It's hard to believe that the weather has gotten even worse. There are predictions of wind chills below minus 50 degrees in the next 24 hours.
Fortunately, all of our animals have wind protection (one of the most important safety plans) and entered the winter season with great body scores--whether cattle, horses, sheep...or Llama! They've got plenty of water and my husband made tons of excellent hay this Summer so they are eating well. In this extreme weather, these animals consume fully twice as much hay daily as usual.
As for us, we are bundling up in enormous layers of clothes just to walk to the barn. I wear leggings, quilted bibbed "snow" overalls, a long sleeved shirt, two hooded jackets (seriously, I wear two jackets) and one of those fur-lined logger hats--with the hoods up on all, thermal mittens, ice grippers on the waterproof shoes, wool socks. On top of that, it's so cold, the Gator gets a spot in the garage just so it'll start.
I have the wood furnace going with a nice stack of wood ready to replenish.
It's good to know that BEEF STEW is on the menu, in the crockpot. And a multigrain bread mix is doing its job in the breadmaker. I've been so enamoured of the health effects of some foods, that I can't help but make sure I include cooked tomatoes, parsley, garlic, celery in whatever I can --so it's in the stew--and, of course, use the potatoes from the garden, fresh carrots and always...grassfed-only beef.
Prep crockpot with spray oil.
Add the following ingredients and stir to combine:
2 lbs. beef stew meat, first dredge in flour, brown in olive oil in a skillet.
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with the juice
2 medium potatoes, diced
4 large carrots, prepped and sliced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2-4 cloves of chopped garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 Bay Leaf (this must be removed before serving)
1 Tbsp. Stew Mix seasonings (your own mix--mainly dried parsley with some thyme, basil)
Cover and cook for 8 hours. Then remove about 1/2 cup of the liquid into a small bowl. Add to that 2 Tbsp flour and 1 Tsp Gravy Master (or Kitchen Bouquet). Return this mixture to the stew and stir in.It will thicken and make a gravy. Then add about 1/2 cup of frozen green peas. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook another 1-2 hours, while you stoke the furnace and finish those last chores of the day...