Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So I bought 1/2 a pig....sausage edition.

With our pig purchase we were lucky enough to get a fair amount of sausage. Let me tell you the sausage does not disappoint, in fact it is pretty darn delicious.

Did you know there are plenty of ways to eat ground sausage that do not include pasta or a casserole?

I am going to introduce you to one super simple easy way. And although you can go many directions with this concept I will try to give you some concrete ideas so you can feel the freedom to take it in any direction you want. Change up the meat. Change up the veg. Change up the spices.

Hash with Sausage and Fall/Winter Veggies
4 red potatoes...the smaller ones- Diced. I generally dice up one small red potato per family member, this gives us plenty. So if you are a family of 5 or six dice up that many potatoes respectively.
1/2 - 1 onion diced
2-3 carrots diced
2-stalks celery diced
1 lb of sausage
7- 8 brusel sprouts sliced in ribbons - Sounds fancier then it is slice them like cabbage.
1 Tblsp sParsley...dried is fine.
1 Tblsp your choice rosemary, thyme whatever your favorite herb is. What you have dried on hand is a great start.
salt and pepper as desired

-Dice potatoes and put into cold water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling boil for 5 minutes. Once boiling is completed promptly drain. Do not over boil you potatoes, you want them you be tender not soft.
-Cook off Sausage - Drain in a strainer over a bowl.
-Reserve 2-3Tblsp of grease from sausage and return that grease back into large frying pan.
-To the grease add your onions carrots and celery until tender.
-Once veggies are tender add herbs and cooked potatoes.
-Cook all veggies together until the potatoes start to get the tiniest bit brown.
-At this point toss in the brussel sprouts and sausage, toss just until the brussel sprouts start to wilt.

Serve to your family with all the toppings. Some ideas are salsa, sour cream, ketchup and/or hot sauce.

Add please make sure your hash is adequately seasoned with salt. Under seasoned food is a crime...just saying.

And by the way if the sausage grease freaks you out feel free to substitute olive oil or butter, but don't expect the same great flavor.

Recipe #2 for you. Tomorrow I will give you a soup recipe using ham steak. And later this week we will talk about roast. And then if you want me to address some specific cuts (like my friend Julie)...make a request I will add it to my menu next week.

Yeah for home cooked meals!

Monday, November 28, 2011

So I got myself 1/2 a pig, 1/4 of a cow and some chickens......

So I thought of a great idea. Yep I'm smart just ask me.

Now I know I can get a bit preachy about the food front and I have been looking for ways to encourage others to eat local and such, however, one of the complaints I hear often is what do I do with all of those random pieces of meat. How do I make short ribs, round steak, or pork steak. First of all I would have to agree that sometimes all of the cuts of meat you get form 1/2 pig or cow or whatever can be pretty overwhelming. And knowing what to do with a piece of meat and make it taste good can be a bit confusing. That being said I would like to help.

My commitments to you....

-the recipes will be easy to intermediate level cooking.
-I will explain where on earth the piece of meat came from on that animal.
-I will tell you what not to do...
-I will encourage you to substitute and disccard ingredients like a pro. If you don't like something don't put it in...plain and simple. If you want to make it healthier or less healthy go for it. These can be your recipes people.
-I will try to include photos....of course I don't have a photo of this first one....but i will try to do better.
-I will answer all questions.....
-It would be nice to have feedback on recipes, so come back and leave a comment if you tried something.

First up Round Steak......this is a typical cut of meat that comes from the butt of the cow. Anytime you see the word round assume butt. The is also the cut typically used for London Broil, in fact most groceries stores mark this cut as London Broil instead of Round Steak. London broil is actually a recipe but to cut confusion the grocery store makes the cut more familiar by giving it a familiar name. Do not try and make this cut into a roast it will be horrible.

Now if it were summertime I would tell y'all to give this thing a quick soak in some marinade and throw it ont the grill cooking it until medium rare. Thinly sliced you can serve it on tacos, alongside a nice starch or on top of salad.

But beings that its winter lets go with a crock pot recipe. Yep, I said I was going to make this easy on you.....no excuse this thing can cook all day in your crock pot and be tender as ever.

Beef Teriyaki...using round steak.

1-2 lbs of round steak thinly sliced
2 cups beef stock.....remember homemade is best.
1 /4 cup Brown sugar....remember substitutes of honey or what not is totally acceptable.
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4- 1/2 tsp of ground ginger...you could use fresh.
1- 2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tblsp sesame oil
1 tblsp rice vinegar
1-2 tblsp of cornstarch

optional add ins
crushed pineapple...small squatty can

Turn your crockpot on low and let cook for 6 hours or so.

Serve over brown rice. If you are feeling extra fancy sub your water with coconut milk.

We also had ours with salad and peanut salad dressing. Steamed greens would be awesome with this as well.

Peanut Salad Dressing
2/3 cup of oil...sesame is great
2 tblsp of peanut butter
2 tblsp of honey
1 tsp crushed red pepper...omit if you want
1/2 tsp of fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
splash or so of orange juice
-Whisk your heart out and enjoy.

There you be folks. Let me know how it goes. And if you think this is a lot of sugar you should see what standard teriyaki calls for.

Try it out eat it up feed your family folks.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Top Of My List.

I thought in the spirit of Thanksgiving I would give you the top of my thankful list. This is a complete list obviously but rather the things that are at the top. The cream that has floated all the way up.

First of all I am thankful for a loving and faithful God. A God that has chosen me knowing ahead of time what my shortcomings would be.

Next up my family. Well duh you say. Yes we are small in number and no matter how I dream of a supersize family, my family of four is perfect in size and shape because thats what God gave me. I am thankful that God continues to show me why he has chosen me to be the mom of these two little ones...I am constantly reminded I am the woman for the job. A husband that is my perfect compliment, a man who I can't wait to say I have been married to for a decade....he is my soulmate no matter how you look at. I am not sure why it works all the time but it does. We are blessed with health and stability(our own version at least). We are blessed with warm beds and full tummies,healthy bodies and friends and family to boot. But the true blessing I suppose is that I know with all my being that even if we didn't have these things God would still be here. To say our cup overflows would be a understatement. This is a forever family!

Friends...oh friends. God has given us friends that are really a chosen family. People we can share our lives with completely. Friends we miss when we don't see them. They are a piece to our puzzle. I can't express how much I love that!!! Every year it seems he gives us more to wrap into this gift. And it doesn't always seem to matter if we have known them since we were five or if we just met them this last month...they are all important. Once again we have a year filled with new experiences and wonderful traditions. A year that we can not only rejoice in what we continue to have but in the changes that are sure to come.

Ebenezer Christian School is at the top of my list. I can not tell you how easy it is for me to drop my kids off there 5 days a week just because it is what it is. Teachers that are fulfilling their heavenly calling by teaching my children to not only be scholars but lovers and followers of Christ. I love these teachers. The ability to send my children to this school is a privilege and a blessing. One I will be forever grateful for. One I do not take for granted.

Food. Yep, you knew it would be there. In making a commitment to feed my family in a different way 6 years ago, I am constantly learning. The idea is constantly changing. It has caused me to question, it has caused me to grow, it has made me a better version of me, it has made me a better steward, it has made me a better child of God(no kidding). And now that I am sure you are all rolling your eyes....I am dead serious....no joke. A goal and challenge I set out to conquer was not only snatched up and spun around in a completely yet similar direction also has given me better understanding for what God wants for our family. I am thankful for this, for their are innumerable benefits in this blessing. Not to mention this whole thing grew a passion that was already there and created a business that is quite enjoyable.....Thanks be to God.

And I suppose part of the long list should be mentioned, legs that work to carry me all over, two furry animals you could call dogs that are part of my family, and don't forget our 3 egg bearing creatures in the back yard, a friend that has a farm that I can enjoy from afar and first hand, kids of all shapes and sizes at church that God allows me to minister too, nieces and nephews that give me full arms, a job for my husband that not only provides for us but that he enjoys, a car that runs, a beautiful earth to enjoy and explore, and well the long list could go on and on because it really doesn't ever end it just keeps on growing.

Oh and if you were expecting picture in this post just look through the last year of posts you will find hundreds of pictures of the blessings I am thankful for.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Okay so if you didn't think we had lost it already.....

Farmer Lea had some pigs this summer. And although they were not my pigs I became attached. They were amazing to watch grow. The Angry Blueberry fed them much leftovers from events, and I can tell you their top favorites from me were cast off melons and cheese.

However any good farmer or want to be farmer knows you mustn't get to attached because the natural progression includes harvest time. And that time caem for the pigs a few weeks ago.

The upside is Lea and I were able to watch the butchering process. I know you think this is strange. I think however at least for me the closer we get to the knowledge of where our food comes from the more it matters to us. The more I can learn about the process makes me identify more with the people that grow our food. It makes me realize the food in the grocery doesn't just magically show up on the shelves. And ultimately it makes me more selective about what we eat and tightens my boundaries on what shows up in my kitchen. And for that folks my ability to be able to see this process with the pigs from start to finish was amazing. I truly respected those animals. I truly respected the TerBeeks for the integrity they have in raising their animals. And I am very happy to say my family will be eating that meat.

I will tell you though in the butchering process Lea and I were very aware of the "throw away" parts of the pig we wanted to keep. Some of these items included, pig feet(to make soup), Liver to make pate', the hearts to show the kids, the leaf lard to make amazing pie dough, the bladder to attempt to make a soccer ball Little House on the Prairie style, and the tail to eat like a hot dog. Now I can't speak for Lea I am not sure what happened with the tail or the bladder. Maybe she would like to post about that? It seemed as if every time they went to throw something out we were would say,"Oh do you mind if we keep that?" I am sure those two men thought we were crazy....I actually don't mind.

So back to the pig parts. Later that week we decided to try some recipes.
The pig feet were much more difficult to deal with then we first thought.

Here they are how they started.

So you have to singe the hair off first. Heres Lea with the torch. Sorry Michael that we used all your propane:)

Next came dealing with liver which is really no easy task. Throw it all in the processor and then.....
This is my Mrs. Roper apron. (Three's Company)

Oh wait first you need a cute assistant to push the button on the processor. I am not sure that this Farmer is rentable so you need to find your own...sorry.

Full report on ending product goes as follows. Making Pig Feet Pho tastes like barnyard...I do not recommend. I must also note for Lea that she owes me big time for tasting that soup, one point for Mrs. Jager for taking one for the team. Pig liver pate' however is pretty good...however I will season it like I traditionally season my pate' next time.

In other pig news I think we will get all of our traditional pig parts back from the butcher in another week. I am pretty stoked I am not going to lie.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Halloween Recap....a little late?

So our Harvest Party was a hit. We always have a get together on Halloween at our house. We invite a ton of people, prepare to much food and brace ourselves with an overload of fun:)

This year did not disappoint. I wish I would have gotten more pictures, but its is kind of hard to enjoy all of the fun with a camera attached to you. However if you have any pictures that you want to share from the party you could email me them:)

We asked everyone to wear costumes and I wish we would have captured them all. My brother in law came as a nerd and his costume was hands down the best. This however is a picture i am missing. So Jaim if you are reading this please, please send me a copy.

I always feel like I was hit by a moving truck when everyone heads home. But my kids are always sure to tell me how much fun they had and that is enough for me to keep the tradition going.

So without further Adieu I would like to introduce you to some of my friends.

Cleopatra and SuperGirl.

Sir Hops Bajema.

The Honey Do List and The Honey

Bacon and Eggs.

A Gaggle of the cutest trick or treaters ever:)

And last but certainly not least....The Josherfroggy:)

And there you have it. Harvest Party 2011:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm sick yuck!

I am sick and I hate it. I came home after teaching yesterday with sore ears,neck,throat and watery eyes. Yuck!

You should know that me and sick do not get along! I am the worlds worst patient. I hate people taking care of me and really dislike people seeing me sick. But that's what I am.

Thankfully my husband was home yesterday so when I got home I went to bed and he let me stay there until dinner. Lovely man! Then I fed everyone with a bit of help from my new found love the crock pot. And then back to bed.

My plan is to behave myself today and stay in bed or on the couch. It will be horribly wonderful.

I did get up got the kids dressed and made lunches. Then that lovely man said that's all we will be needing and pointed back to my bed.

I am a blessed woman even if I am sick.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What A Day.......

Today was a challenging day. It started with an hour back. I am not sure how anyone enjoys this. I mean for that hour that we "fall back" I am always laying in my bed wide awake thinking about all I should be doing. And the only reason I stay in bed is because technically it is not 7am yet(a Jager rule for getting out of bed) and because my husband is warm hence my bed is warm and outside of the bed is cold. Other than those two things it is miserable. So I try praying for awhile, I try naming all the things I am looking forward to in my day, I try praying for my kids and the hubdub, I pray for Sunday School(my cute little cherubs), I pray for my high school kids ( i have a secret love in my heart for high schoolers especially girls, post for later...maybe), I prayed for worship practice(not sure these were heard), and that about wraps it up.....at this point it was 6:30am. Yep not 7am. So I bugged the hubdub for awhile, and then got out of bed at 7 and made breakfast. The kids were for some reason over the moon with the idea of cold cereal....whatevs...not going to complain. Moved on to getting ready. Dealing with the mop of hair upon the top of my head and then settling on a ponytail. Pulled Graces hair out of the pink foam curlers she insisted on the night before, oh man she looked cute. Got us both dressed. Time to get Elliot out of the shower, get his clothes out. Teeth brush make up on. Shoes on. Bibles in my bag. We are all ready its 7:50. Yep we do all that in 50 minutes....its a science. Its crazy, but it works. There is no way on God's green earth I am getting us all up before 7am to get ready.

Next up is the excitement of getting in the van on a frosty morning brings. Yes the windshield was frozen and although I splashed water on it only half defrosted. Oh the luxury of having a garage would be over the top for the Jagers...totally not a need and if that meant dealing with a brand new house I am so out but I do dream. So now you can picture four Jagers driving down Grover St. in the blue swagger wagon, windows down, trying to see through the melted spots. Yep we are laughing. Its a blessing this kind of excitement. The Jagers really are a combination of american circus meets party in a box. No one is left out and sometimes I wonder why we were trusted with offspring but they seem unharmed and I think we are actually pretty good at this parent stuff:)

We get to church. Yep everyones still alive. Everyones surprisingly happy. I made Grace solemnly swear she wouldn't throw a fit today. Its a big deal for her on Sunday mornings...I don't blame her. On mornings we lead worship it is no surprise she throws a fit ,I want to as well sometimes.

So we get to church. For some reason things are off. Melding together with others doesn't always work. And to tell you the truth this morning was especially hard. I had a hard time separating worship practice from the class I teach following. It is hard to brush off rudeness and bad attitudes and pretty soon I find myself right down in the pit with them. I was so anxious about practicing in time, I couldn't relax. Mix this with tardiness, complainers, and the like and I am a bear. It is hard to find my solace. It is hard to find my peace. I cried on my walk down the hall to my class. It was overwhelming. I was sad and I questioned everything. So I stole into the bathroom for a quick prayer a bit of a cry. I allowed myself about 2 minutes for this. I walked out of the bathroom feeling refreshed and moved onto my class with my high school kids. We were a small group this morning....Could it be a coincidence that our lesson today was on being thankful in all situations. Nope not coincidence at al. God knows what he is doing all the time. He knows what I need to hear and when I need to hear it. He knows how blessed I am by hearing it form others point of view. I always wonder if these kids are as blessed by me as I am by them. They are amazing. Each and every one of them in their own way. I make it a point to tell them this. Even when the little ones are extra naughty which they are some times.

Sometimes people ask why Brian and I do and are involved in all that we are. All I can say is we both have felt called to a life of service. Sometimes that means exhaustion, sometimes that means frustration. All the time it means fulfillment, all the time it means feeling like I am complete in my purpose. God is with me all the time. Sometimes this isn't true for everyone and I have a hard time accepting this. Sometimes this makes me seem intense, driven, committed beyond normalcy and maybe a bit witchy....this isn't how I mean it. The driven, intensity is just me. I think if you know me I am a lot more than this, I have a lot more parts to me. But in my service sometimes I forget to pray for the peace that I need to complete all of it. I forget to pray for peace to enjoy each moment of service even when it stinks. Because sometimes it does....God doesn't promise otherwise.

Not sure why I am writing all this other than to be transparent. It was a hard day...I don't claim to be perfect. I do claim to have a purpose. I do try and be as selfless as possible. I do try to live for God every moment....sometimes its hard. And as one of my students said this morning some days are harder than others. Today was one of them:)

However God gave me my family all to myself this afternoon. And boy did I enjoy all of the sweet smiles, kissable cheeks(oh Grace), crazy dogs, boys excited about double A batteries, girls excited about homemade cookies, an understanding husband, and all of the other joys that I have in my home. And this evening I am looking forward to my homies coming over...people that get me. My chosen little "family of friends."

And I guarantee you tonight when I go to sleep I will have my solace. I will have my peace.

Leggo My Eggo......

21 eggs from the girls out back this week. This is what I like to see girls keep em comin:)

Sorry for the break from the blog world. Sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet and decide to do that.