The Lazy Days of Summer??

The August 2011 edition of Country magazine has on the cover: "Easy Season, Relax and enjoy the dog days". Summer might be the lazy days for air conditioned city folks, but they are not lazy days here on the farm. We have been trying to apply the wisdom of the old proverb: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,  provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." (Proverbs 6:6-11)

In addition to all our other work, we have been busy canning and freezing as much of our nutrient dense food from the garden that we can so that we have nutritious food to feed our family this winter when all the colds, flu bugs and other sicknesses are going around.

Sweet Corn 2011
This is a bucket of high brix sweet corn (25 brix) from our garden. Our family loves corn and we grow a large patch of sweet corn. Last year the stink bugs destroyed our last planting of sweet corn. This year Cathy was determined that we would get all our sweet corn. Unlike other bugs that are deterred by high brix plants, stink bugs love sugar. We found a repellent that really works. We used a mixture of liquid laundry soap that we got from a health food store and mixed it with water and sprayed it on the ears as the corn was nearing maturity. We had to spray it twice. It turned some of the outer husks brown, but it didn’t affect the corn. Watering with a sprinkler seems to help reactivate the soap also.You can find more at this link:

Cutting Corn
Cathy and some of the children cutting the corn off the cob. The corn is first husked, then the silk is removed. Then about 100 ears are blanched at a time in a large outdoor cooker/canner. The corn is then cooled in water, cut off the cob and put into freezer boxes. This year we put 98 quarts of corn in the freezer.

Canning Veggie Soup
Cathy and Kara in the process of canning 41 quarts of beef vegetable stew. In the lower left corner is canned beets. Cathy learned an easy way to wash a large quantity of beets and potatoes. You put them in the washing machine with an old towel and set it on the gentle setting. It works well and takes the work out of washing all those vegetables.

Cooking Under Pressure
There are also times to sit and relax and learn how to cook under pressure! Here Cathy is reading a new cook book about how to use her new 10 quart pressure cooker. She is waiting while salsa is being canned in the the outdoor canner. She and the girls made and canned 76 pints of delicious salsa that day. Salsa is great on eggs – fried, scrambled, and omelets.

Daniel with Spinning Wheel
Recently, our son Daniel made an electric spinning wheel using a sewing machine motor and foot control. It is amazingly simple and works well.

Oh the non-lazy days of summer, when we go to bed feeling like we accomplished something and we feel more prepared for winter. This winter we will sit by the wood stove in the evening and enjoy a good book or use that new electric spinning wheel.

Recipe: Baked Stuffed Eggs

10 hard-cooked eggs
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons mustard
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup chopped onion
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and set whites aside. In a bowl, mash yolks with a fork. Add sour cream, mustard, mayonnaise and salt. Mix well. Fill the egg whites and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour. Whisk in milk. Add Worcestershire sauce and salt. Heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Add sour cream and mix well. Pour half of the sauce into an 11" X 8" baking pan. Arrange stuffed eggs over the sauce. Spoon remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. (If you want to bake these eggs upon preparing them, reduce the oven time to 20 minutes.)

Eggs are a Superfood

Eggs should be considered a ‘superfood’ because they are one of the most nutrient-dense foods and boost health and tackle obesity. That is what researchers say in a study released this month. The researchers analyzed 71 research papers that examined the nutritional quality of eggs and their role in diet.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, a lead author of the reports, said, "The health benefits of eggs would appear to be so great that it’s perhaps no exaggeration to call them a superfood – they are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. Eggs are not only low in calories but are packed with nutrients that are essential to healthy living. They are an ideal food at every stage of life, as well as being easy to cook and enjoyable to eat."

Some highlights of the report:

Despite being low in calories, eggs are a rich source of protein and are packed with nutrients essential to good health, in particular, vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium and choline.

Eggs contain the richest mix of essential amino acids crucial for children, adolescents and young adults. A proper balance of the amino acids is required for proper growth and repair. ("If you have children they are going to hurt themselves!" – Myron)

The high levels of antioxidants found in eggs mean they could help prevent age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness.

One of the key findings was that eggs are an important dietary source of vitamin D. One egg provides more than 20% of the recommended daily allowance. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked with a host of medical conditions including poor bone health, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, immune disorders and mental health problems.

Eggs could play a significant role in dieting and weight loss.

The latest reports show that one or two eggs a day have no effect on total cholesterol levels for most people. This reverses previous reports that stated people with high cholesterol should not eat eggs.

To read more:

Of course this report is about normal grocery store eggs produced with conventional feed. We strive to provide you with an even better superfood – a Jehovah-Jireh Farm pasture raised egg produced with organic feed. You can taste the difference!

The Incredible Edible Pasture-Raised Egg

I was surprised when I started researching recently on the nutritional value of eggs. Eggs are a much more valuable food than what I realized.

Eggs supply a high quality protein

Our unfertilized pasture-raised eggs are a meat free food that supply a high quality protein and other nutrients that are necessary for healthy body development and function. The nutrients in an egg were put together to provide all the necessary nutrients needed for a baby chick to develop all the body organs, strong muscles, and strong bone structure. Because each of us are continually replacing each of the cells in our organs, muscles, and bones on a regular bases, eggs are an important food to supply the necessary protein and nutrients for all age groups from young children to elderly people.
After a mother’s milk, an egg contains the highest quality food protein known. The human body is able to absorb 97% of the protein in an egg. In addition, an egg supplies all the amino acids essential for humans in the amounts necessary for normal body function.

Scrambled eggs with leftovers of corn and peppers stirred in. Other variations
are potatoes, sliced squash, or other vegetables. For a little extra pizazz, beat a little mustard into the eggs before you cook them.

Control appetite to control weight

Eggs taste very good, but imagine trying to overeat on eggs — let’s say a dozen eggs at a time — a 900 calorie breakfast. The very thought of it almost makes a person feel sick. Eggs satisfy, without encouraging a person to overeat. In addition, studies have shown that when eggs are part of a breakfast, they help reduce snacking on less nutritious and more calorie laden foods throughout the day. Eggs provide a satisfying meal that keep the stomach from emptying too quickly and causing a craving for more food. At only 75 calories per large egg, eggs contribute few calories for all the nutrients that they provide.

Delicious, Nutritious, Affordable Fast Food

Few foods are as easy and fast to cook as an egg. Eggs come packed by the hen in a portioned serving container – the egg shell. It only takes minutes from the time an egg is taken from the "fridge" until it is ready to eat. About the same time or less that one would have to wait at the drive-through at McDonalds on the way to work for a junk breakfast. Eggs can be quickly be prepared in a  variety of ways – scrambled, fried, poached, soft boiled, or hard boiled – making eggs an excellent fast food breakfast.
Not only are eggs easy to prepare, but they are also affordable. At 30 to 35 cents per egg, a breakfast of two eggs and toast costs less than a dollar. Eggs are economical, especially when compared with other high-protein foods. Amazingly, the highest quality protein food is also the most affordable. For those on a tight budget, eggs are an excellent choice.

Fried eggs topped with salsa and cheese. Gourmet fast food!

Cholesterol in eggs

There are a substantial number of studies in recent years that show that dietary cholesterol has only a small effect on blood cholesterol. For healthy people, one egg a day (and one study found up to three eggs a day) has no detectable effect on heart disease risk. These findings are important because eggs can provide older people with an affordable, easy to chew, highly nutritious food.

When it comes to cholesterol, pasture-raised eggs tend to be significantly lower in cholesterol. Mother Earth News did a study of 14 pasture based farms and found that the eggs from pastured hens had 35% less cholesterol than eggs from confined birds.

Eggs poached in chicken broth. Our pasture-raised eggs can be dropped
into boiling water or broth without them breaking apart.

Important in making some recipes work

Eggs have several important physical and chemical properties that make some recipes work. Eggs thicken custards, puddings and sauces; emulsify and stabilize mixtures such as mayonnaise and salad dressings; coat or glaze breads and cookies; bind ingredients together in dishes such as meat loaf and lasagna; retard crystallization in boiled candies and frostings; and leaven some types of baked goods such as sponge cakes.

Eggs are truly an amazing, valuable food – the incredible edible egg. To read more, check out the following websites:

Egg Nutrition Center:
The Incredible Egg website:
The American Council on Health and Science:
Mother Earth News Egg Study:

What is Expensive?

It is interesting how easy it is for us to get our perspectives mixed up about what is expensive. Recently Cathy met a lady at Wal-Mart who was purchasing her groceries. By her appearance she was obviously not well. She was riding in one of the electric shopping carts that Wal-Mart provides for customers who have difficulty walking. This lady had met Cathy before and inquired about our eggs, but when she found out that they cost $3.75 a dozen, she said "Oh, I can’t afford that. It is too expensive." This lady was also drinking a Coke while she was shopping. The irony of that lady’s priorities and perspective made Cathy think. That Coke was flavored sugar water, devoid of nutrition and was contributing to the lady’s poor health. The acid in the Coke tends to leach calcium out of the body and bones and destroys the enamel on one’s teeth. It cost at least a dollar. Our pasture raised, organically fed eggs, on the other hand, are full of nourishment, protein, and readily absorbed nutrients and vitamins. A dozen eggs weighs at least one and a half pounds. At $3.75 a dozen, that is only $2.50/lb for a high protein food. That dozen eggs would provide that lady six meals of easy to prepare protein (two eggs per meal) at a cost of only 63 cents per meal. Now compare that to the Coke which cost more than a dollar per "meal". If the lady only has a limited amount of money to spend for food, which should she "too expensive" – the Coke, or our pasture raised eggs?

Scenario  #2
    A person we know of, has poor health and is concerned that they might die. At the same time they have plenty of money. Someone shared with this person about an alternative health care method which has had good success with this person’s type of illness. The person’s response of what is expensive helped me see things from a different perspective. This person said that they were open as long as there is not a product sale push along with the results of the testing. They said, "I am sorry, but I am very skeptical of testing programs of this nature that require you buy their products to fix your deficiency." The person, instead, has chosen to go with the medical doctor’s testing and product sale push which requires the person to use the medical doctor’s products to "fix" the problem at a cost of tens of thousand of dollars. Unfortunately, the medical doctor’s product "fix" also has a high failure rate along with major side effects.

What I learned from this situation is how easy it is for us to view things as too expensive to even check out because it would cost several hundred dollars a month, and other things such as the medical doctor’s "fix" with no greater success rate and which cost tens of thousands of dollars more, as a reasonable route to take.

We have bought into society’s warped view of what is expensive and what is not. The point of this scenario is not to discredit the medical profession. They play an important role in our lives such as when I was in an accident several years ago and broke my ankle. However, the $15,000 cost was way too excessive.

We are what we eat. There is a cause and effect sequence that occurs from the food that we eat. When we eat food that had to be raised with herbicides and pesticides, and meat that had to be fed antibiotics, is it any wonder that so many Americans have to also feed at the Pharmacy? If the food that we eat couldn’t survive without chemicals and antibiotics, we shouldn’t expect our bodies to be able to make it without chemical and antibiotic "fixes" too. When you take into account the medical costs, the lost time running to the doctor’s offices, the poor health in later years, etc., "cheap" grocery store and restaurant food is not cheap. It is expensive.

One of our customers, a young mother, commented that since she has started buying real food, her total food costs have gone down. Yes, the ingredients cost more, but she needs less. Plus you cut out expensive, negative nutrition foods such as Coke and boxed cereals. Your food dollars are spent on real nourishing food.

Is real, organically raised, nourishing food expensive? No, not when you count in all the costs of "cheap" grocery store food.

Custard Pie

For our recipe this month, I’m going to give you a special family recipe that capitalizes on eggs. No, it’s not a favorite breakfast dish, but rather a favorite dessert of mine – custard pie. Whenever I make this custard pie, it reminds me of wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts with my kin. Especially on my father’s side of the family, custard pie was a must! I have always been very picky about custard pie. I never cared much for most recipes. However, this one I love! I hope you enjoy it, too.

Custard Pie
1 9-inch pie crust
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 cups milk
Note: I don’t use any white sugar. Instead, I just use approx. 3/4 cup brown sugar or sucanat for the total amount of sugar.

Beat the eggs and sugar until frothy. Add the milk. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees 10 minutes. Turn down to 250 degrees. Bake 1 hour or until the center of the pie jiggles like jello instead of sloshing like liquid. You can cut the baking time in half by scalding the milk before adding it to the eggs and sugar. (Be sure you don’t overbake this pie. Custard becomes watery when it’s baked too long.)

Do you need a delicious, super easy pie crust? Try this push pastry. You mix it in your pie pan.

Pie Crust
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons milk

Mix the flour and salt together in your pie pan. Mix the butter and milk together. Add to your flour mixture. Mix it with your hands until all the flour is moist. Form into a pie crust by forming it to the pan. Flute the edge if you desire.

Cathy’s Cooking Tips

I often roast chickens by adding vegetables and plenty of water to make lots of broth. However, I found out that there’s another great way to roast whole chickens. Add no water, but instead brush plenty of butter all over the birds. Then salt them and roast them as usual. It will still make rich broth, but the skin is crispier. Yes, go ahead and eat that skin. You miss a lot of nutrition from the Omega 3’s of grassfed poultry if you don’t.

The next morning you can take the broth from your roasted chicken and poach some organic grassfed eggs in it. This is definitely a favorite way for our family to eat eggs.

Have you ever hardboiled eggs, but when you went to peel them, the shells came off in little pieces with bits of eggs adhering to them? This happens because your eggs are too fresh. For the shell to come off easily, the eggs should be at least two weeks old. That is unless you cook them a different way than usual. Instead of adding your cold eggs to the water at the beginning and boiling them, bring the water to a boil first and then add your eggs with a slotted spoon. Bring to a boil again. Then proceed as usual by cooking them on lowest heat for 8 to 10 minutes and then cooling them quickly in ice water. Very fresh eggs will come out much better by using this method.

Egg burritos are a great breakfast food. To fill your tortillas, scramble some eggs and add some leftovers such as diced potato, chicken or sausage, rice and beans or any number of vegetables. Top with sautéed onions and sour cream, salsa or mayonnaise. Try mixing a little mustard into your scrambled eggs before they’re cooked. It gives an extra, wonderful little zip.