Category Archives: FAMILY

Setting Goals – Making Plans

Many of us have been caught up in discussions on social media which sometimes turn into nasty mud flinging and other nonsense.  Religious issues with many gurus often offers answers which are confusing and double-minded at best.  Livestock grazing, soil regeneration (regenerative is the goal; sustainable is out, and rightly so, since many of us have denigrated soil resources; sustaining that is ridiculous), wildlife enhancement, water quality, breed of cattle (or other livestock) are promoted with such fervor and worship to qualify as religions.

Yet, the reality of our fallen world and its natural processes, is so complex, that one size fits all does not work.  In the words of my friend Jim Gerrish, “it depends.”  And indeed it does.  Sure, there are some principles, ideas, and theories which are basic and we can learn from these.  However, the key must be to identify our own goals, resources, restrictions, and, as Allan Nation coined, ‘unfair advantages.’

You can search and find a myriad of experts ready to guide you on goal setting.  Read through them, many will help fertilize your own thoughts.   Here are a few thoughts to get you started.

  • Goals will involve family and friends- you don’t live in a bubble – be mindful and consider if your goals will push loved ones away.
  • Goals should consider the future – remember, you won’t always be 25 years old.  Work hard now,  but move into more investments.
  • Goals should include those things you want to do.  You may become successful not doing this, but there may be limited satisfaction.
  • Goals should be written down and in a place you can reference them.
  • Goals should be flexible – we cannot control the world – sometimes shifting a goal is necessary to be relevant.

Grazing livestock management schemes are confusing and challenging – like a lot of fields (excuse the pun).  When you throw in that one guru says do this and another says do the opposite, how is a newcomer to make decisions?  It is tough, for sure, but read a lot, go to a few conferences by tried and true teachers, for example  guys and gals who are or have been graziers themselves.  Networking with other producers will really help, but avoid meaningless quarrels.

Just like knowing the difference between economic (is the endeavor worth doing?) and financial (can i afford to do it?) decisions, knowing the difference between goal setting and planning is essential.  You may have great goals, but can actual plans be made to reach the goals?  And beyond that, you must ask yourself, am i motivated enough to see it through?  Don’t start a task if you don’t count the cost in advance.  These costs are beyond money – they include relationships which may be lost, declining health, spiritual or mental stress.

Change is inevitable, goals change, plans change, plans change because the goals change, goals change because of many, many factors, including age, time, priorities.  Don’t get bogged down with thinking you cannot change goals or plans, but keeping meaningful, timely, and accurate records is a must!

Happy Planning!

tauna

 

 

Beef Enchiladas – Recipe

Recipe – Beef Enchiladas

Beef Enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 flour tortillas (whole wheat is best)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds grass-finished ground beef
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup dairy sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons snipped dried parsley
  • 24 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup sliced pitted ripe olives (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 inch pan with olive oil.  Soften chopped onions in olive oil, then add ground beef and brown ground beef.  Drain if necessary.  Return to pan and warm through, remove from heat.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the sour cream, and parsley.  Cover and reserve.  Heat remaining ingredients except olives to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered five minutes.  Whilst beef mixture simmers, prepare enchiladas by placing about 3/4 cup of meat/cheese mixture in each tortilla, roll and place in pan.  Pour tomato mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.  Bake for 25-27 minutes.  Serve with olives, sour cream, and additional salsa if desired.
Serves 6

Flour Tortilla – Mexican Style

Oi!  Finally found a flat tortilla recipe that works for me!  I use freshly ground red wheat berries.  Granted, the experts recommend white wheat, but i just grabbed the red and proceeded.  Figured if it would work with that, it’ll work with any.

Recipe – Mexican Flour Tortillas

Flour Tortillas – Mexican Style

Takes about 25 minutes to mix all together and allow dough to rest.  Cooking is about 20 minutes.  This recipe yields 15 tortillas rolled to about 10 inch diameter, but I halved it and it worked great.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (white wheat is better for tortillas, but this even works pretty good using red)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 tablespoons butter

1 ¼ cups warm water (approximately but you may need more if using whole wheat flours)

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients; then drop in the butter.  I squish it round in the dry ingredients with my fingers until the mix resembles coarse crumbles.  Add the warm water and mix.  I prefer using my Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer with the dough hook and let it do the work.  Cover the dough and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Knead a time or two, then tear off about 15 pieces of dough and roll into balls.  I throw the balls back into the mixer bowl, but just put them somewhere and cover – let rest for 10 minutes more.  Now they are ready to roll out.  Dust a bit of flour on your surface.

Cook in a dry heavy flat bottom skillet like a cast iron one for about 30 seconds each side on medium heat or less.

Keep warm or use them immediately for enchiladas or another favorite Mexican dish.

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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