Winter on the Farm

Winter weather is in the forecast for the next several days in Northeast Missouri. Often times, it is that last minute run to town to stock up on any staples or grab ingredients for recipes we are wanting to prepare. In our household, it is also very important to note inventory on chocolate chips and hot cocoa. My son LOVES to bake and especially when we are snowed in and he is home with Mom. He loves to help in the kitchen. Chocolate chip cookies are his FAVORITE and especially paired with a cold glass of milk (stay tuned for a later post on cookies and milk).

Winter and Livestock:

Speaking of to-do lists and winter prep, farmers and ranchers also take extra steps to prepare and ensure their animals are priority. In the winter, and prior to a colder temperatures and or winter weather, extra work is done to prepare animals to ensure they are comfortable.

Cattle have a natural insulator: their coat. In fact, cattle will prepare for winter months by growing a thicker coat to keep them warm for the colder temperatures. Cows also eat hay and sometimes other grains, keeping them warm. We will put out extra hay prior to a snow,. Eating and digesting keeps them warm, too.

What do cattle eat during the winter? Learn more here.

During the winter months, we look forward to comfort foods after a long day of outside chores. Here's two of our favorite soups and a sweet treat to bake and enjoy:

Hearty black-eyed pea soup

1 pound each bulk pork sausage and ground beef 1 large onion, chopped 4 cups water 3 cans 15 ½ oz each black-eyed peas rinsed and drained 1 can 28 oz diced tomatoes undrained 1 can 10 oz diced tomatoes and green chilies undrained 1 can 4 oz chopped green chilies 4 beef bouillon cubes 4 teaspoons molasses 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ¾ teaspoon garlic salt ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon each pepper and ground cumin

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook sausage, beef, and onion until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Yields 12-16 servings.

Sausage Tortellini Soup

A favorite go-to hearty and light soup. I love serving it with hot roast beef sandwiches on toasted French bread.

1 pound Italian sausage, browned

1 cup water

2 cups chopped cabbage

Heaping handful of spinach

1 can beef broth

1 can french onion soup

1 can Italian stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon garlic pepper

2-3 green onions, chopped

½ cup parmesan cheese

1 package tortellini

Brown sausage. Drain. Add all other ingredients other than pasta. Bring to boil and reduce heat, and let simmer. Add tortellini until cooked through and tender (3 minutes). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Do not add pasta until ready to serve, or pasta will turn mushy.

Moist Coconut Cake

1 package of white pudding cake mix or favorite white cake recipe 1 ½ cups milk ½ cup sugar 2 cups flake coconut 8-ounce container of whipped topping

Bake the cake by the directions on package in a 9 x 13 pan. Cool for 15 minutes. Punch holes through cake with utility fork. Combine milk, sugar, and ½ c coconut in saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Spoon over cooled cake, allowing to soak through holes. Cool completely. Fold ½ cup coconut into Cool Whip and spread over cake. Sprinkle with remaining cup of coconut. Chill overnight. Keep refrigerated.

Stay warm,

Blessings and happy cooking.


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