This past cold snap has been a challenge insofar as keeping our water tanks open so the animals can drink. Many of our livestock waterers are huge, old construction equipment tires with the rim cut out, which work extremely well due to being black and absorbing lots of heat from the sun to keep them open, this allows the trickle pipe to be opened only a bit thereby saving a considerable amount of pond or well water. However, the remaining concrete tanks and mira-founts tend to freeze up when the temperature drops below 0 and wind chills even lower. Jessica?s laying hens took a break from laying as all their energy went to staying warm rather than producing eggs. A few hens show some frostbite on their combs, but all in all they are in very good condition despite the extreme cold. Outwardly, the sheep and cattle don?t seem to notice the cold as long as they have a bit of hay or grass to chew on. I haven?t heard too much complaining about the weather, as it is believed that this extended cold should help reduce pest numbers this summer. What a marvelous creation our God has wrought! Saturday, I helped prepare the meal for the Green Hills Farm Project meeting held at the Meadville Community Centre. There was good attendance, a good meal, and excellent speakers. Mr. Dan Shepherd from Clifton Hill, Missouri, and Mr. Teddy Gentry from Fort Payne, Alabama are both gifted speakers and shared a lot of their good ideas, past mistakes, and visions for the future in their respective livestock operations. Sunday morning found me up early to prepare a gallon of chili and a peach cobbler for the fundraiser for the Linneus Fire Department. The weather that day felt almost balmy as the temperature climbed all the way to freezing. Later in the day I hauled out big bales of hay to my cows with fall-born calves west of Purdin. Took a bit longer up there than anticipated as the cows had helped themselves to some stockpiled pasture that is being saved for a snowy day; so I called them off of that. Stockpiling is an old way of managing pastures so we generally have some green grass for cows to graze all winter long. Because of this being the third year of dry weather, our stockpile, though highly nutritious, is greatly lacking in quantity. Fortunately, the good Lord provided adequate rains this past spring to raise an excellent crop of mechanically harvested hay, which we use to supplement the diets of the cows and their nursing calves. Dallas and Jessica are participating in a Bible drill team at the Meadville Baptist Church on Sunday evenings and this past Sunday they challenged the adults. We adults knew the children might put us to shame, but we hung in there gamely. Mrs. Helen Ann Dennis is their leader and she has pressed them to do their best, which they did and it seems the children were encouraged to see their progress over the many weeks of study and practice. These children will be well equipped to ?hide God?s Word in their hearts so they may not sin against God.? Psalm 119:11 (paraphrased) My three-year-old niece spent three days in the hospital in Columbia receiving a blood transfusion to increase her red blood cell count, as it seems her body has stopped producing them. She goes back next week for a bone marrow test to check her progress. She needs many prayers. This recipe was a hit with everyone in the family! Only 45 minutes to prepare. Let the children peel the carrots; older children can slice them and the green beans. Even the youngest enjoy using the measuring spoons to prepare the marinade and will especially like the shaking part! It may take longer than 45 minutes when the children help, but what a wonderful teaching opportunity. Korean Barbecued Beef (Bul-Ko-Kee) serves 5 1 lb grass-finished beef strip or sirloin steak ? cup Bragg?s liquid aminos 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 ? tablespoons honey ? teaspoon black pepper 2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed 1 cup rice or barley 1 cup thinly sliced carrots 1 cup green beans cut to 1 inch length Bring to a boil 2 ? cups of water; add rice or barley, stir, cover, and reduce heat to simmer about 45 minutes. Trim fat from beef; cut beef diagonally across grain in 1/8-inch slices. (For ease of slicing, partially freeze beef). Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl with a lid, reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade, then stir in beef, cover and shake until well coated. Keep covered and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. While beef is marinating and grain is simmering, slice carrots and green beans. In an electric skillet, place reserved marinade. Place thinly sliced carrots in one corner and fresh or frozen green beans in another corner. Cook on low heat 15-20 minutes. Add beef and marinade on opposite side of skillet and cook over low or medium heat until beef is done (2-5 minutes) and vegetables are cooked to desired degree of doneness. (we like ours a touch crunchy). Serve vegetables and beef over hot rice or barley. Sprinkle over with sesame seeds if desired. Serve with a tall glass of locally produced milk and sliced raw apples. Tauna Powell lives north of Laclede, Missouri. You may reach her at email@example.com or www.mastersranch.com.