Sunny, but frosty out this morning and although we are expecting a high of 45F, warm soup will feel mighty good today.
1 lbs grass-finished ground beef (browned)
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 chopped onion
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups water or soup stock
1 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons salt (if desired)
1 teaspoon black pepper (if desired)
One pot directions: brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon olive oil until no longer pink, add all the other ingredients and simmer. The longer you simmer it, the more the flavours will meld and veggies soften.
Be creative in ingredients – celery substitute could be the leaves off the back of a head of cauliflower or chopped kohlrabi, leeks would work. Instead of carrots, maybe turnips, swedes, or rutabaga. I use my own frozen tomatoes from my garden and since i don’t really cook them down, there is plenty of water in with them, therefore i don’t add more water. Recipes like this are perfect for emptying the frig or freezer.
The latest in my adventures into liquid diet entrees.
Cream of Lettuce Soup
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter from grassfed cows
2 cups finely chopped dark green lettuce
1/4 cup organic white wheat flour
3 cups home made chicken stock
1 cup milk, cream, or half-n-half from grassfed cows
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper (optional)
Cook and stir onion in a 3 quart sacepan over low heat until tender. Stir in finely chopped lettuce. Cover and cook over low heat until lettuc wilts, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and pepper (optional); cook and stir 1 minute. Add chicken stock, heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Remove from heat and whisk in milk, return to stove and heat to just boiling. Remove from heat and it’s ready.
If you need to strain this one, you could, but if you cook those onions and lettuce to be really soft, you may not need to.
Today started out with me castrating about 25 ram lambs. Thankfully, Dallas and Rick caught and held them for me – MUCH easier to have extra hands. To castrate lambs, one catches them up and holds their hind legs up to their front legs thereby the testicles are easy to grab hold of. The handler is holding the ram on his lap. I assured Rick I’d never missed before. I think i scared him a bit! 😉 (I did NOT use my teeth!) We also dewormed all the lambs as well as the ewes. That will help clean them up and get them gaining well before selling the lot on September 7 at Kirksville Livestock Auction at the special sheep sale that day. After selling off 54 lambs, 80 ewes, and 2 mature rams on Monday, we counted out about 51 lambs and and 52 ewes to sell the 7th, then I’ll be out of the sheep business.
This afternoon, I’m doing the washing and will clean up and around the barns in preparation for semen checking the bulls tomorrow and hauling out to the cows.
“Moussaka” is an Arabic word and a popular dish in many Middle Eastern countries, the immortal eggplant-and-lamb casserole is generally credited to the Greeks, who claim it as a national treasure. This recipe provides 8-10 servings.
1 large eggplant (or about 2 lbs)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground lamb
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
3/4 cup red wine or beef broth
1 tablespoon snipped parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmet
White Sauce (see recipe)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
Tomato Sauce (see recipe)
Cut unpared eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. COok slices in small amount boiling, salted water (1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup water) until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain. Heat butter in 12-inch deep skillet until melted. Cook and stir lamb and onion until lamb is light brown: drain. Stir in tomato sauce, wine, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook uncovered over medium heat until half the the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Prepare White Sauce.
Stir 2/3 cup of the cheese, 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs and the egg into meat mixture; remove from heat. Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs evenly in greased oblong baking dish 13 1/2 x 9 x 2 inches. Arrange half the eggplant slices in baking dish; cover with meat mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the remaining cheese over meat mixture; top with remaining eggplant slices. Pour White Sauce over mixture; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook uncovered in 375ºF oven 45 minutes. Prepare Tomato Sauce. Let moussaka stand 20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares; serve with Tomato Sauce.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Heat butter over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, salt, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, sitrring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir at least 1/4 of the hot mixture into eggs. Blend into hot mixture in pan.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until onoion is tender. Add remaining ingredients except tomato paste. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. (Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water if necessary for desired consistency.
I use organic grassfed milk, eggs, and butter. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and locally and organically grown tomatoes for sauces. You can buy organic tomatoes and paste in the stores. Thankfully, between what we raise ourselves and what i can purchase, it is all local and/or organic. Flavours are much better.
Here in north-central Missouri we’ve continued to stay rainy and muddy since winter. However, we cannot complain compared to the horrific flooding, damaging thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, and continuing droughts and wildfires other parts of the country and world are receiving. It’s been hard on equipment, livestock, and people, but maybe someday it’ll change and become ‘normal.’ We wear mud boots everyday all day despite 107ºF heat indices on some days and terrific humidity even when it’s in the 80s and pretty sure i’m starting to get foot rot! Gonna switch to 100% wool socks pretty quick if we don’t get relief soon. Any socks with nylon or such in them cause my feet to sweat and peel – kind of gross for sure.
We keep a good supply of coconut water in the cupboard and frig for rehydrating when water just won’t quite supply enough minerals. Bananas and buffered salt are on hand as well to help with muscle cramping at night.
We’ve weaned the fall calves, doctored a good number for bad eyes (pinkeye) already, and sorted off two loads of calves to sell at North Missouri Livestock Auction the 6th of July. The mud and rain has prevented us from establishing summer annual pastures that we had planned to graze and grow out some of yearlings this year. Since we didn’t get that done, we are running out of grass, so the calves need to go where ever grass is available.
Tough on calving, but the cows and calves are really doing quite well despite the heat and rain. A couple of calves lost due to navel ill because of them lying in a muddy spot and allowing infection to develop. There is little help for a calf once it gets navel ill. We always lose some baby calves and this year really hasn’t been any worse in that regard. However, what I call ‘jungle rot‘ is on the increase. It is likely more calves will not survive if we don’t get some dry weather soon.
The ewes are pretty much done lambing and in the timber now which not only helps keep them cool and not sunburnt, but, by their grazing choices, they are helping control the brush which needs taming! Pretty hard on wool sheep all this rain and mud. Constantly wet wool on a live animal can be conducive to parasites that can kill the sheep. Usually not, but any animal with a compromised immune system is susceptible.