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Shake Shack Memories & New Cattle Memoirs

May 11, 2012

Jason’s birthday burgers from Shake Shack, Madison Square Park, NYC 2007 (no…these are not all his! Ok, maybe quite a few of them…)

If you have not had the pleasure of joining the Annual Shake Shack Celebration in the past four years, let me just tell you what you’re missing out on. Long lines. Did I say long? That’s unbearably inadequate. When you step into Madison Square park on a Sunny Saturday Afternoon in May (capitalized in all their glory as the BIGGEST all-time no-no’s of days to venture out into Manhattan’s public parks, as not only do you fight the downpour of tourists, but you also encounter a deposit of 7 of the 8 million inhabitants of NYC in a corporate effort to soothe asunder the apartment-ridden spring fever that has overcome us all…). So, where were we? When you step into Madison Square Park on a SSAM (not to be confused with the Korean style bbq, bo ssäm–remember the important acronym, people!)…when you do, it will look like the line could wind its way up the steps of the empire state building, and…back down again. Your constitution is shaking as you ask yourself, “What am I here for? A burger? A fried portabella? A shake? Is it really worth this wait?” You muster up the courage to proclaim, “this is my city, I won’t be deterred, I will get a burger and sit and enjoy it in the park on a SSAM! (even if I get it in an hour and a half).” And so goes the story of the New Yorker who braves the better common sense of the incoherent, irrational waiting-in-line for a simple burger.

But THAT is what makes it so good. Shake Shack had arguably mastered the simple burger a few years back (now, it’s debatable since they’ve bitten into corporate greed and become a chain–the biggest no-no in the theory of simple food quality. Even bigger than the rule of SSAM!). Their burgers consist of a thin, perfectly fried sirloin burger from hormone-free beef, crisp green lettuce that stands up to the juice of their tomato, and of course, the special sauce, all on a fresh potato bread bun. Simple. delicious. Never worth an hour and a half’s wait, but always, in the end, worth the irrational gesture.

We’ve had the great pleasure of the undertaking for the last four years with a huge group of friends, which throws another beautiful wrench into a SSAM–try getting 30 chairs in an outdoor public park where there are only about 50 available. Did I forget to mention that New Yorkers are a people of strong constitution, including when it comes to seating in public parks? …And somehow, each year, we have prevailed. So this year, Jason, instead of being able to do so on your big 3-0, we will recount the beautiful ridiculousness of it all, from the vantage-point of the farm, quite an entirely different place with a similar requirement for a strong constitution.

On another topic in beef…last weekend more than 30 of our young heifers (nearing a year old) were moved from their winter barn outfit down the road at Spring Hollow Farm (the main Bowman Farm) to our back yard (the Rudy Farm)! We now have pastures filled with beautiful heifer cows! (In case you’re wondering or don’t remember, a heifer is a female cow that has yet to give birth. After her inaugural first birth she will truly take on the name cow, or as they are known in our truck as we ride through the fields, “hey mammas“). The girls that are out on pasture now at our place are all calves born right here on the farm last spring, every one of which Jason was present to meet within a few hours of her birth and to write down all of her relevant birth data. (That’s why I call him the Bowman Bovine Genealogical-Historian. He likes that title.)

As of yesterday, they were graced with the company of their own personal bull that the farm just purchased last week. His name is Hero (a given name, not by us!). He is purebred Angus, coming to us from Mystic Hill Farms, and will have a nice little harem of his own to “look after” here at the Rudy Farm! He’s a young bull, so his life on our farm will be as fresh and new as our girls’. What a peaceful thing to walk out your door in the morning and see the grass blowing in the breeze over black spots that move slowly across the field. Wile died and went to heaven. (kidding of course! But sometimes, when I keep calling, and he’s sitting at the fence watching his cows tuning me out, I begin to wonder…)

New heifers at the Rudy Farm (aka, our backyard)

Out with the girls

Purdy Girl, our cleft palette girl, giving a kiss!

The girls and their bull at sunset

One Comment leave one →
  1. Wile permalink
    May 14, 2012 12:59 pm

    They look delicious!!
    A-rooowr-whrowr! (Thats the sound Wile makes when he barks.)

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