Menu Plan – December 16, 2019

man surrounded by sheep
Photo by Ekrulila on

Traditionally, shepherd’s pie was made the Greek way, with ground lamb. Over time, people began substituting other meats for the lamb, mostly ground beef or pork. I suppose that lamb, in some parts of the world, might be harder to come by. Where we live in Michigan, we don’t always find it in the grocery stores and when we do, it’s very expensive. On the homestead, we are planning to acquire a couple of lambs sometime in the spring. We hope to raise and breed them, mostly to sell some lambs and, more importantly, to raise meat for the family.

Another way that shepherd’s pie has morphed over time is that the traditional mashed potatoes have been found to be “carb heavy” and people are now substituting mashed cauliflower for the potatoes. I have seen where some people sub in mashed sweet potatoes or even butternut squash for the white potatoes.

My thoughts are that whatever suits your palate (or your gut) is what you should use. There is no right or wrong way to make your shepherd’s pie. My family is a blend of French and German ancestry. We were brought up to love pork and rich foods. My husband’s family is mostly British with some Native American thrown in.

Honestly, my husband loves anything but has a huge fondness for sweets. These days, he has found that he needs to lay off of carbohydrates quite a bit. One way we will do that with the shepherd’s pie is to replace the mashed potatoes with cauliflower. We won’t be using ground lamb, but will be using grass fed ground beef instead. Any peas that go into the dish will be my own homegrown frozen peas. They will be used sparingly and green beans, along with some carrots, will be thrown into the mix.

On another note, our third son turns 26 tomorrow. We let our children decide what to eat for their birthday suppers. Evan loves Sicilian Supper. We will have another pan of it ready for the hubby (and me) that replaces the egg noodles with zucchini noodles. Last summer I froze a LOT of them. So, here’s the week’s plan. Feel free to link your own menu plan in the comment section.


Roast Beef (in slow cooker)

Baked Potatoes (for those not on a low carb diet)

Roasted Carrots (with the beef in the slow cooker)

Green Beans


Sicilian Supper


Cake and ice-cream for those who can have it


Vegetable Beef Soup




Pizza – pizza bowl without crust for hubby


Low-carb Shepherd’s Pie


Everyone on their own

The Trouble with Raising Farm Animals

IMG_20191208_154315749Let’s face it: raising animals can be a real learning experience for the young and old alike.

A few days ago, we lost a beautiful rooster and a year old wethered goat, all within a 24 hour span. What caused that to happen? We don’t really know. We keep the goats separate from the chickens and are very careful not feed our wethered goats any grains, as this can cause considerable harm. The rooster was less than a year old and the goat was just a year.

As for the rooster, a Speckled Sussex: he had no blood or markings on him to indicate that something got in the pen and killed him. We never noticed any of the chickens to be sick and they are all healthy today. The rooster was heavy, not at all as if he had not been eating.

The goat also seemed to be very healthy. He was happy and healthy one day and gone the next.

We might never know what the problem was, but we have taken measures to try to prevent anything like this from happening again, especially with the goats. As we suspect grain to be the issue with the goat, we now watch him more closely when we allow him out of the barn and free ranging, so to speak. The chicken run is fully enclosed, but we do have quail and pheasant pens that sometimes have spilled grains around them.

Why do we allow the goats to roam a little in the backyard? We do this because they are very social animals and they want to be near us. They follow us everywhere and we sort of like their company as well. Also, we have a lot of white pine trees, which the goats love and are very healthy for them. The pine needles are a natural antibiotic, as is oregano (The chickens get oregano every now and then. I like to mix dehydrated oregano in their feed in the winter when they cannot get fresh). When using the needles, however, it is just like everything else. Don’t overdo or you will be doing more harm than good.

Losing animals on the farmstead is something that is going to happen. When it does, it smarts a bit. Still, it’s a reality of life and we must take the hard stuff with the fun and easy.

And hopefully we’ll learn a little bit more about how to prevent future accidents as we go along.

Welcome to Life-Springs-Farm!

Menu Plan – Dec. 1, 2019

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

Welcome to Life-Springs-Farm’s website and blog. I will try to update the blog often, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Every week, I make a menu plan for our family’s suppers. Yes, we are from the Midwest and we call dinner “supper”. If you also make menu plans, feel free to post a link to yours in the comment section. Since we are coming off of a heavy, Thanksgiving meal with tons of leftovers, I am incorporating a little bit of that in our meals this week. As it is winter now with its full wrath (we are in the midst of a winter storm as I type – 10 to 12 inches of snow and ice expected before tomorrow morning), slow cooked comfort food is also on the menu. And then, since we have tons of sweet cherries still in the freezer, an easy cherry cheesecake would be great. Talk to you soon!


  • Warming Vegetable Soup
  • Cornbread
  • Cherry Cheesecake


  • Turkey Alfredo
  • Tossed Salad


  • Baked Beans
  • Tossed Salad
  • Home Canned Peaches



  • Pizza


  • Pork Steak
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Zucchini and Sugar Snap Pea Saute


  • Everybody on Their Own



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