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A Haying Agventure

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Even putting out hay can be funny…soon as this round bale hit the ground from the back of my truck the bull decided he wanted to “get it”.  He started head butting and rolling the bale 90 to nothing across the pasture all the cows following.  I scrambled back in the truck out of the bed and raced to get the truck in front of the bale to stop it, the Chickenman was trailing behind the cows.  It was a race to the fenceline-he would have surely pushed the fence over with the momentum he had going behind that bale.  But the Dodge stopped him dead in his tracks!  He gave it a few more unsuccessful head butts before he lifted his head up over the top of the bale to see what the malfunction was-the Dodge.  Some how during this haybale hockey game he had busted some of the baling twine and secured himself to the round bale.  Needless to say this did not make him happy and he commenced to jumping and bucking to free himself which didn’t take long.  It would have been a good video and worth a few laughs!  It sure got the horses all excited and they were running laps around the fiasco.  The Chickenman rolled the hayring across the pasture to the bale’s new spot while I held the bull at bay with the Dodge.  On a farm or ranch even what seems to be the simplest task can turn in to an Agventure.  The Chickenman and I are always glad for a good laugh on the farm as long as no one gets hurt.

Happy HumP Day!

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It’s a great Hump Day here at MJ Brahmans!  We are getting some much-needed rain.  I can almost hear our winter pasture gulping it in.  This has been a terrible time for cattle producers here in Texas and in many other states too due to excessive drought.  We, like many others are just trying to maintain and hope spring brings the rains we need to make grass and hay.  We are also smiling in the rain at our newest addition…

This leggy heifer calf is out of our heifer Tuscany Tralee that we purchased from Tuscany Farms in Arizona.  She is doing great.  The calf is running and playing and her Mama Tralee, in true Brahman style, is an excellent mother.  Tralee is friends with our bull, Ringo and more than once I have seen him babysitting this calf while she was down at the pond getting a drink.  I just love watching the dynamics of a herd and how each animal has its place yet they all take care of the calves.

We had a pretty cold night here right after this little calf was born.  The Chickenman was worried about her and headed out into the night with his Q-beam to check on her.  He found the herd laying down for the night all circled up.  In the very center of that circle was this baby calf protected by the herd from the cold.  Tralee has had a hard time fitting in with the other ladies in the herd, but since she has had this calf they have extended their friendship to her and especially her calf.  It takes a village!

Happy Hump Day!

Give us a “Like”

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We recently added a Facebook Fan Page-MJ Brahmans. Please go give it a “like’ and if you are our 100th fan you could win a cool hat with our logo.

The Chickenman is modeling this one-Sharp huh?  We’ll have another give-away for our 200th fan so please tell your friends!

 

Happy HumP Day!

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Meaty Monday: Etouffee

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I was born and raised on the Gulf Coast of Texas where the cattle have a little more ear (Brahman) and almost everyone has a little Cajun in them.  My family often spent Sunday afternoons crawfishing, crabbing or we bought fresh shrimp right off the boats in the bay.  This is a family favorite I’d thought I’d share on this Meaty Monday-Etouffee.  We prefer it with crawfish but you can use shrimp or even chicken if the thought of crawfish scares you.

Ingredients

1-2 lbs of shrimp or crawfish.

1 stick of butter per lb of shrimp or crawfish

1 bunch of finely chopped green onion

1 diced bell pepper

1 bunch of chopped parsley

1 sm can of tomato sauce

1 can if italian diced tomatoes

Several tablespoons of flour

Cayenne pepper to taste.

I got these crawfish at Brookshire’s but I have seen them at Wal-Mart near here too.  I have bought the already seasoned ones too but I thought they seemed salty.  You can use pre-cooked shrimp or crawfish too but fresh is best!!

In a Skillet or pot melt the butter. Add gr. onion, bell pepper and parsley (note:  I use kitchen shears to cut up the parsley-remove larger stems) Saute veggies until done. Add shrimp or crawfish.

Cook about 5 minutes until the shrimp/crawfish are done.  Add Cayenne pepper to taste-remember a little goes a long way!  I sometimes use a little Lawry’s seasoned salt or Cavender’s at this point too.

Stir in tomato sauce and italian diced tomatoes-don’t drain.

Sprinkle mixture with 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and stir until it reaches desired thickness.  For me, usually 2 or 3 is enough.  Taste and see if it is hot enough for you…if not add some more cayenne-be careful!!

Yum!  Looks and smells wonderful.  Serve over rice- I just use the easy and quick boil in a bag kind.  I like to serve with crusty french bread slices topped with butter and garlic & toasted in the oven.

Enjoy!

Meaty Monday-Reata’s Jalapeno Cilantro Soup with Chicken

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I love trying new recipes.  I especially love trying recipes from some of my favorite restaurants.  But I have to admit I almost always alter the recipe in some way whether for convenience or substitution if I’m short an ingredient or sometimes just because I think it sounds good.

Last week on the Texas Farm Bureau’s Texas Table Top  there was a post by Kelly Bogard featuring a recipe from one of my favorite restaurants, Reata.  Only problem was there wasn’t any meat in the recipe-The Chickenman has to have his meat.  Even though a certain unnamed Meat Judger we know says, “Chicken is not meat.  It is an alternative protein source-like beans”,  I decided to add some chicken, meat, protein-whatever you want to call it!

So to the recipe from the Table Top post I added four grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts that I had seasoned with Texas Tech Raider Red Meats new Steak Seasoning.I just fired up the gas grill and threw them on.  Always be sure when cooking chicken to get it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees for safety-use a meat thermometer.  Here’s a great source for information about chicken from the USDA.

Another note on the recipe is that it calls for heavy cream-The Chickenman called me from the grocery in a tizzy because he couldn’t find anything labeled “heavy cream”.  FYI-heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are essentially the same thing: cream that contains 36 percent or more milk fat. Whipping cream is a bit lighter, with only 30 percent milk fat. I used heavy whipping cream because I like to channel Paula Dean when cooking. 🙂

It turned out great and don’t let the jalapeno turn you off thinking it will be too hot-it is not.  Seeding and removing the flesh from inside the peppers greatly reduces their bite.  Oh be very careful when handling these peppers or they will be burning you hours later-wear gloves if you have some. Also be very careful not to touch your eyes-Yikes!

So here’s the revised recipe:

Reata’s Jalapeno Cilantro Soup with Chicken

1⁄2 tbsp. unsalted butter

5 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

2 tbsp. garlic, minced

3⁄4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 avocado, peeled and diced

4 Roma tomatoes, diced

8 cups heavy cream (use the highest fat content available)

kosher salt (you can use regular)

freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped (I love cilantro but The Chickenman only tolerates it so I only used about half of the bunch)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts seasoned with Raider Red Steak Seasoning diced.

Dice the jalapeno, onions and garlic. In a large pot, melt butter and cook the diced vegetables over medium heat until cooked through. Chop the tomatoes and avocado and add them to the pot and stir. Add the diced chicken and stir.  Remove the pot from the heat and slowly add the cream. Stir constantly to avoid scalding. Return the pot to the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to reduce the soup down to your desired thickness, and mix in the chopped cilantro just before serving.

We had ours with tortilla chips and mexican cervezas!  YUM!

Goin’ Showin’

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It is Major Show Season here in Texas.  While we here at MJ Brahmans are taking a year off from the showring due to the drought, we’ll still show up to support our  Brahman friends at some of the shows.

First up is Fort Worth-our personal favorite.  Fort Worth is not only a great city, it’s where the West begins. The Stock Show starts next Friday, January 13 and runs through February 4th.

The barns at Ft Worth are "old school" they can be mighty cold at times.

Angelo’s is one of our favorite places to eat in Fort Worth when we are there for the Stock Show.  The Bar-B-Q is out of this world and the beers are icy cold.  We also never make a trip to Fort Worth without having breakfast one morning at Esperanza’s Mexican Cafe and Bakery.  The Migas are the best you will ever eat and be sure to get a side of their awesome guacamole.

Believe it or not...this is a half order of Migas!

The Brahmans arrive in the barn on January 13th and the show is on the 17th. That’s 5 full days of Brahmans in the barn and I can tell you they are a Stock Show Fan Favorite.  But the best part of the Stock Show for us is just hanging out in our display and sharing our love for Brahmans with the folks passing by.  The Chickenman eats it up!

Happy HumP Day!

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Humpy Birthday

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A very Humpy 21st Birthday to my daughter, Mandy-Jo Laurent who spent her birthday in Livestock Judging Practice at Texas Tech today (they are still in practice and started at 7:30 this morning).  We would have never dreamed that she would love cows…LOL!

Why Brahmans? Brahmans are…

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Image1. Brahmans are Heat Tolerant

Brahmans have a higher density of sweat glands per sq. cm of hide, and a low respiratory rate. An abundance of loose skin aids in its ability to withstand warm weather by increasing the body surface area exposed to cooling. In cold weather the skin is contracted, increasing the thickness of the hide and density of the hair, which aids in retaining body heat.    A special feature of the Brahman breed is their ability over other breeds to sweat freely, which contributes greatly to their heat tolerance. On the hottest days, one can find them resting in the full sun, without any signs of stress.

 2. Brahmans are resistance to ticks and disease

They have an oily skin texture, a short hair coat, and the ability to jerk their hides when they feel irritations on their bodies. This all helps in making the Brahman and its crossbreds remarkably resistant to ticks and other biting insects. A capability that probably also accounts to a large extent, for their being able to withstand diseases as well.  Brahmans also have dark skin pigmentation which keeps the breed free of cancer eye.

 3. Brahmans are Excellent Mothers

Maternal instinct in Brahman cows is very strong  They are well-known for their mothering abilities. Cows will go to extreme lengths to protect their calves. Never, ever get between a Brahma Mama and her calf!

4. Brahmans are adaptable and hardy

Brahmans very adaptive in extreme and often harsh environments. The breed is known for its longevity as well it is not strange to come upon cows still producing at 15 years of age and sometimes even longer.  They are survivors.

5. Brahmans are avid Foragers

Brahman will not stand at the gate waiting for hand outs! They forage actively and make the best use of the available grazing.

6. Brahmans are Movers

Due to their efficient mobility, Brahmans can cover great distances in search of grazing. This is a huge plus factor in dry extensive regions. In times of drought when it becomes necessary to move cattle over long distances, breeders have reported in amazement at the Brahmans ability to walk.

7. Brahmans are Drought Resistance

During times of extreme drought, Brahman cattle have repeatedly shown a marked resistance to hostile changes that then occur in the environment. They are diligent grazers and will work hard for you.

8. Brahmans are intelligent

Cattle breeders notice the extraordinary level of intelligence that Brahman cattle exhibit. They cleverly turn this to their advantage, when handling their animals. Sensible use of this characteristic, can be a great help.

9. Brahmans are friendly

Handle Brahmans gently and with patience.  If you treat them well, they will treat you well! Good temperament in Brahman is up to us not to them!  They are very responsive to kindness and are quite gentle when handled properly.

10. Brahmans are great sources of Hybrid vigor

Brahmans excel in adding hybrid vigor to their offspring when crossed with other breeds.

But my personal #1 reason for having Brahmans…

The calves are so stinkin’ cute! 🙂

 

What do you love about Brahmans?