In the upper Midwest, and probably other regions, dinner is called supper and lunch is often dinner. For supper, then, I made the 15 minute, thirty mile per hour drive through town and then out of it, curving west, at thirty-five miles per hour, then forty-five, until just over the Dakota rail trail. Slowing down for an acute right, gassing it uphill, past the Gale house, the event barn, the market garden (frozen as it is), yielding left, toward the visitor center. One other car, facing west, shared the lot. I shuffled over packed snow-covered gravel, a soft left at the chicken coop, pushed the glass entry door, projected an unfocused hello and then scoped the upright, glass door freezers.
All but two shelves empty. A sign reads pork is coming in on the fifth of December. I tally four roasting chickens, five "Frenched" racks of lamb, a single leg of lamb steak, copious beef liver and tongue, eggs, a head or two of cauliflower and romanesco broccoli, a basket of onions, garlic, and of all things, late-frost tomatoes.
I pick out two whole chickens, a leg of lamb steak, one onion, one garlic (although I have plenty back at the house), cauliflower and broccoli. Before leaving I ask how long this can possibly last, to which the startled clerk replies, oh, we have no intention of going anywhere. It is hard to fathom this attitude of permanence, but I will work on it.