Holidays Growing Up on the Willis Family Farm

stamping-paper-Dec-1024x768 Growing up, we wrapped all of our Christmas presents in newspaper. My mother insisted for several reasons:

  1. It was cheaper than buying wrapping paper
  2. It was an easy way to recycle the newspaper cutting down on waste
  3. It was fun

You might think it wouldn’t be as beautiful, but we take pride in decorating our newspaper. We make it really special by stamping our own Christmas designs all over. We created our own stamper by carving potatoes. I usually carved a Christmas tree or snowman. This is still a good idea – Sophia loves doing crafts like this.

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Football Food Favorites from Uncle Rich – Part 2

With the football season in full swing and the weather a bit cooler, Uncle Rich is eager to use quick and easy grill recipes that are sure to please the crowds. This one was created with simplicity in mind – all you have to do is marinade the meat and voila! Delicious skewers.

Be sure to marinate these as directed, not overnight – it really makes a difference. The thin pieces of marinated meat cook in a jiff so you don’t have to miss a single pass or play!

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Winter on the Farm

nimanranch-339-1024x768Each season on the farm is different,year to year, region to region, based on anything from weather to corn prices and which of the kids is going to college. Here is some insight as to what some of our independent family hog farmers do when the fields fall dormant. You can be sure they keep very busy.

Many in the Midwest were hit with an early November snowfall that postponed harvest. Luckily, it warmed up enough to finish the harvest. December has been mild and fairly dry thus far, but farmers will not easily forget last winter’s record-breaking low temperatures. They’ll have to keep an eye out for frozen water sources to keep the hogs hydrated as the season progresses.

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The How’s and Why’s of Dry Aging Meat

There’s nothing quite like biting into a juicy, flavor-filled steak. It’s something that any meat lover longs to enjoy for dinner, and something that apparently gets better the longer you wait.  The process of aging meat requires an ample amount of patience, both with wet aging and dry aging, but this patience adds an undeniable amount of flavor and texture to any cut.

Many of our distributors and chefs are into dry aging, but the practice has been a mystery to many, both the method and meaning. You’ll find that a dry aged cut of steak is far more expensive than your average steak, which is due to the meticulous care that goes into the lengthy process. This great article by Eater Dallas sheds light on what incredible things Chef John Tesar is doing at Knife in Dallas, TX with Niman Ranch beef. Also check out this video put together last year by Bon Appetit about DeBragga & Spitler in New York, another one of our partners who dry age our beef. We’re a big fan of what they’re both doing to bring you the finest tasting meat in the world.

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