By: Laura Gorecki
Easter holds many traditions for my family and they both start and end at the dinner table. Prior to the holiday, we dye the traditional boiled eggs using non-traditional items, such as rubber cement and shaving cream. Every year, our kitchen table receives a new splash of color from the dyes. On Easter morning, the kids wake up extra early to find what the bunny left them in their baskets before church. We all attend mass together and take our annual family picture because we don’t dress up in our Easter duds very often! Finally, we gather around the dinner table with our family for an Easter feast.
For many families across America, ham is the centerpiece of the Easter meal and our family is no exception. We also have deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, and peach pie. However, none of this would be possible without our farm families. As important as Easter traditions are to my own farm family, the tradition of caring for our livestock is even more important. Our Easter feast will have to wait if a sow is having difficulty giving birth or the water hydrant has broken. Farmers work around the clock to ensure the safety and comfort of their livestock and often don’t get credit for all that they do. So please, remember the farm families as you sit down to Easter dinner with your own family. In fact, make thanking a farmer your new Easter tradition.
By: Leanna Gubbels
Have you ever thought about how difficult it would be to celebrate Easter without the influence of agriculture? Even though the Christian holiday of Easter is now more commercialized, it began as being very religious and involved a variety of agricultural resources to make such a feast possible.
When one thinks of Easter, how can you forget about Easter eggs? Eggs became an important part of Easter since people were fascinated how something so alive could emerge from something that appeared to be dead (just as Jesus rose from the tomb according to Christian belief.) For this reason, eggs were given as gifts, collected for Easter feasts, and shared with the less-fortunate. The tradition of coloring eggs also is thanks to agriculture since the dyes came from vegetables. These decorated eggs held symbolic and religious meanings to those who made and received them.
The lamb is a symbol of Jesus who, according to Christian belief, was risen from the dead on Easter. This is how the lamb became a traditional Easter meal in ancient times. The more common meal that can be found at an Easter meal is that of some sort of pork dish. Pork is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. This is why people put money into a “piggy-bank” and in Europe, charms of pigs are worn for luck (shamrocks don’t receive all the credit.)
At my family’s Easter gatherings, we always have scalloped potatoes and ham or honey glazed pork roast. We look forward to these meals almost as much as the Easter egg hunt (with eggs from our own chickens-brown ones can be harder to dye.) One thing that makes it even more special was that it was usually pork from a pig we raised right here on our farm so our entire family got together before Easter to butcher and prepare the meat. Completed our entrees with home-grown vegetables makes all the food so much better knowing that your hard work from the past year could amount to something so wonderful and delicious that brings so many people together. So as you get ready to celebrate Easter this year, thank a farmer for all that he or she has provided you with to bring your family together for such a beautiful holiday.
By: Andrea Konecky
Hello, All! My name is Andrea Konecky from Wahoo, Nebraska. I am a freshman at Wayne State College studying Pre-Nursing. I am a third generation dairy farmer at Beauty View Farm! I know what you’re all thinking, “This girl is in the wrong place!” I may be a dairy girl at heart but I have a strong passion for agriculture and all that it entails!
I heard about the Pork Mentoring Program from my sister, Melisa, who was a Mentor in the 2011 class. Melisa was a Counselor for the NAYC (Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council). The NAYC hosts a week-long summer institute at the UNL campus for juniors and seniors in high school interested in agriculture! I was lucky enough to meet Kyla Wize at this institute – as she was promoting the pork industry! Later in the fall, I got the e-mail saying I was eligible to apply for this year’s mentoring class! I didn’t know if my dairy background would quite fit in, but I knew it was a chance to ‘agvocate’ and educate others while I learned more myself!
I am excited and anxious to get this year under way and work with my fellow mentors that have been chosen! After attending the first meeting, there is no doubt that this will be an experience I will not forget – and a successful one at that! This program offers so many opportunities that people my age don’t always get such as: certain job shadowing experiences, working at a food bank, attending various promotional activities as well as getting to create networks within the agriculture industry! I can’t wait to learn more so I can start educating my peers about the importance of pork and what it can do for us!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, butterflied
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 green onion, chopped
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
cayenne, to taste
Use a meat mallet to pound each butterflied chop to 1/4-inch thickness. Combine 2 tablespoons flour, salt and black pepper in shallow dish. Use fork to beat together egg and water in another shallow dish. Place bread crumbs in third shallow dish. Dip pork chop in the flour mixture, turning to coat. Dip in the egg mixture, turning to coat; dip in the bread crumbs, turning to coat. Lay coated pork chop on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining pork chops.
For mushroom cream sauce, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook mushrooms and green onion in hot butter until tender. Stir together chicken broth and the 1 tablespoon flour in small bowl; stir into mushroom mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook 1 minute more. Stir in heavy cream, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, nutmeg and ground red pepper. Heat through. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
Melt another 1 tablespoon of butter in large skillet over medium heat. Cook 2 coated pork chops in hot butter for 3-4 minutes or until brown and tender, turning once. Remove to serving platter. Cover to keep warm. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Cook remaining pork chops in hot butter for 3-4 minutes or until brown and tender, turning once. To serve, spoon mushroom cream sauce over pork chops.
Make these chops to star in your family’s next dinnertime production. Serve with sauteed mixed vegetables and good fresh bread.
Calories: 521 calories
Protein: 31 grams
Fat: 36 grams
Sodium: 560 milligrams
Cholesterol: 195 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 18 grams
Carbohydrates: 17 grams
Fiber: 1 grams
Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com