This week my high school alma mater, Cardinal Newman, is hosting a special celebration for 50 years of high school athletics. As part of the celebration, they are honoring the top athlete graduates of the school and have asked them to be present for the celebration.
In addition to being a “Cardinal Newman Mom”, my mother has been a dedicated teacher at the school for more than twenty years. She has a passion and love of teaching that rivals my passion and love for raising cattle and making beef. As both “faculty” and “mom” she has been intrinsically involved in the planning of this athletic celebration for almost a year now.
As a three sport high school state finalist, I am supposed to be in Florida attending the celebration. The phone conversation where I had to tell my mom that I was not going to be able to attend was a painful one. I know that she was terribly disappointed and, as a daughter, that I let her down. She was my biggest athletic “fan”, and spent years getting up at 4:30 in the morning to drive me across town to swimming practice until I got my driver’s license. She always supported me and never complained. I do not remember her ever missing a swimming, cross country or track meet. As my own children begin their athletic careers, I am beginning to have a better understanding and appreciation of the unselfish and constant support that I received from my mom.
I wean calves at the feed yard in October and November. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that freshly weaned calves are “high maintenance”. Offering them the supportive care that they need to remain healthy and thrive during this time of stress is just plain hard work. I will go sixty days straight of being at the feed yard at just after 6:00am, and my days will be long. I purchase, receive, exercise, vaccinate, and ensure that my calves receive the proper feed and care…
My youngest daughter blessed us with her presence four weeks early on October 24, 2004. I am convinced that she came early because she was tired of receiving and caring for cattle…She is a smart kid and figured out that the only way that she was going to get my attention during “weaning time” at the feed yard was to be born. To this day, she tells everyone (with a very solemn face) that she has to share her birthday with the calves at the feed yard.
I am truly thankful to my family for the sacrifices that they make in order for me to be the Boss Lady at a cattle feed yard. I could not offer my calves such a high quality level of care without the support of my family. I could not offer you, the consumer of my beef, a great tasting and humanely raised beef product without the support of my family.
In honor of my mom and my daughters, I would like to share a favorite recipe with you. This was my favorite meal as a kid (it’s still one of my favorites), and my kids would tell you that it is one of their favorites as well. I do not know where the recipe originated from, so I am going to name it after my mom…
Sally’s Amazing Hamburger Cassarole
1# ground beef
½ chopped onion
1 can tomato soup
1 cup water
1 bag uncooked noodles (I use whole wheat macaroni)
1 Bar Grated Cheddar Cheese
In a large electric frying pan, brown hamburger and onion. Drain grease if necessary. Turn down the heat to just hotter than simmer temperature and add tomato soup, water, and a little bit of pepper. Mix together until the soup and water are blended with the burger and onion. Add uncooked noodles, stir and cover the pan. Cook until the noodles are partially done mixing periodically. (The mixture should bubble but be careful not to scorch the bottom—you may need to add a little bit of additional water to ensure that the mixture does not go dry while cooking the noodles.) Place in a casserole dish and top with cheese (I put half the hamburger mix in the casserole and then put a layer of cheese in the middle before adding the rest). Bake in a 325-350 degree oven (depending on your altitude) for 30-45 minutes. If you choose to double the meat, then you need to double the amount of tomato soup and add extra water.