Look what showed up on my doorstep? All packed tight with dry ice, shipped next day air an junk. It’s full of cured pork products !!!
A few years ago a commenter showed up on the Meathenge train. Seemed to be a laid back kind of guy, got smarts about him, and some minutes a day to read my ramblin’s. Times rolled along, he came and went, leaving comments behind him as he pleased. Sometimes it was just a hello and a few times it was to ruffle some feathers, even if he din’t mean to. Apologies all around and off we went.
Early on he said he was in the Bend, Oregon area. This would be near our beloved A&B Meat Market that Chilebrown brought to the table. He agreed with us as to how good it was. Ol’ CB would drive up there for bacon and a vacation with his wife Ms. Goofy. Last year my sister and husband drove for bacon on their anniversary. Even if it was a 2 or 3 day trip, it was always worth it.
It’s no secret now that A&B is closing its doors. Retiring that is. Both CB and I would love to be able to get there before they close in a month or two. But it doesn’t look good. Not much to do but say goodbye and remember the good times.
Until a few weeks ago when this, Chandler guy (the commenter in question), said he’d be willing to send us a shipment of A&B bacon. Would we be interested? SHIT YEAH !!! CB and I pondered our luck and figured a few pounds of the belly and shoulder would probably do. Didn’t want to put poor Chandler through the wringer. It was at that point Big C said it was a gift and he’d get right on it. A week later, he’d plotted on visiting 3 smokehouses up there and sending us samples of each. A gift indeed! Here’s what he wrote to me in an email:
So, here’s the bacon low-down — I sent you a cooler today with 6x1lb. packages of belly bacon, and 6x1lb. packages of shoulder bacon from the A and B market in Bend Over, OR. It is all frozen, as that is how I got it from A and B. It’s not marked real well, but you will be able to figure it out. I also sent you two packages of belly bacon and two packages of shoulder bacon from Redmond Lockers and Custom Meats in Redmond, OR. It too, was frozen. I also sent you two packages of belly bacon and two packages of shoulder bacon from Gene’s Meat Market (http://www.genesmeatmarket.com/) in Mehama, OR. This is a secret little gem of mine that I save for special occasions. (OK- It’s right off the hwy between Sisters and Salem, and everyone worth a shit knows about it.) I honestly have never tried their bacon, but their other meats and sausages are great and they have some dandy buffalo jerky. They also make homemade hotdogs and bologna and some other goodies. Gene’s bacon was icy cold, but NOT frozen. By the way, RL&CM has some of the best jerky that I’ve ever had that wasn’t my own. I topped it all off with 10lbs. of dry ice. It should be in great shape when it gets there. (Hell, it’s cured anyway.)
I talked with Al, the father, at A and B for quite a while today. We’ve sorta hit it off over the years, and often have long culinary conversations. He is ready to retire! They will be open ‘til the end of June, but he said he could walk away from the whole thing today and be happy. Since people caught wind that they were closing, they’ve been absolutely swamped. He’s got people ordering 40, 50, 60 lbs. of bacon, kal bi ribs, sausage, etc. at a time. They’re coming in from all over the place, and Al and Brian can hardly keep up with the demand. I told him the bacon was going to MEATHENGE® corporate headquarters in Richmond, and he got a good chuckle about that. He says to say a big hello to the Bay Area crowd. I get the feeling that he has really appreciated the support from down that way over the years. I told him I’d be back for a couple of pics tomorrow.
The whole thing is a present from your old buddy “Chandler” up in Sisters/Bend, OR. I’ve very much been entertained by reading MEATHENGE® over the last couple of years, and like I’ve told you before, it’s one of the very few blogs of any kind that I read. So keep up the good work, kiss your boys on the foreheads for me, and give Chile and the rest a big ‘ol Central Oregon howdy for me.
I’m happily stunned, yet have a freezer full of bacon that I would never have been able to procure! Thank you to a friend I’ve never met and will most certainly in our future. Your name and deeds will always be remembered with fondness, burp.
Wow, I am speechless! Mr. Chandler, you are the Man. Maybe we can say hello this summer. Ms. Goofy and I will be passing your way late Sept. Thankyou so very much!!
I almost got a tear from all of the love shared in this posting.
I’m so glad that I know the location of Meathenge Labs!!!
Maybe I’ll do a drive by and see if there’s any kind of package left again on the porch!
Have a great holiday weekend!
I had a commenter send me 60# of Alaskan king crab, smoked salmon, dungeness crab and halibut files one year. All he wanted was some recipes. Life was really good.
I’ve never gotten bacon, though. That would make my life lots better.
Aww! Snif, snif. That is a lovely meat story. So generous & kind of Chandler!
Can it get any better… I’d say I’m all misty eyed, but well… OK, I am, but not just from this story. See, I got a package in the mail from a friend my own self. It’s a good day to be a foodie-type blogger!
If anybody’s feeling all gifty after reading this, my shoe size is 6 ½. I like red.
I like bacon too, but I think I know who got all of that.
(Chandler, what a decent fellow!)
Nice haul. How ’bout a batch of bacon cupcakes?
Lord, it’s Christmas in May! And it couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Chandler obviously knew that, too. Bet I’ll be able to smell that sweet smoke all the way over here in Marin this weekend. (No, not that kind — you know what I mean.)
You lucky duck. I want a secret admirer too!