro-Wooley, the store is open monday-sat 10 - 6. SRR also appear weekly on Saturdays for the U-District Farmer's Market and Sunday at the Ballard Farmer's Market. For more information go to

Happy Eating!