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Food is very important to me.  Being brought up in a big Italian family I can remember being at my Aunt Frances for the holidays.  Not only did we have a full American dinner but about 2 hours later she would bring out pasta with Italian tomato sauce, meatballs, and every Italian food you can imagine. When I got married and started having the holidays it was very hard to have a holiday with out over cooking.

I love food and I love good food and so does my family.  Why should one eat something that is not good for you when there are so products that are available that are good for you.? This is the main reason I launched the line of sauces that include Marina’s Cranberry Chutney, Marina’s Italian Tomato Sauce and Big John’s BBQ Sauce.  Sauces should compliment your food and not over power it.  I hope that you will one day enjoy the foods that I have prepared and let me know what you think.

Do you ever obsess about food?  I sure do!! I moved from NJ to MO and I have to say that I am obsessed about food that Springfield, MO does not have.  I dream about pizza, Origins Restaurant in Somerville, NJ and deli sandwiches.  I miss Steck’s deli on the Somerville Circle and Randazzo’s on 202 in Raritan, NJ.

Why does one obsess about food?  It is very easy when you no longer can walk into a deli and get rare Roast Beef on Rye Bread with spicy mustard.  When there is no Italian Salumaria where you can get prosciutto with mozzarella with Roasted Red Peppers.  When you can’t pick up the phone and order a pizza.  Pizza like you are used to in NJ or NY City does not exist in the Midwest.  I dream about the crunch and goo of a good pizza.

When I fly back to NJ a few times a year the first thing I do is buy a slice of pizza and go out to dinner to Origins.  Springfield, MO has hundreds of restaurants and I have to admit that there is never a shortage of good food.  I just wish that there was pizza and a deli.  A girl can only wish!!  And they do say that dreams can come true.

From the last farrowing we had a little gilt runt.  She was so little that she was not able to feed, so we took her and hand fed her for the last few weeks.  I was feeding her every three to four hours and even got up at 2:00 and 5:00 in the morning for her early morning feedings.  Here I thought that with my 2 children married 2:00 am feedings were over!!

When my daughter came to visit she fell in love with Bugh-Bugh.  Sounds like a very weird name, but she answers to that name.  She jumps up on your leg and comes right over when you call her name.  Pigs are smarter than dogs and I think they are right about that.  She is only 5 weeks old and she follows you around with like a little puppy and she listens.

Fathers Day, Graduation Party, Party on the Beach, Family Reunion.  What do all these days have in common?  BBQ’s?  What could be easier than Baby Rack ribs?

Serves 4-6 people.

2-Racks of Baby Back Ribs or pork ribs

Liberally salt and pepper the 2-racks.  Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  Roast in a 275 degree oven for 2-3 hours or until fork tender.  Place ribs on hot grill and slather with Big Johns BBQ sauce. Grill on both sides for 5-7 minutes. Baste with BBQ sauce as needed.  Serve with extra sauce on the side.  Enjoy!!

Big Johns BBQ sauce is available at YOUR Commercial Kitchen in Springfield, MO or on our website at http://www.circlebranchpork.com.  We ship anywhere in the US.

Ozarks farm provides consumers with a taste of the farm with homemade sauces at upcoming event

Circle B Ranch “Fresh from the Ozarks” will launch a line of homemade sauces on May 24, 2011 at 4:00 P.M. at Your Commercial Kitchen, as part of a Springfield Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting event.

“I will be sampling my line of sauces including, Marina’s Cranberry Chutney, Marina’s Tomato Sauce, Big John’s Homemade BBQ Sauce,” said Marina Backes, of Circle B Ranch in Seymour, Mo.  “Mini Pork Sliders with Cole Slaw, Brie with Cranberry Chutney on a French Baguette and freshly tossed pasta with Marina’s tomato sauce, chiffonade of basil and grated Parmesan cheese are all on the menu.”

Circle B Ranch is a family owned business that will be producing sauces that will compliment their line of heritage pork products the farm will make available fall 2011.

“Raising our heritage pork the natural way – pasture raised and without antibiotics and no additional hormones – provides consumers with a superior pork product that is fresh in taste, darker in color with higher moisture content and reflects tenderness after cooking,” said Marina.

Your Commercial Kitchen is located in the Savannah Plaza, 3433 S. Campbell, Suite C in Springfield, Mo.

Following the ribbon cutting event an open house will run through 6:00 P.M. and Circle B Ranch and other small businesses that operate from the kitchen will provide guests with samples of their homemade products to the public.

Below find one of the recipes that will be served at the event using one of Circle B Ranch’s sauces.

Penne with Marina’s Italian Pasta Sauce
1 lb of penne pasta
1-32 oz container of Marina’s Italian Pasta Sauce
Basil
Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a rolling boil.  Add salt if desired.  Add penne and bring water to a boil.  Cook until “al dente” about 8-9 minutes. Drain. Heat Marina’s Italian Pasta Sauce and pour over the penne.  Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. Add a freshly tossed salad and Italian bread and you have an easy dinner for 4 people.

Sitting by the fire on a Saturday night.  It is really cool out for a May evening. I thought it would be a good time to tell everyone about the range huts and the farrowing huts that John and Terry constructed for the pigs.

There are many ways to build a range hut and farrowing huts for pigs and hogs.  John chose to go the “last” forever way.  He made the range huts out of 6″ pipe for the base and the 1/2 hoops with bent pipe. They are all welded and bolted together.  I would say they are definitely tornado proof.  John feels that all animals should have a condo to live in.

The farrowing huts are hand made by our neighbor Terry.  He constructs them out of wolmanized wood and metal roofing material.  Terry even takes them to a contractor to have insulation blown in.  The insulation makes them warm in the cool weather and cool in the warm weather.

The proper farrowing and living quarters make for very happy and non stressed pigs which makes for better mothers to their piglets.  As I have said in the past it really is fun to watch the pigs socialize, play amongst each other and listen to their moms call for them to nurse.

Life is good in Missouri.  It is Saturday night before Mother’s day and John and I just finished with dinner.  Delicious sauteed spinach with garlic and shallots, Japanese yams and Pork Chops.  John and I love good, wholesome food and we are very passionate about the food we eat.  We feel that the way animals are born, bred and raised are important to the taste of the meat.

We now have 35 piglets, and they are happy and healthy.  The sows took them out into the pasture today and they showed them how to get into the wallow.  It was hysterical to watch 20+ run around the field.  One sow even took her piglets under a tree to nurse. You have to be so impressed by nature.  I walk back and forth to the nursery field a dozen times a day just to watch the antics of the mothers and the piglets.  (our pond is in the background).

Barney and Barry the boars are with the other gilts.  We will have Berkshire, Berkshire/Duroc mix and Berkshire/Red Wattle mix in a few months.  It will be really busy then.  I have to say that coming from New Jersey from Staten Island, NY life on a farm is very different than our life in NJ.  For one thing we were not responsible for so many little animals.  It is fun to watch the piglets grow and watch the sows take care of them.