A snowy winter, complete with howling winds and sub-zero temperatures. That Kansas weather will get you real good.
Pastures has been in a battle with Mother Nature these last couple months. First, gotta keep those mama cows comfortable and healthy. Rolling out extra alfalfa and hay bales, distiller grains, along with protein and mineral, gives these cows just enough extra fuel to stay warm in these frigid temps. Supplementing with extra feed is especially important when snow or ice covers the ground, since grazing is no longer an option.
The mamas aren’t his only concern though. This time of year, we are welcoming new calves into the world, too. Similar to their mamas, the calves need food for energy and warmth. At all hours then, Pastures is out checking on calves to be sure they have been licked dry and are nursing on the mama. If one isn’t, that calf is scooped up, warmed in the truck, given a little colostrum for an energy boost and plopped back out in the pasture to be with its mama.
There are a few other things Pastures does to keep these cow-calf pairs comfortable during the winter. First, gotta break the ice on all water tanks constantly to ensure there is access to fresh water. Second, all pastures have a wind break to protect the cows. Pastures rolls the bales and fills the feed bunks near the wind breaks in hopes the cows will bunk there for the night for extra protection.
Needless to say then, when Pastures catches a short break to run home, he is itching for a warm meal. That’s one of my roles on the farm, feeding my family. Leave your boots on the porch and hurry in, I’ve got a Midwest classic, pot pie! Hot from the oven, this meal will warm you right up. Then, back to work you go until Mother Nature decides to warm things up just a bit.
Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie
Makes 8 servings
1/2 cup butter
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup flour
4 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
16 frozen biscuits
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add vegetables and cook until tender.
- Add flour, stirring constantly to coat the vegetables and keep the flour from burning. Cook for one minute.
- Slowly add chicken broth and milk, continuing to stir constantly as the mixture thickens.
- Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer 1/2 the mixture to a foil pan to freeze for another meal.
- Top the remaining mixture in the Dutch oven with frozen biscuits.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through.