Fort Wayne – Heidi Bidlack lives on a farm in rural Steuben County with her husband, Doug, and their five children: Luke, 18; Gina, 15; Andrew, 13; Eli, 11; and Samuel, 8. Everyone works together at the family business, Glory Farms (www.gloryfarms.com), raising and selling 100 percent grass-fed beef and poultry.
I think we’ve been doing the farm four years. We started selling chickens first, and in about 2009, we started selling grass-fed beef. We butcher our own chickens. We do it in the summer. We do two batches of organic (chickens). We’re doing more organics next year, says Bidlack, 53.
The business sells to customers as far away as Indianapolis, Chicago and the Ann Arbor-Detroit area.
Our meat has more Omega 3’s. It’s grass-fed, not grain-fed. It also has the good cholesterol in it, she says.
Bidlack says they sell their chickens and produce at the Farmer’s Market in Angola each Saturday during the summer.
It’s from 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday from May through October, she says. My husband makes pancakes and sausage for breakfast there on the grill, and for lunch he does something with beef, vegetables and a fruit. He grills watermelon and peaches. It gets people to our booth. The kids help, too.
Bidlack says she creates meals at home using produce from their garden, as well as the beef and poultry they raise, and milk from their one milk cow. She tries not to use sugar and buys grains to bake her own bread.
Commenting on the size of the bread slices, Gina jokingly says, The stuff she makes doesn’t fit in the toaster.
We use a lot of honey and maple syrup, adds Bidlack.
We buy honey from a man in Bronson, Mich. We tap our own trees, gather the syrup, take it to friends and they boil it. They get half of it.
In describing her cooking style, Bidlack says, I use it all, I guess. I’m not stuck with one type (of cooking). I like variety. If I don’t like something in a recipe, I’ll change it. If a recipe calls for tomatoes, I leave those out. I’m the only one that likes tomatoes.
Q. What’s your favorite cookbook?
A. The recipes I gave you are from this cookbook, Two Sisters by Danielle and Lindsay Voeller. The opossum recipe is not from that. I just made that up.
Q. If you were stuck on an island, what’s one food you would have to have?
A. It’s a toss-up between steak and chicken.
Q. Who’s your cooking idol?
A. Probably my mom, Rosalie Bowerman of Angola. If I ever need to know anything, I say, Mom.
Q. What’s your favorite cooking utensil?
A. It’s a black utensil (Mix N Chop) that cuts up hamburger, and my mom bought it for me from Pampered Chef.
Q. What’s something people would not find in your refrigerator?
A. Oh, I know, store-bought maple syrup (or store-bought milk), because they add corn syrup in the maple syrup.
1 (5- to 6-pound) whole chicken
Salt, to taste
Preheat oven for 20 minutes to 475 degrees. Place seasoned chicken, breast down, in a large cast-iron skillet. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Flip chicken over and bake another 20 minutes. Continue to turn every 20 minutes throughout baking. Bake a total of 1 hour or until done. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
‘Opossum’ Pot Pie
1 (5- to 6-pound) whole chicken, cooked and cut up
8 to 10 potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
2 (10 1/2 -ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
6 to 8 slices of Swiss cheese
1 (6-ounce) box of chicken stuffing, prepared according to box instructions
Combine chicken, mashed potatoes and cream of chicken soup. Place in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place slices of Swiss cheese over the entire potato mixture. Spread stuffing over cheese and bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
8 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix apples with maple syrup, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Pour mixture into the greased pan. In a small bowl, combine oats and 1 cup whole-wheat flour. With your hands or a pastry blender, work in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1/2 cup honey and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; mix well. Spread evenly over apple mixture. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Makes 6 servings.