Cowboy approved recipes used by our favorite country cooks.
In the kitchen with Teresa Voss, Voss Angus of Dexter, Iowa.
Tell us about yourself.
I currently help out in many ways in our businesses. But if you’ve been to our sale, then most of you know me as Brent’s first wife! Not sure how many husbands introduce their wives like that, but he’s a special one I’ll admit! I’ve said multiple times, “Don’t you dare introduce me as your first wife!” He looks at me on the block with a grin on his face and there he goes...LOL. Most people know it’s coming and cannot wait to watch my reaction, there are usually lots of laughs. We’ve been married for 30 years so it’s all good! When I’m not taking care of our businesses and kids, I’m the farm hand/family cook.
It’s definitely a family run operation from the concrete side of things (Voss Concrete) to the farming side of things (Voss Angus). As most of you know Brent and I have six kids. Yes, I said six!
First there is Brant, age 30, and his wife, Kassidy; they are expecting a baby in February. Brant helps Brent day-to-day with our concrete business. But we mainly like him on the farm side. He does all our spraying, drying, hauling, and cattle help. He’s usually seen in the back during the sale helping move cattle. Kassidy helps in the kitchen during sales and then on the block behind me so when I get flustered with numbers, I’ve always got her as my backup!
Next is Victoria, age 29, along with her husband, Tyler, and son, Oliver, age 4. Victoria does all of Voss Concrete now with Brent and you’ll see her in the office on sale day with Tyler.
Bryton, age 26, and his wife, Arianna, have three children: daughter, Brylee, age 5; son, Weston, age 3; and son, Ryder, 5 months. Bryton helps Brent at Voss Concrete day-to-day as well and runs one of our wall crews. You’ll see him in the ring during the sale. And Arianna is usually in the office taking bidder numbers for the sale.
Grace and Katlynn, ages 21, are obviously our twins. Grace works as our bookkeeper for our concrete pumping business and Katlynn is a teacher at a daycare in Des Moines. These two
usually are on babysitting duty for our grandkids during the sale. Alexis, age 16, is currently in high school. She keeps us busy with her travel softball team. As you can see, we keep all the kids involved in some way or another.
We also have several farm hands who are heavily involved in our farming operation as well. These are a great group of young men whom I treat as if they were my own. When we are in the fields whether it be for planting or harvest everyone knows I’m feeding them supper, no matter what.
What is your go-to meal?
I usually try to make everyone something hearty. But I’m not going to lie, the joke around here is, “It’s something with noodles!” Noodles are my go-to food if I’m running late, for example spaghetti, goulash, or mac & cheese. Those are my quick fixes for the guys, something that cooks fast but is still good!
But I will say, most of the time I do try for a good meal. Speaking of noodles, for 20 years I’ve made Brent chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes. “Thinking’’ this was his favorite food I’ve made. Then one day he told me, ‘’Mom, for 20 years you call this my favorite food and it’s really not!”
I was like, “You got to be kidding me? So, for the last 20 years I’m thinking you loved my chicken and noodles that I destroyed my counter making, burnt my fingertips pulling the chicken apart, and knew you were looking forward to?” He said, “My favorite is when you make minute steak with cream of mushroom soup over it with mashed potatoes. That’s my favorite.” I literally just stared at him in awe! So now when I still make chicken and noodles, we joke how I’m making his “favorite” for supper. With a smile over the phone, he laughs and says, “Yum, can’t wait!”
What is your most requested dish?
I’m no special cook at all, trial and error I suppose. Some foods I can make great then others the smoke alarms are going off and we’re opening the kitchen windows!
I’ve asked the guys what’s their favorite meal been that I’ve brought them. The number one answer was meatloaf with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, bread and butter. I never measure anything when making meatloaf; nothing special either, other than I only use our beef! Just buy the McCormick seasoning pouches for meatloaf and pretty much wing it with mixing up a big batch to put into loaf pans. I top with ketchup and salt and pepper to “my” taste. These guys get their food salt and peppered the way I like it.
I’d say very humbly that they like my cooking and look forward to seeing me pull into the farm fields. And they almost always get some kind of a dessert, too.
Another meal that’s requested is my Grandma Musick’s ham balls with mashed potatoes. She had a cookbook from Lucas County Memorial Hospital that all the ladies would put their recipes in. One of hers was ham balls. I think this is probably my kids’ favorite when I make them.
Although they are time-consuming to make, they always are a family crowd pleaser and I never seem to make enough of them. Honestly, I’ve lost this particular page out of the cookbook, so this is another recipe I just throw it all together and hope for the best!
Where do you get most of your recipes?
My favorite cookbooks to use are the ones that are from nursing homes, churches, schools, etc. Those are the best ones to get! I have several and I use them all the time. These are great gifts to give too. My daughters-in-law have some I’ve given them to refer to just like I do for those good meals. You can never go wrong with those recipes.
Any kitchen advice you would share with the younger generation?
If there’s any advice I could give to young wives like I was when I started cooking it is don’t be offended when your husband says, “That’s not how my mom makes it.” Or when he says, “That doesn’t taste like my mom’s.” However, I’m not saying don’t give him that look like “get out of my kitchen.” I’ve been there several times with Brent, LOL! I’ve just learned to become a better cook over the years, my cookbooks are my go-to.
If there’s any advice I could give to young men like we have working for us or like my own two sons, it is it’s probably not going to be wise to say to your wife, “That’s not how my mom makes it.” Or “That doesn’t taste like my mom’s.” Just give her 20 years then tell her what your favorite food is!
Photos courtesy Voss Angus