OH NO Cube Steaks!!

I personally love cube steaks, however I think I am in the minority. It seems that my family only sees the cube steak as a last resort. So, What is it really? Quoting from Wikipedia “A Cube steak is a cut of beef, usually top round or top sirloin, tenderized by fierce pounding with a meat tenderizer, or use of an electric tenderizer. The name refers to the shape of the indentations left by that process (called “cubing”).[1] This is the most common cut of meat used for the American dish chicken fried steak.”

As the definition states, a cube steak is tough, however with enough cooking time the cube steak can be wonderful. Another prime example is the brisket. No one in there right mind would look at a brisket and say “that looks tasty”, however if you barbecue it for 12 hours there is no better piece of meat. I think the same thing can be said for a cube steak. Which brings me to the topic of the day! My dear wife went back to work at the church as a part-time secretary. She works on Monday’s and Friday’s, so I have been trying to pick up the dinner routine on those days. Yes, there are some nights we do give in and eat at a local restaurant but in general I am able to find my way around the kitchen pretty well.

This recipe is a family favorite. I personally love it, because it is super easy. All you need is 15 minutes and a crock pot. Since I have two teenagers, I double this recipe and just hope there is enough leftover for lunch the next day.

Ultimate Swiss Steak
4 Spurgeon Farms cube steaks
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Stouts Melody Acres
1/2 cup grated process American cheese

Dredge the cube steaks in flour mixed with salt; place in crock pot. Add chopped vegetables and Worcestershire sauce. Layer the molasses over the vegetables and pour the tomato sauce over the entire mixture. Cover and cook on Low for 8 – 10 hours or on High for 4 – 5 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with the grated cheese (serves 4).

Where is buy local?



A Thankful Thanksgiving


1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Now that is a hard one.  Give thanks in all circumstances!!!

One of my favorite times of the day is dinner time.  OK, yes I like to eat and like to eat alot, however the reason it is my favorite time is it is the one time everyday that I can guarantee everyone will be around the table.  It might sound a little old fashion, however I find it extremely important for my family.  You see the kids are busy with school, practices, church, and youth meetings, while my wife and I are dealing with work, farm, church and our many other volunteer activities.  If it was not the 45 minutes at the table, we might not see each other for days and to which makes the food it the least important thing on our table.  During this time, we laugh and joke with each other and spend time catching up on the what’s happening at school.  Being a parent of 2 teen age children, there is alot happening at school.  We tell stories of when my wife and I were dating (we still are dating) or stories of friends and loved ones that have passed way to soon.  It is truly a special time of the day and we all are very thankful for the time to share.

That was easy “dinner time”  what is there not to be thankful for that one.  But what about that list of tasks that just can not seem to get done.  Well, I actually just as thankful for those tasks too.

Building fence has been a task on that list for many years.  When my wife and I bought the farm in 2006, we started out by removing all the fences on the property.  The fences were weak when my brother and I would keep animals here 20 years ago and they have only gotten worse as time went on.  The only problem with taking out the fences is you have to put them back up.  We have spent years pounding post and stretching high tensile wire.  It appears if all goes well,  we will finally be done with building fence on Saturday.  But why am thankful for building fence.  There are a number of reasons for being thankful, but probably the top 2 are that I have not had to chase any of the animals and it has given me a chance to spend one-on-one time with each of my children.  It’s funny how building fence can bring a father and daughter or son closer together.

Water, Did you know that there are more than 780 million people without access to clean water.  I am so thankful for the little pond on the farm that supplies clean fresh water to all my animals.  We installed a gravel filter system from the pond and pipe the water down to the watering stations between the pond and the barn.  While we were installing the water system, we were able to invite the local FFA chapter to come and do soil judging practice.  We also have had many friends and neighbors on the farm to look at and provide advice about the system.  This single task has had an impact on countless members of the our community and for that alone I am thankful.

Feeding time, which it is getting pretty close to that time now.  I am thankful for this task too.  Dad and I spend many days each summer baling hay and preparing for winter.  Dad is probably one of the most interesting people I know.  He has endless knowledge of everything and enjoys sharing his wisdom with all.  I am thankful that even on the coldest days, dad and I can spend a few minutes visiting while we are feeding the animals.  The animals are interesting too.  There is not a day that goes by that they are not excited to see us coming and they always crowd around the machinery to get the first bites.  The animals on the farm are all blessing and we give thanks for them each day.

There are hundreds more things on the my list of task from putting lights in the barn, to landscaping the yard, and of course hauling manure, however for now trust me when I say am thankful for everything on the list.  In this crazy world it is easy to see the “bad” in everything, however the if all the you see is the “bad” what kind of life are you leading.  Positive breeds positive and thankfulness breeds thankfulness.  Take a moment today and everyday to find that joy and gratitude in everything you do.

Winter Days

Winter Days:


“It’s cold outside” or at least that is what the weatherman would like you to think.  This morning, I took the kids out to the school bus with about an inch of snow on the ground and the most beautiful sun shining through the clouds.  Normally I am not a Norman Rockefeller kind of person, however this morning I could not help but take a minute and marvel at God’s creation.

The cattle are in the east pasture and they were seemed to be playing a game of freeze tag.  The calves were attempting to join into the game, but finally gave up for their own game of hide and seek. We moved the Scottish Highland bull (Duff) into the pasture over the weekend.  He and his mother (Maggie, 23 years old) are purebred Scottish Highlanders and have been a joy to have on the farm.  We were told that the Scottish Highland breed would produce smaller animals, however so far the calves are ranking in the top 15% of our market animals.  The calves are born without any assistance, to which is perfect for first calf heifers, and turn on with excellent rate of gains.  We could not be more excited about our cattle operation.

The goats are in the west pasture along with Max our Great Pyrenees.  I think they might of been watching the weatherman, because they were snuggled in the barn waiting for their breakfast.  We are excepting kids (goat babies) starting mid-December.  Right now they all look like they are carrying a large basketball around with them.  Last year we kidded in late-January and boy was it cold.  We decided that we try for a little bit earlier this year.  Not sure if it is going to work out better or not, but we are going to give a try.

We are truly blessed to be able raise such amazing animals and to do it as a family.  Hopefully we can help provide everyone with a little taste of what the FFA creed statement on the home page means to us.  From the National FFA Website http://www.ffa.org “I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.”