Meatloaf Redux

When i went back to follow the recipe for the meatloaf recipe i had posted from Wall Street Journal, i realised it was totally messed up!  Oh, if you have cooked before you could figure it out, but, honestly, it is ridiculous.  So i did update it, but today, i’ve basically rewritten the recipe to make it easier and use ingredients I’m more likely to have on hand.  I’m just puttin’ it out there – this is the best meatloaf i’ve ever made!

Whisky Meatloaf 

Tannachton Farm

Preheat over to 400°F.

  • 1 cup chopped onion or 3 tablespoons flaked dried onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic

Over low to medium heat in a skillet melt butter and soften the onion and garlic, then lower heat and add:

  • 1 cup fresh spinach snipped into small pieces or (1/4 cup chopped cauliflower leaves, celery, etc)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms or small can of mushrooms

Sauté until just softened.

In a separate bowl mix together

  • 1 lb grass finished ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely ground bread crumbs (use leftovers from a failed baking experiment)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brandy (brandy and whisky work fine)

Add the vegetables to beef mixture, then mix very well.  Form into a log 2 1/2 inch diameter.  Place in the center of a preheated oven for 6 minutes.

While this is cooking, prepare the glaze.

Whisk together in a small bowl:

After meatloaf has baked about 6 minutes, remove it from the oven and brush glaze over top.

Return pan to oven and bake until meat is just cooked through, about 25 more minutes.   Remove  from over and let cool slightly.

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Meatloaf
Brush the glaze over the top and sides

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Five Minute Nacho Cheese Sauce

5 MINUTE NACHO CHEESE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 16 oz medium cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Add the butter and flour to a small sauce pot.  Heat and whisk the butter and flour together until they become bubbly and foamy.  Continue to cook and whisk the bubbly mixture for about 60 seconds.

Whisk the milk into the flour and butter mixture.  Turn the heat up slightly and allow the milk to come to a simmer whilst whisking.  When it reaches a simmer, the mixture will thicken.  Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon, turn off the heat.

Stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until melted into the sauce.  If needed, lace the pan over a low flame to help the cheese melt.  Do not overheat the cheese sauce.

Once all the cheese is melted into the sauce, stir in the salt and chili powder.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  If the sauce becomes too thick, simply whisk in an additional splash of milk.

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Enjoy this nacho cheese plain…..
nachos
or add a bit of red pepper, garlic, or whatever your fancy!

Happy New Year!

A new year begins at the first new moon after the vernal equinox.  This year (2020), that date is March 25th.  Interestingly, the Julian calendar always started the year on March 25th, which, to me, indicates the very important influence of the Bible and Hebraic understanding of time to this calendar, though that static date eventually led to some misalignments with the sun, moon, and stars, .  Though there are a very few regions which still hold to the Julian calendar, by and large, the rest of the world had begun using the 1582 Gregorian decreed calendar and by 1752, it was adopted by decree by the British and her colonies, including America, though the Quakers held to the Julian for some time.  Two major shifts were to change the head of the year from March 25th to January 1 and by 1752, eliminate 10 days; those selected were September 3-13.

For further study:

The Julian Calendar and why we need to know about it

Holy-Days-for-2020.001

Calendar Confusion by Steve Moutria

The Calendar – Updated and Expanded

 

“THE 1752 CALENDAR CHANGE in North America,” by William Dollarhide

The Calendar in 1752 looks very strange!

 

Tradition vs Innovation Paradox

Another great blog from Ranch Management Consultants (Ranching for Profit).  If what you are doing regularly is only a tradition – start questioning why you continue and if the practice is still effective for today’s economy, whether for your home or business.

sunset cowboyAgriculture is steeped in tradition. These traditions serve as a source of pride and continuity which help make us who we are in agriculture. However, these same traditions create a paradox of sorts when it comes to managing the business of ranching. Balancing respect for traditions and fostering innovation can be tricky to navigate. Another complicating factor in ranching is that business leadership is often slower to transition than most. Generally this is because the decision making is in the hands of a generation that would have retired 10-20 years ago in any other industry. This generation is often making decisions from a place of risk minimization … rightly so from their perspective. However, when Junior is wanting to expand the business to support a growing family this can pit two very different business strategies against each other which often creates conflict on the family ranch.

I think there are some traditions on a ranch that need to be challenged to position the ranch to be successful in the coming decades. Each operation will need to find its own balance between tradition and innovation. Having clear goals will help determine the appropriate balance of risk management and growth strategy for the business.

Below is a short list of common ranch traditions that I suggest you look at and examine why you are doing what you are doing, then put some numbers to what it might look like if you did things differently. I’m certainly not suggesting everyone must change these traditions but have a discussion with your team about the pros and cons of staying the same or changing.

  • Grazing management
    I see far too many ranches where tradition determines the grazing plan rather than good planning. Effective grazing management is one of the most powerful economic levers you can pull. Does each pasture get adequate rest for plant recovery after every grazing? Are your animals in a pasture long enough to allow a second bite? I have never visited a ranch that couldn’t improve their grazing which would allow the ranch to increase carrying capacity, often as much as doubling historic stocking rates, while still improving the condition of the land. Often the driving force for not improving grazing practices involve hanging on to old traditions. Many equate better grazing with more fences or more work. Neither of these must be true.
  • Needing lots of stuff to ranch
    Here is an interesting thought experiment. Make a list of every piece of equipment on the ranch and what it would be worth if sold today. Total up the dollars and now pretend you have that money as cash in your hand and you have no equipment. Paint a picture in your mind of the type of business you want to build. Now, ask the question, “How would we best deploy the capital we now have to create the business we want?” Would you spend it all or save some for a cushion? When times are good on the ranch, we often fall into the trap of upgrading tools that make our lives easier. It is very difficult to go backwards in creature comforts once we step forward. However, from the numbers I’ve seen it is the rare piece of equipment that creates more cash flow than it costs in depreciation and repairs. Tradition might lead us to believe that we need all this stuff to ranch, but economics might be telling us that all this stuff is part of what makes ranching so financially difficult.
  • We should be running cows
    But we have always run cows! What is the purpose of your ranch? Is it to create opportunities for owners to do the things they enjoy or is it to create cash flow and profit to support the owners and provide opportunities for others? Might these two things be in contrast? I’m not saying you can’t run cows and be profitable, but often I observe ranchers who see no other alternative to the current enterprise structure on the ranch. I also don’t believe it is a problem if ownership sees the ranch as a place to allow them to do the things they enjoy – such as running cows. I do see a conflict when the ranch isn’t creating the outcomes required and people are unwilling to look beyond traditional enterprises. Might it be that the ranch could be an even more enjoyable place if it were highly profitable?

Following that line of thought, what other traditions should be challenged on your ranch? Which traditions must be held on to? There are some traditions that are core to who we are, let’s be sure we don’t jeopardize those in pursuit of profit. Balancing the paradox of tradition and innovation is part of what makes this business so interesting.

Fertilizing with Hay and Cows

The mud continues to be a nightmare here in north Missouri and another round of rain is starting now and forecasted to continue until 2pm tomorrow.  Ugh!  But, the temperature is supposed to finally rise to about 65 on Wednesday with a couple of partly sunny days before the next round of rains.  However, after tomorrow, temperatures are to remain in the upper 40s at night to mid 60s during the next 10 days, so that is a major change. 
This year’s spot for improving soil is on the south and east side of the cemetery using spaced bale hay feeding.  I placed the bales out last September/October and removed the net wrapping before placing them.  No doubt there is some hay loss, but my lessons from the year before is still very much remembered!

 

This looks like a mess of smashed hay, and it is, but there is a method to the madness.  Just a couple of days ago, there were 10 big round bales of hay spaced here for the cows to eat.  They’ll pick around in this a bit more, but the grass is growing and they are starting to complain about eating hay.  In the meantime, they’ll lay on this and spend more lounging/slobbering/pooping/peeing on this hillside which is sorely in need of organic matter, microbes, and litter.
Here is an example of the cows and calves chowing down on good brome hay on the east slope from the cemetery.  I do hope that there is a good time to get in here with tractor and harrow to spruce up this site before Memorial Day.  But unless we get a torrential down pour the next 24 hours, this won’t look to bad.  In fact, because i already broadcast seeded some perennial grasses and legumes and i hired my cows to trample the seeds, along with fertilizer into the ground, it should grow and be the best it’s ever been in my lifetime!
Here is an example of why my farm is not good at growing grass.  I’m improving my corral and so had to have this post hole dug.  I snapped a photo to show that it’s clay nearly 4 feet deep!  Clay makes great mud when it rains and concrete as soon as it dries up.
This is Cotton Road on the other side of my property and it has been impassable by vehicle all year!
Another view of Cotton Road.  Very discouraging.  As you can see some people have tried to drive on it, but have, instead, driven on my road bank causing more erosion now on my banks!
We do not have clear water ditches in north Missouri.  It’s just mud.  Now this crossing shows a bit worse because Dallas had just finished repairing this crossing and removing soil to fill in at my corral.
Our gravel roads in Jackson Township, Linn County, Missouri leave a lot to be desired.  You have to just give it the gas, keep it on the road and hope ya don’t meet anyone on the hill!

Rain, Mud, and Mushrooms

We are so muddy in north central Missouri, and perhaps all over the Midwest, but i only know about my little piece the world that i cannot even drive into the pasture with a Gator.  Back to walking and wearing my tall rubber boots to ford the running water.  The 19th of March is supposed to be spring, but the typical telltale signs are far from sight.

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Just shifting my cows from one paddock to another is just a disaster.  It will heal, but for now, our world is quite ugly.

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Nothing to do with mud or mushrooms, but walking back up through the timber, there are multiple signs of deer, including this rub which has killed the tree.

mushrooms
The closest i can find to identify it is HEXAGONAL-PORED POLYPORE
Polyporus alveolaris (formerly Favolus alveolaris), but i’m not sure that’s it.

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Enter a caption

Mushroom
Probably CINNABAR POLYPORE (Pycnoporus cinnabarinus)  Not edible

 

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Possibly WOOD EAR (TREE EAR)
Auricularia auricula (formerly A. auricula-judae).  Says it’s edible, but it sure doesn’t look appetizing.  Guess i’m not hungry enough.

 

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I had to ask around and the consensus is that it may be false turkey tail.

 

Philippine Youth Ministry GOFUNDME

My brother and his wife work with a ministry group in the Philippines and have done so for many years.  Matthew has taken each of his children on two separate occasions to help move, build, support, preach, teach, comfort this family.  If you feel so led, please pray for the ministry and if possible make a monetary donation to help them proclaim the message of Hope and Salvation.

Note from Matthew:

The Short Story

Our friends in the Philippines are in need of funds to construct a permanent home for their student ministry and their residence.  We believe $5,000 USD will purchase a lot and get a basic structure in place. Our family will match up to $2,500 of funds raised through this GoFundMe campaign and personal connections.

The Full Story
Hi, we are the Penn Family in Missouri.  My wife, Shawna is an elementary music teacher and I run a web development company, PennDev, and have been in youth ministry for 20+ years.  Through my business, I’ve developed a small team in the Philippines — one of the guys has been with me for more than 10 years and they really are part of our family.

In 2014, in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, I hopped on a plane and my team traveled with me to Tacloban to be part of a relief mission.  My friend’s youth pastor, Orland, accompanied us.  I’ll never forget the time we spent serving together!
44916076_1583804995553636_r.jpeg(Above is the current location of the mission.)

Since then, I have followed Orland’s ministry as he was married to his wife Joy, and moved into a new area to be part of a start-up mission in Mahayag.  They are doing tremendous work in the community, as my son and I were able to witness in person this past December 2018.

Orland organizes a youth basketball team. It’s more than a team. It’s a family. Using basketball as the centerpiece, these young men train, compete, fellowship and worship together.  And Orland is able to speak God’s love into their lives day after day.  

The week that I was there, we gathered  a few times at Orland and Joy’s home, which is also the base of their ministry.  My son and I got to watch, firsthand, as these students poured in to take part in the ‘family’ activities. They treated us like family.

44916076_1583802142210575_r.jpegAbove – Orland and his team ready for a big game!

The basketball mission is just one aspect of their work.  Joy opens their home up for tutoring and ministry specific to young girls. They reach out and support local police officers. And they are in the prisons serving meals and offering encouragement.  Their small, home-based church has tremendous, wide-reaching impact! Currently they are reaching more than 60 young people every day. They are literally bursting out of their home!

44916076_1583802175860558_r.jpegAbove – Joy leads a tutoring and children’s mission

Recently, they have been given notice by the landowner that their lease will not be renewed and they will need to move out this year.  It is here where I hope my friends and I can step in and assist. Orland was able to raise local funds to purchase one lot in a nearby neighborhood. A $5,000 gift would be enough for them to buy the adjoining lot as well as build a shell of a building for them to start working and living out of.

Our family is going to help. No question! And we would like to invite you to join us. We will match, dollar-for-dollar, up to $2,500 in this effort. If more than that is raised, the funds will go towards finishing the inside of the structure.  I promise that 100% of the funds will go directly into this mission.  In fact, I will personally visit (at my cost) to lend a hand in the building effort!

What will your donation mean?
Bottom line, your small donation will go extremely far!  You will  be helping secure a permanent home base for Orland and Joy’s ministry.  Your donation will help them continue to reach young people in the Mahayag community for Christ and breathe hope and encouragement into their lives.

How exactly will the funds be used?
1)  We will purchase the 2nd, adjoining lot. This will allow Joy to offer additional educational space and future growth.
2) Construct the initial structure. Four walls and a roof will give them the framework they need to start their dream, as well as raise further local support.

What if extra funds are donated above the goal amount?
I will work personally with Orland and Joy to identify the greatest need when and if this happens. Most likely, additional funds would be used to help build out the structure and provide furnishings.  But, we certainly don’t want to assume anything. Additional funds may be of greater use in another aspect of the ministry.

How soon do we need the funds?
In a matter of months. The landowner is being somewhat flexible, but Orland anticipates that they will be forced to relocate at some point this summer.

Where is this project? Here is an exact location of the lots where we would like to build. Google Map Link . Below is a photo of the empty lots and a parcel map of the neighborhood (it has great access to a major road!).
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Why am I passionate about this cause?

As a veteran youth minister and volunteer, I love seeing others who are doing what they can to reach the next generation for Christ. This ministry is authentic.  They are putting skin in the game by opening up their home and lives to the students of their community.  I want to be part of that!

44916076_1583804314459734_r.jpegAbove – my son and I (white guys in the back row!) with Orland’s group.

44916076_1583805626556390_r.jpegAbove – Joy, Orland, myself and my son Geoffrey at their home in Mahayag.

Thank you so much for reading about our cause. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions.

Matthew & Shawna Penn

Organizer

Matthew Penn
Organizer
Mexico, MO

https://www.gofundme.com/f/philippine-youth-basketball-mission-building-fund?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet

https://www.facebook.com/donate/1326060327581430/1326068380913958/

Faith, Family, Farm

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