COWGIRL: Tell us about you, your life on the ranch, and your brand, Good Handle.
My family lives on the western Oklahoma high plains where we have a small cow herd. I help my husband with the business side of our direct to consumer steers, but the majority of our calves are sold every fall. We love this way of life, getting to spend a good chunk of time together, spending many hours outside and working with animals – what more could you want?
Good Handle has many different facets – we sell apparel, many people found us from our well-known Long Live the American Rancher t shirt, online courses, beef shares, and now cookbooks as well! Good Handle wears several hats, but at it’s core, it’s a western, old-fashioned brand with the cattle industry as its foundation.
COWGIRL: What inspired you to write Foundations of Beef?
I feel like Foundations of Beef is the culmination of my life into one book. I have always loved the cattle industry; I grew up near my grandparents’ small grass-finished operation and that’s what really started it. After my husband and I started dating, he taught me virtually all I know about cattle to this day. When we started selling beef shares, I noticed that the vast majority of people aren’t educated about anything when it comes to beef: different cuts, how to cook it, how to use up a share, how to utilize the whole animal. These were all things that I learned as an adult, but all things that I’m incredibly passionate about. So I decided to put that knowledge into a cookbook, to hopefully help others understand more about beef and cattle!
COWGIRL: Tell us a little bit about the book – what can readers expect to find?
There is information about beef nutrition, different cuts and how a beef is processed and broken down, how to eat nose-to-tail, how to maneuver a beef share, and over 50 beef recipes from my own kitchen, along with beautiful photography of dishes and our life!
COWGIRL: What do you wish people knew about the cattle industry or beef in general?
I wish people understood how incredible cows are. Agriculture is our umbrella term, but ranchers are really in their own category as far as how different the cattle industry is from other animal farmers. There are too many misconceptions out there and the general public really hasn’t been given a good picture of the cattle industry from individuals that have no clue about ranching. I wish there was more education out there about how nutritious beef is, how beneficial eating nose-to-tail is, and how it’s more than possible to work directly with a rancher for your beef needs. Mostly, I just wish people ate more beef!
COWGIRL: What makes you passionate about homesteading?
I think being able to raise, grow, preserve, and cook your own food is a superpower, but it’s also something that anyone can learn, no matter where they’re at in life or what their circumstances are. Food is a huge part of everyone’s life, whether we like it or not. We can look at how God designed us and the world, lean into it, and learn all we can, develop skillsets, and connect with how our food eventually lands on our plates. I think being able to connect your own dots as much as you can is a beautiful thing. The satisfaction that comes from knowing that this beef tongue taco came from a steer that we calved ourselves on our own land, raised and fed out, prepared carefully, topped with sauerkraut from the cabbage in the garden, wrapped in a sourdough tortilla from grain I milled that morning, and topped with cheese that’s been aging in my fridge for 6 weeks from my cow that I hand milked with my daughters…truly nothing compares in my book.
COWGIRL: What is your advice for someone looking to get started with homesteading?
I always tell people to start in the kitchen. You might not have land, might not have much money to invest, but virtually everyone has a kitchen and there are so many skills that can be developed while you’re waiting for that land or those funds. Learning how to ferment vegetables, pressure can, dehydrate, bake sourdough, make bone broth, and cook from scratch are all great places to start!
COWGIRL: Do you have a favorite recipe?
It would probably have to be a tie between the Short Rib Red Wine Pasta, Roasted Marrow Bones, Jalapeno Popper Flank Steak, and the Grilled Beef Heart! Though if you ask my husband, he’ll say that his is hands down the Stuffed Peppers.
COWGIRL: How can readers order a copy of the book?
Right now, it is available in an ebook digital version on the Good Handle website, goodhandle.net and will also very soon be available in a hardcover as well. I will update my followers and email list with links as soon as the hardcover is ready to go!
COWGIRL: Is there anything else you want our readers to know about you, your book, or your lifestyle?
This book is for anyone and everyone. Even if you don’t buy your beef in bulk, don’t eat nose-to-tail, or know nothing about cattle, it’s simple, easy to follow and filled with delicious and straightforward recipes. It’s great for people in all walks of life.