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GrassRoots Meats Newsletter   April  2018
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Beef Bacon 
My friend, Lisa Wagner, recently gave me a tip on a product that she uses to cure bacon - Morton's Sugar Cure. I thought I would give it a try on our beef bacon.

In a large bowl I mixed a cup of sugar cure with a teaspoon of the spice mix that comes with it, and a gallon of water. For 3 days I marinated a slab of bacon in the bowl, with a weight on the bacon to hold it under the water. After rinsing it I smoked it for an hour or two on very low heat.

Once it cooled I refrigerated it, making it easier to slice with my electric slicer. The final result was some pretty darn good meat. While it does not taste like pork bacon, it has a nice, rich flavor that I might compare to the taste of beef jerky - although the bacon is not at all spicy. We tried it for a BL&T and it was wonderful.

Our uncured beef bacon is available in one pound pieces, as well as larger pieces averaging about 4 pounds each. The price per pound is $4.59.

QMBA Ranch 




So our ranch is called Quarter Moon Broken Arrow Ranch - QMBA for short. This metal sign hangs at the entryway, and one day as I drove past I saw what a cool picture it would make. Thought you might enjoy seeing it.


Oaxaca, Mexico 
Allan's niece, Tallent, got married in the city of Oaxaca, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, on March 24th. Allan and I, along with our daughter, Lisa, and grandson, Kyler, were fortunate enough to be able to attend. In case you don't know where Oaxaca is, there is only one other state in Mexico more southern, so it is nearly in Central America. We had a very nice time, in spite of the fact that the trip going and coming involved two nearly 20 hour days of travel each.

The people of Oaxaca look for just about any reason to celebrate!
The party begins every day about 4 and continues on into the wee hours of the morning.

























The city is known for its amazing chefs. The restaurant above was so beautiful, and at another we were treated to salsa prepared at our table that included dried grasshoppers! Even though the food was very gourmet, the prices were quite reasonable.















In spite of a relatively poor culture, the churches were a lavish example of their devotion to the Catholic church. Not only were the walls and the floors extravagant, but also the ceilings.


The cathedral in Oaxaca 






Monte Alban
We visited Monte Alban, an ancient city now in ruins. It originated in the 8th century BC, but was a center of the Zapotec culture from the first century BC to the 8th century AD, after which it was occupied by the Mixtecs, until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

I know these pictures look like they are copied from a brochure, but I really did take them. If you look at the figures of people walking around you can get an idea of the immense size of the ruins.










This purple flowered tree blooms for a very short time each year around Easter.










Ivan, our tour guide, Kyler, Lisa, Allan, and me.
Barro Negro Pottery
Oaxaca is the home of Barro Negro pottery, one of the most popular and appreciated styles of pottery in Mexico. The origin of this pottery style extends as far back as the Monte Alban period, and for almost all of this pottery's history was available only in a grayish matte finish. In the 1950's a potter name Dona Rosa devised a way to put a black metallic sheen onto the pottery by polishing it before firing. This look made the pottery way more popular.
Our big takeaway from the trip are these pieces that we bought in San Bartolo Coyotepec, a community about 7 miles south of Oaxaca city, where most of this pottery is made. And they were crazy inexpensive!

April Special
In honor of our trip to Mexico
we are offering our Vaquero Package
(Spanish for cowboy)
on special this month.

Regular Price - $312
Sale Price - $279

And if your order comes to $300
we will take an additional 10% off!

In Closing . . .   
We have been blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to many places over the last year or so, but I am beginning to think my newsletter is becoming a travel brochure! Thanks to all of you for hanging in there, giving me a chance to show off all the fun pictures I have taken.

Allan is very busy with a new cover crop seeding program that he is working on. He will be planting at least 20 different kinds of seed, including Austrian winter peas, 4 kinds of clover, oats, hairy vetch, forage and daikon radishes, yellow and white mustard, and purple top turnips. I will hopefully have some pictures of the project to show you next month.

In the meantime we are praying for rain, especially after a very dry winter. Lots of concern that we will not have enough irrigation water if we don't get more moisture over the next month or so. We survived a pretty rough drought a few years ago, and we know that God will see us through this time as well. We are not building an arc, but we are definitely planting seed with faith that God will provide the moisture.

Hope you had a nice Easter. God bless you all. Better get out those umbrellas!
   
Lois & Allan

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