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With the unprecedented social media blitz raining down on Planned Parenthood as we enter the latest way-too-long election cycle, I figured it was time to pipe up. It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that the hashtag #istandwithplannedparenthood would be one that […]
I love a good Taco Tuesday. When Gabe and I lived in Los Angeles we had the best taco joint in our adjoining strip mall, and the Tacos de los Gringos had us pegged. Crunchy shell, perfectly spiced and dripping ground beef, cheddar cheese. Mmmmmm. Honky tacos are heaven.
That being said, homemade tacos, even with my beloved America’s Test Kitchen recipe, just didn’t cut it. That McCormick-style seasoning mix and some browned ground beef never tasted like the real thing.
Enter Google. Why had I never looked up “Mexican restaurant style taco meat” before?! I tried a few recipes, then did what any self-respecting cook does and morphed them all to make my own.
The results are ridiculous. I no longer have to leave my kitchen for a $2 Taco Night special to get my fix. Add in some homemade refried beans (try these) and easy-as-pie homemade corn tortillas (whoops, not this time), and your tacos will blow your mind. They key is boiling the meat. Sounds a little yuck, but try it once and you’ll never go back.
Drink pairing: Gabe will go classic with a Negro Modelo, while I tend to hit up a nice farm Saison. Or a Mike’s if I’m feeling down home.
Music pairing: New Jason Isbell, “Something More Than Free.” I may be going out on a limb, but I think that kid has talent.
Restaurant-style Ground Beef Tacos
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes
We are in the crazy final days of prep before our first kidding. I haven’t been this beside myself since I cranked out my own kids! I’ve dreamt goat births for the last three nights, with last night being the best – a perfectly beautiful Nubian doe (weird that I am dreaming the wrong breed) stepped out of her mother and into my lap, ready to play. If only.
In an effort to offset my fears, I’ve decided to do what I do best – rely on my inner nerd and do some research. A lot of reading, and asking questions, and then more reading.
The best resources I’ve found:
- My goat breeder and vet. I’m so lucky to have gotten these goats from Lil Bleats, and a breeder who is so willing to share her knowledge. I’m equally lucky that our vet doesn’t mind working a goat lesson into every visit.
- The Fias Co Farm website. This is the absolute best source of information on the web, and I encourage you to donate to the site if you find it as useful as I have.
- Real books. From the store. Books you can read, mark up, and then have on hand during the kidding, even if all you can do is hug them to your chest and feel more capable by way of osmosis. “Raising Goats Naturally” by Deborah Niemann is my favorite text, along with “Storey’s Guide to Raising Diary Goats.” Brad Kessler’s “Goat Song” is a moving memoir about embarking on a life with goats – such beautiful, candid writing; it made me love my own goats even more.
This is our pretty Ella before she lost that girlish figure. She’s still a little wild, but has reached the point of tolerating us and will love us soon enough. She was bred on 9/2 and 9/9, so with a standard 145-day gestation for miniature goats, she is due 1/25 or 2/1. I’m pretty sure that this will be our first and last winter kidding – everything is harder in the snow.
(Side note: After sliding around our icy, hilly property for a few weeks I just discovered YakTrax for my muck boots. How did I not know about these? Google them if you don’t already own a pair!)
Next, I needed to assemble my own Goat Kidding Kit for the big day.
We have the following on hand:
- Surgical soap wash for hands and instruments, if needed
- Iodine replacement spray for sterilizing (haven’t decided yet if we are dipping the navels)
- Old bulb syringe from my babies, in case we need to clear noses of birth gunk (it’s a technical term)
- Surgical scissors (please, dear sweet baby universe, don’t make me have to use these for anything)
- Emergency tubing and colostrum replacer (ibid)
- Old feed bags and pee pads to catch the goo (things are getting real now!)
- Clean towels, paper towels and tiny hairdryer (to help mama clean and dry these babies in the bitter cold)
- Kid coats made of second-hand sweatshirt sleeves
Now, where to kid?
Scout and Rascal are looking forward to having a visitor to keep them company at night – Ella is their favorite goat since she’s the least likely to head butt them when they want to hang out.
Nothing to do now but wait. This will get easier each time. Um, right?
Every once in a while I am thunderstruck — gobsmacked if you will — by the overall change that the internet has wrought on our lives. It affects us on a grand scale of course, with real time world events, online banking, and a constant […]
I make no secret of the fact that I live in a lovely community suffering from a longstanding invasion of ignorant asshats (see HERE). So, I should not have been surprised by the most recent local activity but it has indeed caught me off guard. Why did I expect more? Because this issue involves the children in our county and their health.
|Graphic courtesy of http://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/|
Douglas County School District has become the only district in the state of Colorado to opt out of the Michelle Obama-championed new federal student lunch guidelines at the high school level. What a distinction! While I love the general idea of bucking the system and taking a stand, this opt-out represents one of the worst decisions that our should-have-been-voted-out-there’s-always-next-time school board has had a hand in.
In response, I had a whole blog planned on the history of school lunches, the current guideline updates, and ways to embrace the healthier changes and fight childhood obesity while teaching our kids to enjoy a balanced meal. I’m going to skip that though, in favor of a Q&A, in which I cast the school board/naysayers in the roll of Inquisitor, and myself as the Voice of Reason. (This casting is totally biased, of course, but that’s a perk of writing your own blog.)
A quick background and some resources, if you are into things like research and fact checking:
- USDA fact sheet on the National School Lunch Program
- 2012 NYTimes article on the new guidelines and compromises made by all parties to get the proposal passed
- Recent Denver Post article on DCSD opting out, complete with comments (and a name you should recognize!)
- Chef Ann Cooper, Renegade Lunch Lady
- The USDA Farm to School grant program
- Adam Sandler’s iconic Lunch Lady song