Category Archives: FAMILY

Beef Sausage Lasagne

Recipe – Beef Sausage Lasagne    (Click on the link for a printable version of my personal recipe.)

I’ve been using this recipe for over 30 years and it never fails to please!  Since i don’t eat pork, i use our home raised ground beef which i’ve turned into beef sausage and using these same spices, it turns out awesome.  Make your own egg noodles and simple cut them about 1 1/2 inches wide and whatever length you like (they’ll get wider and longer when you boil them).  I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta and i often buy full fat mozzarella and shred it myself.  Usually have my own tomatoes to chop and cook down.

Here’s the original recipe printed in Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook circa 1980.  Great cookbook and you can see that page 159 has been open quite a lot! The cookbook must be out of print, but there are several vendors offering it at deep discount, but i’m not parting with my copy!!

Recipe - Lasagne beef

 

 

Consider the Future by Kit Pharo

This goes for any business, but is specifically written by a rancher to ranchers/farmers.  It is sad how few ranching businesses stay as such from one generation to the next.  Kit explains again one reason for this.

 

PCC Update

November 7, 2018

Cowboy Logic: “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

Consider the Future –

By Kit Pharo

Have you noticed that the most successful and happy people throughout history have been those who made decisions that were based on the future?   It’s true!   Successful people know that nothing stays the same.   The present is different from the past – and the future will be different from the present.   Those who make decisions that are based on the future will always have a HUGE competitive advantage over those who continue to make decisions based on the past and/or the present.

Unfortunately, nearly all people from all walks of life are afraid to make decisions that are based on anything but the past or the present.   It has always been this way, and it will probably always be this way.   Even though they can see things transforming before their very eyes, they are reluctant to make any changes in what they are doing.   It’s as though they would rather fail doing what they have always done than succeed if success requires change.   That is a shame – but it gives you the opportunity to move your family and your family’s business to a very sought-after position.

Based on what you think about the future, what kind of management decisions should you be making in your cow-calf operation?   I’m not going to tell you what I think.   I want you to do your own thinking.   You may come up with something different and/or better than what I have.   The decisions you come up with, however, need to be based on what you think the future holds.   Be bold in your actions.   Those who are slow to take the appropriate actions may lose all they have – forcing their kids and grandkids to get jobs in town.

Quote Worth Re-Quoting –

“The past cannot be changed.   The future is yet in your power.”   ~ Unknown

PHARO CATTLE CO.

Phone: 800-311-0995

www.PharoCattle.com

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French Fried Onions Recipe

Lots of home grown green beans in the freezer.  Jessica picked up some onions from the store.  Had some canned mushroom soup on hand.  Never had made fried onions for classic green bean casserole before, but this works great!  I added some tips which will improve my next batch.  Made a big batch to go along with an 8# corned beef roast cooking along, smashed potatoes, and blackberry cobbler.  My mother-in-law has a wonderful patch of thorny blackberries.

Recipe French Fried Onions

Ingredients:

3 large onions sliced into thin rings

2 cups milk

2-3 cups flour (I used freshly ground white wheat berries)

Oil for frying

Salt or other seasonings as desired

Directions:

Place part of the onion slices in the milk, then let soak for 5 minutes whilst oil is heating in a fryer or skillet.  Take some of the onions out of the milk and dredge through 1 cup of the flour.  Use a fork if you like to turn the onion slices to coat well.  Fry in batches in the oil, stirring to lightly browned.  Drain on paper towels, season to taste.

When the flour you are using starts to form clumps, start with new flour.  Trying to use it with clumps results in poor coverage on the onions.  I don’t know why – it just does or at least that is my experience.

I use these for making green bean casserole or whatever recipe you have calling for French fried onions.

 

 

About the Farm this Fall

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Late afternoon break from work to enjoy my workplace view shed.  Missouri is having splendid fall color this year!
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One of my pretty Corriente cows.
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Bald Eagles seemed skittish this year, thus difficult for casual snapshots.
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Another corral improvement for this year, is that i set up these old panels across the upper part of my round gathering pen.  This way, the calves could be sorted into it as they come by, whilst the cows go on by to another pen.  Worked slick as a whistle.  Someday, though, i’m going to have to get some help, these panels weigh at least 75 lbs a piece and moving them into position to hook together is getting more difficult for me.  However, since it worked, these will stay put now.
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Showing how difficult it is to shift cows from one paddock to another.  HA HA!  Open the gate and get out of the way!

 

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Buckbrush, as we call it in north Missouri, grew prolifically this year, i guess due to excessive heat and dry weather.  Bonus for the deer and many other wildlife this winter.  
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Improvements to my corral.  Here i’m hanging gates and cutting a hole in my corral to make it easier to sort off animals which need to go back in a pen rather than let loose.

 

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This gate is used to make the runway (race) more narrow for young calves.  Once installed, it reduces the passageway from 28 inches wide (for cows) to 16 inches wide (young calves).  Everything i do, i try to repurpose stuff we have.  Profit margin in cattle is too narrow to spend money unless absolutely necessary.  Here, i’ve added this black plastic taken from a busted feed bunk and drilled it onto my gate.  This way the calves don’t stick their heads between the bars.  It worked!

Have a great weekend and Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

What Is Sweat Worth?

What Is Sweat Worth?  By Dave Pratt, owner of Ranch Management Consultants

 

What is Sweat Worth?

by Dave Pratt

Most family ranches are subsidized with free, or underpaid, family labor. Sometimes the difference between what family members get and what it would cost to hire someone else to do the work they do is made up with the promise or expectation of sweat equity. But sweat is not a recognized form of currency and people counting on sweat equity usually have a grossly exaggerated idea of what their sweat is worth. This often leads to serious disagreement and disappointment.

If you are going to count on sweat equity and want to avoid the inevitable misunderstandings that happen when it comes time to cash in on your sweat, then you’d better start actually counting it. How many hours? For how many years? At what rate of pay? With what interest on the unpaid balance?

I mentioned the perils of relying on sweat equity in a workshop recently. I suggested we stop using the term sweat equity and call it what it really is, “deferred wages.” My comments apparently struck a nerve with one 30-something rancher. He approached me after the program and asked if I could help him calculate what his sweat was actually worth. He said that he’d come back to the family ranch after college 10 years earlier. He’d been drawing a low wage and banking on sweat equity. As is usually the case in family ranches, there was no formal agreement documenting exactly what his sweat was worth.

He was being paid $25,000 a year, but his compensation package included a nice home, a vehicle and insurance for his family. All-in-all a compensation package worth well over $50,000. “Maybe I’m not as underpaid a I thought I was,” he said.

I suspect that he was probably being underpaid somewhere between $10,000 to $20,000 a year. I showed him that for every $10,000 he’d been underpaid, he earned 0.1% equity in his family’s $10,000,000 ranch.

($10,000 ÷ $10,000,000) x 100 = 0.1%

I showed him that over the previous 10 years, compounding interest at a rate of 3.5%, he’d earned a whopping 1.2% equity stake in the ranch. Like a lot of young ranchers returning home, he hadn’t ever thought about how much his sweat was worth but had assumed that it would add up to a lot more than that.

Sometimes sweat equity isn’t just about compensating someone for the work they do. It’s about acknowledging the sacrifices someone may have made, foregoing other opportunities to come back to the ranch to support the family. If there are several kids in your family, but only one has invested time and energy working on the place and has shown a desire to continue the business, it may be fair to give them an equity position.  After-all, as succession planning advisor Don Jonovic points out, fair doesn’t necessarily mean equal.

But whether sweat equity is a substitute for a paycheck or acknowledging a sacrifice, we need to be clear about what we are compensating and its value. We need to convert assumptions and expectations into agreements. We need to figure out what our labor is worth (the topic of the last ProfitTips column). We need to document the value of our sweat while we are still sweating.

For more on documenting the value of sweat equity watch the video below:

What is Sweat Worth? youtube video

Ivan Tomato Seed Saving

As you may remember, my husband was beat up by a mature bull last summer and ended up in hospital and eventually ICU for several days.  Fortunately, and against all odds, he was back on a four wheeler and checking cattle in 15 days from the incident!!  So the tomato story comes from his nurse in ICU who gave us some heirloom seeds he had saved – a tomato called “Ivan”.  The seeds he share were prolific with high germination rate, so i had far more plants that i could possible use.  i just had to end up throwing them away.  However, a 25 foot row of about 20 plants produced ample enough fresh eating and canning for our family until next year’s crop is ready.

“Ivan” i learnt is a native tomato of Missouri which was apparently in need of rescuing!  My plants were not properly pruned or staked, so i had a lot of vines which no doubt took away from crop production. But, i simply didn’t have time.  If Yah allows, I’ll be ready next year with panels and time to care for the plants properly.  These tomatoes are delicious.

For the first time, I’ve tried my hand at seed saving with both this Ivan and Pink Oxhearts (Hungarian Heart Tomato), which i like for slicing and using on sandwiches.

Happy Gardening!

tauna

 

 

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Lumpia (Filipino Eggroll)

This is my go to version of my own making.  However, be encouraged to try new and different flavors and ingredients.  Having an abundance of squash and cauliflower leaves/stalks, i decided to substitute.  To my pleasant surprise, substituting squash for carrots and cauliflower stalks and leaves for celery and onion is a hit and will be come a regular recipe for us.

Recipe Lumpia -Filipino Egg Roll

Lumpia (Filipino Eggroll)

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground beef
1 lb beef sausage
2 eggs
1 cup onions chopped
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos or
Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
DIRECTIONS:
Thoroughly mix all ingredients, then place about ¼ to ½ cup of mix in a log shape on a prepared egg roll shell. Roll up properly and tightly, then fry in ½ inch of olive oil heated to a tick less than medium. For best browning do not overcrowd them. I cook 6 at a time in 12 inch skillet. Once lightly browned, turn over. Keep an eye on these, they need to be cooked through, but careful not to burn the shells. Drain on paper towels.

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An example of a departure from my standard recipe is using this gorgeous Squash Zucchino Rampicante.  I’ve grown a barrel of these and they are huge, so gotta start getting creative.

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Chopped up with an old cheapo food processor – look at the beautiful color of this winter squash.
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Had the leaves and stalk left over from eating cauliflower florets on salads.  I just save all this in a zippered plastic bag then use as soon as possible.
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I didn’t have any onions, but given that the leaves and stalk of a cauliflower has a slightly peppery taste i just added more of this to replace the onions.
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I use my Artisan Kitchenaid Mixer (5 quart) practically everyday.  Here mixing the 1 lb ground beef, 1 lbs home mad beef sausage, eggs, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, veggies, and pepper well.  These mixers have come down in price substantially these past couple years.  
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Wei-Chuan is the brand of spring roll shells i use.  There may be others, but these have never disappointed.  I buy mine in bulk at a Chinese specialty store 1 1/2 hours away.  They freeze fine and last well over a year in deep freeze.
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1/4 to 1/3 cup of mixture on the shell.  

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Dab i bit of water on the tip and continue rolling up.  The water will help that loose end stick to the roll and stay together.
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Completed eggroll ready to cook.
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Here’s a pan of cooked on one side with half the rolls flipped to show difference.
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Ready to remove, drain, and let cool before biting in.
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Best served immediately and warm,  but these can be eaten cold too and are delicious for any meal.  We like LaChoy sweet and sour sauce as a condiment.
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Invariably there will be a bit of the lumpia meat/veggie mixture left over after i run out of the package of 25 eggroll shells.  Fry up as delicious healthy burgers.

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