~ MARCH 2009 ~
Get your Irish on.

Pinch yourself over these offerings: Irish bangers (small link pork sausages, lightly seasoned) and traditional corned beef, sliced or whole to carve yourself. Ranch Foods Direct has all the ingredients for a Reuben sandwich: Shawn’s rye bread, sliced Swiss cheese, natural German sauerkraut and plump dill pickles in several mouthwatering flavors.
The Recipe Box

Show some emerald style. St. Patrick’s Day makes this the month to enjoy hearty Irish-themed dishes. CLICK HERE.
Spring Things

The spring equinox (when the days lengthen to the point that they are virtually equal with the night) falls on Friday, March 20, which is also officially considered Ag Day. PLUS, it’s time again for the annual Restaurant Expo and Culinary Competition at the Broadmoor Hotel. CLICK HERE for details.

Yes we can… meat

Ranch Foods Direct hosted a meat canning class on Saturday, Feb. 28, featuring the talents of home canner Rachel Zimmerman. “It was a great class,” says owner Mike Callicrate. “The food was outstanding.”

The session concluded with a delicious meal of homemade beef and noodles. During the 75-minute break while the jars of meat were in the pressure cooker, Rachel demonstrated a simple recipe for homemade noodles. Mix together two cups of flour and two eggs (or possibly three depending on their size), knead it into a nice dough and let it stand for a few minutes, roll it out and feed it into the pasta machine. Then boil the fresh noodles until tender. A pasta maker — which greatly enhances the process — costs about $100, but Mike Callicrate says any customer is welcome to come in and use the store’s machine to make noodles for use at home. (Consider making some to use in the corned beef and noodle casserole dish featured in this month’s recipe box.)

Next canning demo March 28

Retail manager Kindra Dale and Rachel Zimmerman plan to demonstrate beef stew canning at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 28. Anyone is welcome to attend the session free of charge. Just come by the store. Also in the works: local baker Shawn Saunders has offered to a lead a bread-making session sometime in the future and Ed from The Barbeque Mercantile (click here) has offered to do a meat smoking demo. Stay tuned!

Flour sacks filled with stone ground goodness   

Starting this month, Ranch Foods Direct will stock certified organic and Kosher wheat flour from Heartland Mill, a small family-run specialty flour grinder set in the midst of Western Kansas wheat fields. Owned by a group of industrious small farmers, they supply some of the region’s finest bakeries with a wide range of exceptional flours ground on natural stone. To visit their beautiful website and learn more about their business and products, CLICK HERE.

Eat in and eat well with home service —

Did you

The number of cattle herds in this country has declined by almost half since 1980. The U.S. public knows what it’s like to be dependent on foreign oil. But worries are growing that our nation is becoming increasingly dependent on foreign food.

Spring brings
new calves

Spring means calving season throughout the area. Ranch Foods Direct welcomed its first black Wagyu calf in mid- February with many more to come.

Charles Walters

A tribute to a man with a mission

The Kansas City Star wrote a much- deserved tribute to sustainable farming advocate Charles Walters, a talented writer, publisher and thinker who believed in “raw materials economics” — that is, that real wealth comes from tangible assets like the land with its ability to produce food. Charles Walters was a warm, kind and gentle spirit, in addition to being brilliantly keen and insightful.

He was probably best known for founding ACRES U.S.A., the newspaper that became “A Voice for Eco- Agriculture.” In 1995, he joked "I didn't have the money to buy a paper, so I started one. I wanted the freedom that went with making my own decisions without the blessings of higher approved authority." As a result, his voluminous writings — books, articles and interviews — conveyed a uniquely thoughtful and compelling voice that spoke with a fresh slant on many food and agriculture issues.

CLICK HERE to read the tribute published in the KC Star.

“Economic development according to the USDA is a job for a bankrupt farmer. Is that community development? Community development would be where farmers receive a fair price for what they produce, and have the money to spend on Main Street, at independent, locally owned businesses that generate a 7-times multiplier effect in that community, and generate the wealth that is critical for the survival of this entire nation. That’s community development.”

— Mike Callicrate speaking to Charles Walters seven years ago this month

CLICK HERE for Charles Walters’ full interview with Ranch Foods Direct founder and owner Mike Callicrate, written for ACRES U.S.A. back in 2002. All the topics raised between the two men are still as timely today.

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”  — An old proverb


... Your local source of natural beef, poultry, buffalo,
pork, lamb, eggs, wild seafood, deli meats
and cheeses, meals and more!

Member, Peak to Plains Alliance (www.peaktoplains.com)

Store and Meat Plant
2901 N. El Paso, Colorado Springs 80907
Retail Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday
(719) 473-2306 or 1-866-866-6328

Mike Callicrate, Owner

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