Friday, November 19, 2010

Cincinnati Chili

It's a little known fact that Bryce and I spent our first year of marriage living and working just north of Cincinnati, OH. It seemed to us that chili is to Cincinnati as Cheese is to Green county WI. It's a big deal! According to Wikipedia Cincinnati style chili is a regional style of chili characterized by the use of unusual ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice or chocolate, (yes-CHOCOLATE) and by the absence of chili peppers or chili powder. It is commonly served over spaghetti or as a hot dog sauce.

While served in many regular restaurants, it is most often associated with several fast-food restaurant chains, including Skyline and Gold Star. Let me tell you everyone down there has a strong opinion about which chain makes the best chili. I never did try the ever popular Skyline/Gold Star chili because of my long standing disdain for fast-food and my rule to never order meat from a restaurant unless it's local and/or organic. In most restaurants you never know what kind of horrible factory farm the meat came from. If you want to learn more about that watch "Food Inc.", "Fast Food Nation" or look up the "Meatrix" on You Tube!

Click here for the Cincinnati Chili recipe I used this week. My family loved it! I had to cut Bryce and Kalena off after two servings! I used a full pound of Riemer Beef instead of just 3/4 lb and yummy fresh local Cheddar cheese. We will definitely make this one again. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's With The Price of Underwear?!

I went shopping for some essentials and early Christmas gifts at Kohl's yesterday. On my list: Christmas dresses for the girls, a sweater for me, electric toothbrush....and underwear. WHAT $19 for a 3 pack of Hanes!? It seems like a couple years ago they were $6-7 bucks. I realize that prices have been artificially low and that this is probably a price correction, but could we ease into this a bit?

Each morning Bryce and I listen to the Wisconsin Farm Report with "The Fabulous Farm Babe" from 5-6 am (yes, we are crazy). We find information that is valuable to our lives and farm almost every day. A couple weeks ago she discussed the price increase of a few key products that everyone uses and that are increasing in price, quite dramatically. Top 2 on the list Cotton & Beef! The summary of the interview can be found at the WI Farm Report Website. I have included a short excerpt from this link.

"Number one," Blohm says, "Cotton! It's at all time highs, so Gramma giving you socks or t-shirts for Christmas this year might actually be a good idea!" Second - beef! Blohm says with the lack of expansion in beef production - supplies are tight so prices will be headed higher. She says now might be a good time to invest in a freezer, and buy a quarter, half, or whole beef animal to ride out the wave.

My conclusion: Stock up on socks, underwear and Riemer Beef! :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yummy Fall Hamburger Stew

I love cooking with squash in the fall. I found this yummy recipe on my favorite recipe site My family loved it and it is quite healthy. I make lots of soups and stews in the fall and winter. This one calls for cabbage but by the time I got to my cabbage it was yuck. So we skipped it and that was just fine too. They call it a soup on all recipes but I would call it a stew. My family likes things a bit bland, but I kicked up my serving with some additional "Emerald Legosi Southwest Essence".

OK, so I admit it does not LOOK like the most fantastic thing in the world but's what's on the inside that counts...right? At least that's what my mom always told me :) Enjoy !

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Successful Meat Party.

Good friends of ours in Cary IL hosted the first ever Riemer Family Farm "meat party". Yes I think it sounds funny too. Imagine a jewelry or Tupperware party, but the subject of discussion is the difference between a sirloin steak and a sirloin TIP steak.

It was very fun! We met some very nice folks and sold some beef to boot. Buying beef in bulk can be an intimidating idea for first time customers. We continue to hear people say " parents used to buy beef by the quarter or side when I was growing up. It was so good." Some meat party goers also talked about how they never really thought about where their food came from until recently. It really is a novel thing for most suburban residents to know a farmer!

Raising beef without added hormones, antibiotics and steroids is not new at all. Farmers raised their animals on small diversified "natural" farms for centuries. It is only during the last few decades that the industrial model for farming has become the norm. It's the food "industry" that has changed and become, well, industrialized. The vast majority of food comes from what many would refer to as "factory farms." These are the sprawling, overcrowded, unclean and stinky places that inspire scary documentaries such as "Food Inc." and cartoons like "The Meatrix" or movies like "Fast Food Nation". There are many reasons for this change, but that is a topic for another time.

We enjoy raising our cattle and providing humane treatment for them. We love to meet new people and to educate folks about what we do and why we care so much about sustainable farming practices. We are both educators by training and extroverts by nature so selling beef directly and taking part in creative events like “meat parties” just seems like a good fit and a fun way to spend our time.