In my grandparents’ day, farm to table was not a designation. It was called dinner. My grandfather was a farmer, among many other things. Other family members were also farmers. If one family raised hogs, another grew corn and soy beans; all had plenty of chickens. Nobody grew rich, but no one went hungry.
I learned many things from my wise, no-nonsense grandfather. I once asked him the difference between pigs and hogs. He said pigs have names, go to 4H competitions and county fairs. Hogs are a commodity.
So it seems it’s in my blood to want local sources for my food. (If you haven’t as yet tried Baetje Farms’ cheeses made in Bloomsdale, Missouri, you need to get some right now!) I am all for pesticide-free food and hormone-free meat and dairy, as well. I would like to eat like my grandparents did, but since I don’t do manual labor all day, the menu has to be modified. No, I can’t have pies, cakes, cookies and ice cream every night, or layer homemade noodles over baked potatoes, but I can try to choose natural foods, grown and raised close to home.
A favorite hobby is dining out. I like the fact that so many restaurants are embracing local and natural food sources. I like knowing that my food was grown and raised nearby, by actual people, not corporations. There are many choices for this experience in St. Louis.
I recently went to a very well-respected establishment that specializes in farm to table. I was weirdly excited that one of their entrees was breakfast for dinner. One fresh and local fried egg, one house made sausage link, an inch cube of pork belly and a few silver dollar cornmeal pancakes. It was very tasty. It was also $24. Yes, I know. I’ll pay more for local, handmade and high quality. This meal, perhaps $4.99 to $7.99 at your favorite local breakfast joint, should cost more here. But $24? Hmmm …
My grandfather also had a great deal of common sense. He always said the right price for a hog is however much someone is willing to pay for it. I think he would admire the hubris of the restaurant’s pricing, and shake his head at anyone so gullible as to pay that much for a breakfast plate. Sorry, Pampoo!
Would I go back to that restaurant again? When pigs fly …