Meathenge to Fatted Calf to the sharing of meat between father & son

Editors Note: Yeah, confused? I didn’t know how to title this one either. I received this email the other day and was really blown away, I did tear up. We all make jokes, tell “stories” and enjoy the Meaty Lifestyle. But how many of you, and raise your hands, where meat has come in to your life and given you a venue to share the last life & times with a loved one before they pass?
I asked for permission to post this email and to post an image. Please read on and dare to keep a dry eye.

Hey Biggles,
First, I have to say a huge ‘Thank You’ for telling me about subscribing to Toponia’s weekly newsletter for the Fatted Calf a couple years before she and Taylor took the leap and started their operations in Napa. I *so* looked forward to reading her updates and although it wasn’t convenient to hit the SF Farmer’s Market, I knew that one day, I’d get to taste their their products.
Move ahead to a year ago. The Fatted Calf has been running at the Oxbow Public Market for a while, and my dad, who was living in the Yountville Veterans Home was talking to me about Charcuterie and stoking the fires of meat love. I made a promise to create a nice Cheese Board lunch the next weekend, and so, finally stopped by the Fatted Calf for sausage.
Bailey was working the counter, barely two weeks into her start with the ‘Calf. I sampled my way through just about all that was available that week and ended up buying more than a pound of some of the most wonderful sausage I’d had in many, many years. I was sold.
Stopping at the ‘Calf on my way to visit my father became a habit very quickly.
Sadly, my father passed away on April 21st. I thought that I might not head over to Napa so much, but then, I got the heads up from Toponia about their first ever, up-n-coming Basic Pig Butchery and Sausage Making class. Lemme tell ya, I grabbed the phone so fast it set records in three states. I thought it would be a nice way to keep fond memories of hanging out with my dad over exceptional food.
The class was wonderful. Taylor, Toponia and the rest of the crew are fine people indeed. I had such a good time, I’m tempted to volunteer for them sometime.
Thanks so much for sharing your love of meat.
Best to you and yours,
Eidtor’s Note: Please take a moment and hoist a cool refreshing beverage to CM and his father, a moment of silence and respect.

4 thoughts on “Meathenge to Fatted Calf to the sharing of meat between father & son

  1. Consider the beverage hoisted! (and will hoist something more fitting after work!)
    My mother was the food influence on my life – Even when she was in the hospital in the last days of her life, she held parties in her room – I would pick up food, she would invite friends. But it was all those times when she was healthy that I will always remember – Holding cooking classes for “ladies of society” who wanted to learn to cook so they could give the ‘help’ a night off and impress their husbands – Prompting me to try new things (thanks Mom, I’m still eating Scrapple!), and always interweaving food with family and friends – Neither was visited without the other.
    Dad is a meat and potato kind of guy – When my folks divorced he had to learn to cook, and went in the “manly” direction – Usually a red-meat no matter what (seafood wasn’t allowed in his house and fowl only rarely) and he can make a THOUSAND different stews. I will be seeing him next month, and it warmed my heart when I asked him “What can I bring” and he replied “Smoke me some Bacon!”
    It really is interesting how closely knitted food and relationships are – for years, my wife had a note I had written hanging on the fridge – it was signed “I will love and cook for you forever.” After 5+ moves, from East coast to West and back again, I’m not sure where that note went – I bet she still has it somewhere….And I try to make good on that promise each and every day.
    So hoist that beverage to CM and his Dad – And then hoist another for your loved ones, and be sure to invite them over for dinner!
    PS – I heard about one of those classes in New York – I am looking for one here in DC!