Cowboy approved recipes used by our favorite country cooks.
In the kitchen with Darla Eggers, Sydenstricker Genetics - Mexico, Mo.
Where did you learn to cook?
"My mom is a fantastic cook and hostess. My parents entertained a lot, so my brother and I were exposed to not just cooking, but the whole experience – planning the menu (appetizer, meal, dessert, etc.), setting the table, organizing the event, and hosting. It was instilled in us that food not only nourishes the body, but the soul. Food celebrates, mourns, uplifts, comforts, welcomes, and relaxes and when shared, it tells the recipient that you care about them. My grandmother and a 4-H project leader were big influences, too."
What is your favorite thing to make?
"I enjoy cooking and baking a variety of things. We like to try new dishes and flavors. Sometimes it’s a recipe I saw (and could find again when I wanted to make it) or more often than not, it’s a creation with ingredients I can remember from the recipe I can’t find or it’s an adaptation of an old favorite. Ben’s rating system on a new dish or recipe is 1) I could eat this once a week or so – translation, it’s a keeper; 2) Maybe every couple months – it’s okay, but needs tweaked to move to the keeper pen; or 3) once a year – that’s a definite cull."
What is your favorite cooking tip/trick?
"In the summer, I love to grow my own herbs. I have pots of basil (fresh pesto is THE best!), rosemary, chives, mint, and oregano by the back door, so snipping some to throw in a dish is super easy and fresh herbs are SO good. Disposable plastic gloves make fixing meatloaf, truffles, peanut butter balls, anything made with your hands SO much easier. Cookie scoops are perfect for portioning batter in muffin tins or making truffles. Also, a well-stocked pantry of the essentials – I’m never without basics that make it easy to throw something together on the fly – think cream of mushroom soup, tomato sauce, broth, cream, parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, dried basil, garlic and minced onion, rice, and a couple varieties of pasta."
Tell us about yourself.
"I was raised on a traditional Midwestern family farm in Northwest Missouri – Angus cattle, pigs, wheat, corn, and soybeans. I was active in 4-H and Junior Angus growing up and hold a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Missouri. I worked at GlenKirk Farms and the American Hereford Journal before I married Ben, and moved to Mexico, Mo. I spent 14 years as the director of communications of Missouri Pork Producers Association and nine years as executive director of Missouri’s Cattleman Foundation. I am currently the farm secretary for Sydenstricker Genetics, where Ben is the manager, and we have a small herd of Angus cattle. We are both active in the local, state, and national Cattlemen’s Association and Missouri and American Angus Association (Ben is a past AAA President) and I currently serve as secretary of the Missouri Angus Association and was recently selected to serve on the Angus Foundation Board of Directors."
17th Annual SydGen Influence Sale - April 12, 2022 - New Cambria, Mo.
44th Annual Production Sale - November 19, 2022 - Mexico, Mo.
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