Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Patience vs. Laziness and a farmer's meatloaf

There is phrase on the farm that we toss about pretty regularly. It comes up when we are working collaboratively on a project, when talking about issues of social progress, when we planning the next big move, etc. One of us will state, casually "We are not patient though" as a reason for why we feel so frustrated with stagnancy.

We're wrong. We are incredibly patient. We have been building a business and a life for years, we have spent our entire relationship training and working towards owning our farm. We have never taken a vacation together, never even a non-working overnight (we travel sometimes for presentations). We do not expect the livestock to grow any faster then they do, and don't really get upset when that doesn't happen. I think what we should be saying is, "We are not lazy". I'm not talking about the necessity of relaxation, or the occasional Sunday afternoon. I'm talking about the condition of laziness. The state of allowing one's life to plod along for no other reason then the sun rises.

I know, this is somewhat confrontational. I think I'm okay with that. Patience is slowly crawling towards a very challenging goal, with success only in your mind, and dealing with all of the hardships on that path. Laziness is waiting for success to happen, and believing you are owed the existence you crave.

Patience is understanding that set backs are natural, and that being uncomfortable is not always undesirable. There are lessons in the state of uncomfortable. Laziness is believing that comfort is more important than effort. I'm certainly not saying that if you work hard, you will inevitably succeed at whatever is at hand. I don't believe that, and we don't live in a world where everyone is offered the same opportunity. I actually think that the mindset that anyone can pull themselves up by their boot straps is a form of laziness, a refusal to comprehend the privileges some have in our culture that allows automatic success or advantage. I believe that our modern culture is set up to force this compulsory life narrative on almost everyone, that many follow, unflinching because it's the most obvious one.

And I'm not just talking about money, either. I'm talking about fulfillment, in whatever your passion is- or in just finding your passion. Patience is in putting yourself in a million different situations, knowing that most will not be what you expected, or wanted, but keeping the eye out for what is. Laziness is accepting that your current moment, however boring or unpleasant, is a permanent condition. I don't want to sound like a motivational speaker. I'm just trying to work through what so many people struggle with. I can remember a time when I got up, went to work, came home, puttered about and basically accepted that this was forever. It was fine, but it wasn't challenging, it didn't make me a better human, and I didn't sleep very well. My life now is very different. And in most ways, a lot harder. But my life now is not just happening to me, either- I'm the object in motion.

Our farm is not going to change the world. But it is going to drastically alter my world, and has provided me with a focus. It also happens that my work is my passion, and that is something not many can say. But everyone should be able to have something that keeps them in motion. Something that is their project- making the best damn cup of coffee for your morning breakfast, or having a high score on some game, or... I don't know- mastering the art of flower arrangement. Laziness is believing that if you're in a current state of mind, that it is fixed, and that nothing can change. Laziness is believing that your interests and passions cease to exist, or won't change. Patience is knowing you won't get everything you want, maybe you wont' even get anything you want- but keeping yourself moving towards change to let the whole story play out as an active character. Put yourself in motion. Life will just happen if you let it. You will (hopefully) get older. Relationships will change, end, begin. Do something, Right Now. Anything. Seriously, do Anything that disrupts your usual schedule and is within your power to reclaim a little bit of your own existence. You're the only one who can. I've had enough laziness. I need more patience.

And to head towards your new goal, please, take our meatloaf recipe and enjoy it thoroughly. We rarely buy meat, but occasionally I'll pick up some ground beef when we are out of venison or pork. Nothing is exact, so edit and make changes as you see fit! It's a great way to use organ meat from your sides of pork.

(makes 2 loaves, one for dinner, one for weekday lunches)

1lb ground grassfed beef
1lb pork liver
1 pork heart
1/2 cup masa harina
1 can tomato paste
1 red pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
salt, pepper, smoked paprika and italian herbs to taste
ketchup
2 farm fresh eggs

1. Preheat Oven to 375 and lightly oil two pans
2. Use a food processor to blend pretty thoroughly your eggs, paste, garlic, pepper, onion, salt and spices.
3. Pour mix into a largeish bowl.
4. Pulse your liver and heart until it's a chopped/ground consistency.
5. Knead or mix your ground beef and organ meat together into your eggs/spices/etc mix. Make sure it's integrated fully, then add masa harina until it's a little bound together (don't over do it, it will ruin the flavor if you do).
6. Split the mix in half, put each half spread into a bread pan (casserole dishes, whatever you have two of the right size of).
7. Drizzle with ketchup, and bake until done (45ish minutes? Keep your eye on it, but none to closely)
8. Make a big batch of mashed potatoes and veggies, too.

Affordable, delicious and super nutrient dense. Win!

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