As I've wrestled with hunger, the suffering of refugee's, and the reality of low income populations I've become determined on figuring out ways to make amends with the blessings of good food here on our farm. I know we are doing what we were born to do. I know that good, nourishing food is very important. I know that food access depends on those with so much being willing to share. One of the ways that I can do that is to make the best use of what is available to us. To use up what's good and make use of what can be salvaged. That in itself leaves more for others.
First-a confession. The reason why I haven't sought this solution before now is because it was easier to be angry, frustrated, and paranoid about all the happenings in the world. It was easier to blame one group while offering up sacrifices for the other, all the while adding to the problem through consuming in the wrong places and avoiding a little extra hard work here at home.
I spent a period of time feeling broken.
In the brokenness I've been made new. I've learned things about myself, my family, and God. I can't help but wonder if farming women experienced this same making new during the Civil War, Great Depression, actually-I know they did. I've read their stories. I know that women are still suffering today. Life is hard. But it is also beautiful and delicious-when we make the time for it.
I'm making a commitment to write here in this space about the food I make for my family here on the farm. I'm also going to make a commitment to make the best use of the good food we have here available to us. Meats less likely chosen by our homestead members, dairy that's close to date, vegetables brought home from market. In my clarity I see the solution. Make the best use of what would go to waste while sharing my experience with others who might see food in a different light. I hope you'll stick with me.
We have an abundance of cube steak in the farm store. Week after week I've watched the pile, along with the liver, tongue, and heart. The cube steak seemed a little easier to manage right now (while I'm still in a tender state of mind).
I searched the web for a few recipes and found some great ones here and here. I looked through my grandmother's New Cook Book, Arkin's Kitchen Wisdom and a new favorite Civil War Recipes by Spaulding & Spaulding. All of them had great recipes that could have easily been adapted, but I tend to use a ton of short cuts and use what I have on hand.
I had a small cup of flour, a close to date JD Country Milk cream, salt, pepper, and a few cube steaks. I love how quickly the defrosted. WIN! It's youth deer hunting season and Carter has had his eye on a big one so while the men were out hunting I gathered everything up and had dinner ready in less than 15 minutes.
I breaded the cube steaks with a thick coat of flour, salt, and pepper. I used some Stuarto's garlic olive oil (a luxury all things considered) to fry the steaks that were finished in less than 8 minutes. About a tablespoon of flour and 1/2 cup of cream made the most perfect sauce. Most of the recipes insisted on making sure that the gravy still tasted like meat so I made sure that I didn't add too much cream. Within a minute or two the gravy was thickened and ready to serve. I'd have taken a photo, but it was all eaten up before I had a chance. We'll definitely be making this again. Have any good cube steak recipes? Please share them in the comment section.