Although we are all appreciative for our everyday meals, sometimes we forget that even in our own country, there are many families that don’t have access to food, much less nutritious food. As part of a family owned company that places a large emphasis on recognizing the needs of our community, our team at The Double R Ranch Co. has made a diligent effort to become more involved in solving the needs of hungry children. Historically, our company has supported local foodbanks with nutritious beef as well as cash donations. More recently, many of us have been motivated to actually donate time. A cause that is dear to many of our hearts is the school backpack program. Here are some basic facts:
My family developed a more realistic sense of appreciation for what they have and what they can do to help in our community. It is heartwarming to see how much all of the children enjoyed helping others their own age.
Erin Aldinger, Double R Ranch Co. Marketing Coordinator and Customer Care Specialist, works with Jeff and Lucas Van Lith to fill backpack kits
Each of these bags are placed in a non-descript backpack to feed a child for an entire weekend
Poverty levels are on the rise due to the current economy, and too many Idaho children are hungry over the weekends. Many families rely on school meals provided by the Free and Reduced Lunch Program to feed their children, but these meals are not available on the weekends.
Throughout Idaho, teachers share stories of children returning to school on Monday after a weekend without enough to eat. Studies show that children deprived of food are more likely to become sick, have a decreased attention span, and lack the enthusiasm to learn because they are concentrating on their hunger more than learning.
The Backpack Program provides crucial nutrition and runs throughout the school year to ensure that children return to school each Monday nourished and ready to learn.
The Idaho Foodbank works in partnership with school officials to identify chronically hungry children that could benefit from the Backpack Program.
With parental permission, backpacks are distributed discreetly to participating children on Fridays or the last day of the school week. The weekend backpack weighs about six pounds and is comprised of two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and two snacks that are child-friendly, easy to prepare, and non-perishable.
Packing each of the backpack “weekend kits” is eye opening. This last week, many of us brought our families to help. Not only were the children surprised at what a nutritious meal looks like to many, but also the modest amount of food it requires to adequately feed a child over the weekend. Their level of appreciation for our daily meals skyrocketed. From all of us at the Double R Ranch Co., we hope you have the opportunity to assist with the local backpack program in your area. There is a real need in our communities and you can make a true difference just by donating time.
The daily routine of my household consists of busy schedules that revolve around work, school, sports, fitness, and social activities. With the exception of Sunday dinners and special occasions, most meals are grabbed quickly and serve the exclusive purpose of providing our bodies with energy. Our lifestyle is fairly typical of many city-dwelling families, yet quite contradictory of the lifestyle I led when I was an integral part of a very traditional Western working cattle ranch.
The extreme differences of city versus rural living are very evident to me, mainly because I was raised in a large metropolitan city. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I spent 8 years on a rural working cattle ranch in Southwestern Idaho. My life revolved around hard work, cooking and entertaining. The isolation of the ranch forced me to quickly develop better culinary skills. Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food and Wine, the Williams and Sonoma Catalog (the internet was just taking off), and the classic cookbooks became my teachers. My lists for the grocery store and local produce market were carefully organized to ensure that I had the necessary ingredients to last an entire week. Breakfast, dinner (lunch) and supper became events- they were a time for conversation that usually revolved around the day’s activities. When guests visited, I spent hours preparing meals so as to acknowledge the effort they made in traveling to the ranch. I quickly learned that while cities have an innate ability to entertain visitors, rural living teaches you to share and have pride in the more simple things, including the gift of a truly homemade meal.
Our kitchen becomes the hub of activitiy
Yesterday, while the majority of American households were fortuitous to enjoy a large turkey dinner with extended family and friends, my immediate family was celebrating the holiday with our own unique traditions. We choose to go to Payette Lake, away from distractions of our daily life, and enjoy each other’s company in the pristine mountains of Idaho. Also, Thanksgiving turkey has gone by the wayside. My addition to the family has transformed my husband’s children into emerging beef aficionados. They specially request the cap of ribeye, nicknamed by some as beef butter or beef caviar due to its richness and exclusivity. This cut is difficult to find because it must be removed from a prime rib, but luckily I have my connections! Our non-traditional holiday might be different than the norm, but it shares some similarities with the traditional Western lifestyle I very much enjoyed. It is our time to enjoy together without external distraction. For a few short winter days, our kitchen becomes a central hub of activity and I am able to brush off my culinary skills and once again share the gift of cooking with those I care about.
VIKING COOKING SCHOOL: PART TWO
Ready to Sear!
As I mentioned in my last post, last week Double R Ranch Co. was featured at the Viking Cooking School in Salt Lake City. While the course was about “Everything you wanted to know about beef”, Rebecca also prepared wonderful sided dishes. The menu was extremely simple and very popular. All of the recipes are posted in our recipe section at thedoublerranch.com.
Double R Ranch Tenderloin Roast with Salt Parings
Fresh Spinach Salad with Granny Smith Apples, Craisins, Gorgonzola and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Double R Ranch Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream Sauce
Roasted Garlic Popovers
Roasted baby reds/sautéed lemon pepper asparagus
Huckleberry Kuchen with Cassis-Huckleberry Sauce & Crème Fresh
Herbed Asparagus and Potatoes
The most interesting side dish the class prepare was the horseradish cream sauce. Most of us are used to purchasing horseradish sauce from the grocery store. Rebecca taught us how to prepare “fresh” sauce using grated horseradish. The flavor was reminiscent of store brands, but the consensus was that it was much milder and extremely succulent with the ribeye roast. This can be prepared quickly and adds a special touch to your table!
Horseradish Cream Sauce
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Fresh Horseradish-Mild yet succulent!
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld. Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.
All of us here at the Double R Ranch Co. are pleased to finally share our storefront with you! This brief excerpt from our first issue of Concho Magazine explains a bit more about the passion behind the storefront:
Increasingly, all of us find our days filled with chaotic schedules and little time for enjoying the company of family and friends. It seems like our relationships have been digitized, compliments of text messages, emails, and social networks. Connecting with friends and family has never been rarer, and therefore more valuable.
In contrast, ranchers still make a habit of sitting down with loved ones and friends to share the day’s events while enjoying home-made meals. The Double R Ranch Co. family would like to bring a piece of this lifestyle to your home.
To begin with, our beef is hand selected and perfectly aged just for you. In addition, we have searched for the perfect cookware and accompaniments to compliment each meal. Finally, the Double R Ranch Co. family has worked with chefs and experts to answer the culinary questions that often make cooking and entertaining complicated.
We want you to enjoy quality time with your family and friends over a great meal. Double R Ranch Co. values the relationships that are forged as a result of our Western culture and we wish to share this important part of our heritage with you.
Again, welcome to theDoubleRRanch.com! We hope you will join us regularly on the Concho Blog, and happy shopping!