Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Best Meat Seasoning Recipe...EVER!

Seriously, I NEVER exaggerate...well, mostly never...almost never, but THIS stuff is awesome! I have made it for years and given it for gifts.  After receiving a mason jar of this seasoning for a Christmas gift, my friends start dropping hints about July 15 that they are starting to run low on my seasoning.

We use it on everything--especially beef on the grill. But it is great on pork and chicken, too. I've sprinkled it on fish to be broiled and even on hot dogs for the campfire. My kids love a good hamburger, but if it doesn't have our seasoning on it, they only eat one patty. Well, maybe two...but if it is "seasoned properly" they may eat up to 15 patties at one meal...remember, I never ever exaggerate!  Yeah, whatever. But my friends do really drop hints before Christmas that they need more of this stuff.

And it is easy to make. Assemble the ingredients (as listed below) and dump them all in a large mixing bowl and mix it up...yep, that's it!  Put it in pint-sized mason jars with a clean, tight lid and store it in a dry location. Make up some cute labels and then give it to all your friends and tell them how hard it was--make them happy you are their friend. Make them feel beholden to you.  Make them love you!

Super Secret Meat Seasoning 
1 16 oz bottle of Seasoning Salt
1/4 cup paprika
1/8 cup garlic salt
1 2.5 oz bottle mesquite flavored seasoning mix (this is a dry mix--not a liquid!)
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 0.25 oz bottle dried oregano leaves
1 cup packed brown sugar

1. In a large bowl, combine all spices, mixing well.
2. Store in a large quart canning jar, in a cool, dark place--NOT in the cabinet above your stove (like I did once)
3. Use on every kind of meat that you cook--either on the grill or oven or broiler!

Also, do you know how to cook the absolute best hamburger on the grill--that doesn't turn into a charbroiled ball of dry meat? Check out this post about the tricks to make a great ground beef patty that will fit on a bun and be delicious! The Perfect Grilled Burger from KidsCowsandGrass.com.

And now, just because I can, let me share a photo or two of the beautiful sunsets that our rain clouds in Kansas are creating over our cattle ranch! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hey farmer, why is your field smoking?

Farmers and ranchers burn their fields in the spring--on purpose! I've blogged about it a lot... Pastures Up In Flames!  My field is not on fire today, but it is smoking...check it out!

What you see rolling across the field like smoke is really pollen. This is a field of brome-- a cool season grass that we cut for hay for the cattle to eat in the winter.  It is pollinating right now and that is a good thing, because before we cut the grass, we harvest the seed.  Other farmers who want to plant a field of brome can buy the seed from a company, and where does the company get it? Other farmers, of course!

So watching the brome pollinate is actually somewhat exciting--at least for a farmer on a late spring day in Kansas! Enjoy the birds calling, the breeze blowing and the brome smoking!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Why celebrate Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is the unofficial first day of summer, but it began as so much more. After the civil war it was begun as a time of remembrance of the lives lost in battle. Today, it is also confused with Veteran's Day--a day to thank all servicemen and women. But the genesis of Memorial Day was much more somber.

In our small town, every year, a hundred or so of us gather at the local cemetery to hear the names of the deceased soldiers who were from our small town. We pray together and salute them and the flag they died protecting. Then we snack on cookies and iced tea and visit with neighbors and family members around the gravestones for a time.

My husband's family homesteaded their farm in our small community, so we can trace our roots back pretty far here and we listen for the names of his ancestors to be read each year. Then while Grandma visits and the kids munch cookies, we wander through the gravestones to find the ones marked "BLYTHE" and Duane tells how they are related to us. When the kids were little, it was more about the flowers and the cookies, but now that the kids are grown, they can almost remember the stories well enough to tell their dad if he missed a part of the story. Every year we take a new picture of the headstones and talk about the people who created our country--our little community--and died protecting it.

Both of my grandfathers, as well, fought in the military. As a child, we never heard stories of the war, but as I grew up they began sharing a few details of what they saw.  Most of those details died with my grandpas, but I know enough to give thanks for them and their service.

So today while we pack our picnic lunch, build a bonfire to cook s'mores and ready the boats to enjoy on the lake, we take time to say thanks to the men and women who died so we have the freedom to goof off. Spend a minute or two in contemplation of what our home may have been like without the sacrifices of these brave folks. I have no idea how different my world may have been, but I know that I am thankful that my grandparents valued the future enough to fight for my freedom.

Decoration Day
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
  On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
  Nor sentry's shot alarms! 

Ye have slept on the ground before,
  And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
  Or the drum's redoubling beat. 

But in this camp of Death
  No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
  No wound that bleeds and aches. 

All is repose and peace,
  Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
  It is the Truce of God! 

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
  The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
  Your rest from danger free. 

Your silent tents of green
  We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
  The memory shall be ours.

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