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JARRELL MY M

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We B u i l d C o m m u n i t y · U n i t i n g 7 6 5 3 7

FEBRUARY 2021 Family Fun, Food Trucks, & John Mueller Joint Barbecue: The Granary Has It All Page 4

“Awww” Inspiring Couples Share Their Love Stories Page 6

Hagler Ranch Longhorn Beef Delicious

(& Heart Healthy) Page 26

EXPERTISE. SERVICE. INTEGRITY. QUALITY. The Name Says It All For Jarrell's New Family Doctor


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INSIDE

FAVORITES 8

EDUCATION Superintendent Dr. Toni Hicks

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76537 LIFE Q&A About MUDs

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WHAT MAKES TEXAS “TEXAS” Cattle Ranching

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KIDS 7th Grade Renaissance Woman

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NEIGHBOR LEIGH Is it just me...?

10 ON THE COVER: Meet the compassionate and capable primary care professionals at Jarrell Medical Clinic.

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WORTH THE DRIVE Hagler Longhorn Beef

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FACTS TO BLOW YOUR MIND Heartfelt

FEATURES

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FOOD Texas Longhorn Beef Recipes

4 AROUND TOWN

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PARTING SHOT That Day it Snowed

6 VALENTINE STORIES

The Granary and John Mueller Joint Barbecue

Local couples talk love through the years.

10 JARRELL MEDICAL CLINIC

photo courtesy Hagler Ranch

photo courtesy Breianna Schneider

Dr. Ramiro Peña is Jarrell's newest family doctor

4 THE GRANARY Jarrell's Food Truck Park is open

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WORTH THE DRIVE

Make the drive for food that's good, and good for you— Hagler Ranch Longhorn Beef

26 GOOD, AND GOOD FOR YOU Texas Longhorn Beef F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1  M Y J A R R E L L M O N T H LY

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Published by Fidelis Publishing Group, LLC

CAMY REYNOLDS COMMUNITY EDITOR

PUBLISHER

Cathy Payne

Like many of the best in her craft, Cathy has a specialized degree—in her case, hard science—and a gift for writing. She found her voice and fulfilment reporting and writing news and magazine features for a regional Central Texas audience. Along with serving as the publisher of the My Jarrell Monthly, Cathy oversees multiple magazines, marketing campaigns, and books.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Ann Marie Kennon With a quarter-century of writing, reporting, and marketing behind her, Ann Marie enjoys sharing her vision and voice with a Central Texas audience. She believes being involved in and writing about local communities is the best way to show her affection and appreciation of everything Texan.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlotte Kovalchuk • Miranda Bradley • Greta Bauer GRAPHICS & DESIGN Zion Pistole • Ann Marie Kennon CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Rudy Ximenez • David Valdez • Todd White Charlotte Kovalchuk SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Jenny Campbell ACCOUNT SERVICES Debbie Tolliver ADMINISTRATION Kristina Poché DISTRIBUTION David Schumacher IT/WEBMASTER Jesse Payne CONSULTANT W. Ben Daniel ADVERTISING Jenny Campbell 254-251-9167 (Cell) 512-598-6538 (Direct) jenny@myjarrell.com My Jarrell Monthly is a Fidelis Publishing Group, LLC publication. Copyright © 2021 All rights reserved. My Jarrell Monthly is published monthly and mailed USPS, free of charge, to homes and businesses in the 76537 zip code. Mail may be sent to My Jarrell, P.O. Box 213, Jarrell, TX 76537.

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EDITOR’S NOTE I am very proud to be the Community Editor of My Jarrell Monthly magazine. Having a publication specifically dedicated to our 76537 area is extremely exciting and another indicator of Jarrell’s growth. My goal is to bring you the positive, encouraging, and informational stories that define the heart of our community. We are unique in that we have one of the fastest growing subdivisions in America, alongside families who have lived here for generations. My Jarrell Monthly will focus on the things that make our community distinctive and also unify us as one. With that in mind, we kick off this first issue with advice from some of our seasoned married couples in a nod to Valentines everywhere, and an introduction to JISD’s new Superintendent. And, as much as we love our town, we included a very healthy and hearty reason for you to visit Taylor—y’all will want to try their Longhorn beef—as soon as possible. Closer to home, The Granary will satisfy appetites of all kinds right in our own backyard. I’m also looking forward to one of our regular features, “76537 Life” where we will dive deeper into the structure and setup of our bilateral community, as well as how the different entities work.  In the coming months we will add more regular features and local experts; we will share life-hacks, and places that are worth the drive. Don’t miss “Neighbor Leigh,” who offers her take on life in 2021 with wisdom, wit, and tongue-in-cheek truth. I am extremely excited for what’s ahead and everyone at My Jarrell Monthly hopes you are too. Also, we want to hear from you! We strive to bring you rich and engaging content, so let us know what you’d like to see in the months to come.


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A ROU ND TOWN

by Camy Reynolds and Ann Marie Kennon photos by Camy Reynolds and Breianna Schneider

"No Bad Days" at The Granary

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f you have to choose just one place to eat a great meal, you may as well pick a spot that offers several great options. The Granary, so named for the grain bin planned for the property, is the home of The Bar at The Granary featuring John Mueller Joint Barbecue. The location is open and serving up a medley of refreshments and barbecue, hosts several food trucks to satisfy a variety of cravings, and will soon offer live music and other fun events. Coming from diverse professional backgrounds, owners and friends Scott and Misty Murrah, and Lynn and Cari Springfield shared a vision for a family-friendly venue that offered all of their favorite things: good food, good drinks, and good people. The Murrahs and the Springfields wanted to offer opportunities for local families and chefs to share their talents through food with the community of Jarrell, which is how the food truck park came to fruition.

HOW IT ALL STARTED The entrepreneurial group started out at another location, "but," Scott says, "as COVID continued to force changes, we found we didn't have enough space, or customers, to sustain the business. Fortunately, I am a consultant for the City of Jarrell, so when this property went up for sale, we were ready to make it happen.” He points out that the location is easily accessed from I-35, close to the city center, and central to a great deal of construction in business and residential areas. "The growth in Jarrell is unmatched anywhere else." After closing the sale in July 2020, they began transforming the grounds into an outdoor venue for up to 200 socially-distanced customers, complete with a barn wood

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and tin building refurbished with material donated by the Catholic church in Corn Hill, which lends a rich texture of local history to every meal. The namesake grain bin planned for the property, procured from a local farm, will be on the site soon to help customers identify The Granary from IH-35.

WHAT'LL YOU HAVE? The Bar at The Granary has soft drinks, beer on tap, a variety of craft and domestic beer, ciders, wine, and margaritas. More options, such as meads, spirits, mixed drinks, and late-night bar food will be added soon. John Mueller Joint features barbecue icon John's signature brisket, handmade sausage, beef ribs, pork ribs, turkey breast, and specialty items. He is currently open Friday to Sunday, 11am until sold out, with plans to extend those hours in the near future. The Granary owners became friends with John after enjoying his food in another Austin location, and they are pleased that he has chosen to bring his legendary food to Jarrell. There are four trucks on the site this month, with two more planned in the coming months.  The Social Grounds is a family-owned coffee trailer that is open every day.  PopPops Southern Fixin's; Cajun gumbo bowl and chicken and waffles with bourbon sauce. 'Nuff said.  Curb Food Truck blends Texan and Asian flavors in specialties like Kimchi pork belly fries, and crispy tempura salmon tacos.  El Almendro is the newest addition to the park, and brings authentic Caribbean food. Lynn says the food trucks were chosen for their variety


JOHN MUELLER IS BACK!

and reputation, and are permanently parked; they will not leave for other events. The group also plans to have additional pop-up trailers from time to time to add even more variety (and serendipity) to their offerings. Food truck hours are set by their owners and may change depending on weather or holidays. Diners will find one or more trucks open every day at the park and can keep up with news and special events on The Granary's Facebook and Instagram pages.

An Austin legend has come to share his culinary delights with the good people of Jarrell. John Mueller has been working in the barbecue business since he was six years old. His family tree includes some of the biggest names in Texas barbecue and he worked on and off for the family business for many years. He has been on the cover of Texas Monthly three times and often been featured on television, “I’ve probably been interviewed 4,000 times.” His colorful past is well known to many, as is his nickname, The Dark Prince of Barbecue, which, at this point in his life, is great branding and makes for curious customers. "People call me the Dark Prince because I'm kind of sarcastic and not everyone gets me. I really do love my customers and I love interacting with them and talking at the tables." With so many people new to Jarrell every day, and Central Texas in general, his reputation need go no further than the smokey slab of tender brisket they walk away eating.

FACEBOOK/THEGRANARYTX @THEGRANARYTX

"I was always going to be whatever my daddy was," Mueller says. "And he was a barbecue man."

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LOC AL VALENTINES

by Charlotte Kovalchuk • charlotte@myjarrell.com

Not too many words can make a person’s day brighter more than “love.” Meet Jarrell couples who have been saying it, and living it, from their first to their 50th anniversaries.

MILITARY MARRIAGE CHALLENGES Bailey Easterwood never wanted to be a military wife, but she’s thankful for an amazing husband, family close by to help out, and understanding friends who make the challenges worth it. Bailey and Zack Easterwood met in 2016 at a friend’s wedding, where she was a bridesmaid and he was a groomsman. Zack and the groom were in the same troop stationed at Fort Hood. “We walked down the aisle together and spent the whole night hanging out before exchanging numbers,” Bailey remembers.

where to live and raise my kids.” Zack decided to leave the Army after four years of service, but the couple soon realized their health care situation wasn’t ideal, so he joined the National Guard. While they didn’t intend to go through a deployment, especially during a pandemic, they are almost halfway through one now. Thankfully, they get to communicate a lot and video chat several times a day. “We constantly talk about ‘when you’re back we will...’ And it makes us happy and gives us things to look forward to! There are trips we want to take, things we want to make, and we just stay positive.”

The next week, he took her and her son Landon to a zoo in Waco for Landon’s third birthday. “We continued seeing each other almost daily at that point,” Bailey says. “He drove down after duty every day and would stay with us. He jumped right into the dad role for my son!” Five months later they were married, and in 2017, they welcomed another son, Nolan, into their family. Being married to a military serviceman was difficult, as Bailey says, “I never wanted to be a military wife where I was told photo by Brandi Lacey Photography 6

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She notes that communication is the key to their relationship and is thankful they have amazing communication. She is also grateful to have family close by to help out as well as new friends and other military wives who understand the hardships and are always ready for a coffee chat or a vent. On the home front, Bailey stays busy, saying the more she does the less time there is to be sad. “I am thankful to have the most amazing husband and father of my boys!” she shares. “We can’t wait to have him back home with us in our arms.”


LO C AL VAL E NT INE S

photo courtesy of Tonya C. Sulak

IN SICKNESS AND HEALTH Sharing a passion for square dancing and running businesses together, and enduring separation since New Year’s because of Covid—the last 60 years have been full of ups and downs for Carolyn and Ray Schubert. The couple first met at church and, while Carolyn doesn’t remember exactly what it was about Ray that won her heart, she says she liked his personality, and “he was very handsome, I thought. He still is, I guess.” The two made their home in Austin until Carolyn’s dad, longing to have his daughter and grandchildren nearby, gave them an acre of land in Jarrell to encourage them to set roots in his hometown. That was 50 years ago. Ray worked for IBM before retiring and going into the hay baling business with Carolyn. They also tried their hands at catering; combining his barbecue skills with her side dish cooking. “We enjoyed it or we wouldn’t have done it as long as we did,” Carolyn says. But “finally your legs give up, everything starts hurting; it’s time to quit.” They had a lot of fun and met many folks through their business collaborations, but Carolyn’s favorite memory of their time together is square dancing. “We loved that a lot,” she says. They danced until Ray’s knees eventually wore out, forcing them to quit their beloved hobby.

Looking back on their 60-year marriage, Carolyn says it’s been full of ups and downs, and through it all, they’ve learned to give and take. “You have to forgive and go on, and then the next day, everything’s all right again. You keep going. You don’t give up.” It also helps that they’re both Lutheran, as Carolyn notes, “a family needs to go to church together.”

HOMEGROWN ROMANCE Betty Ann and Frankie Vrabel have a lot of Jarrell town pride. After all, it’s where they’ve done life together for the last 53 years—attending school, working, falling in love, and raising a family. “We’ve lived here all our lives,” Betty Ann says. “We’re Jarrell people and always will be." The couple started out as friends, going out in a group to eat or see a movie in Georgetown or Temple, as “there was nothing here,” Betty Ann recalls. She remembers how, in those days, everybody knew each other. Her friendship with Frankie turned romantic, and after 53 years of marriage, Betty Ann considers life with her best friend pretty normal. “You just don’t know anything else,” she shares. “We’re happy with it. It’s not a fairy tale or anything like that. We love each other. In those days, when you got married, you knew it was a forever thing.” They’ve enjoyed life in Jarrell—Betty Ann worked at the Jarrell ISD library for 43 years while Frankie worked at the post office for 42 years, and the ISD until he retired. Over the years they have overcome challenges, from their youngest son’s childhood illnesses and Frankie’s stroke, to the deaths of all their parents. They are thankful, though, to have their children living close by. After being married more than 50 years, Betty Ann says it’s all about giving and taking, with their shared Catholic faith also playing a big role. “You have to give and agree on things and just be happy together,” she says.

photo courtesy of Betty Ann Vrabel

Today, they face a new health challenge, COVID. Carolyn hasn’t seen Ray since he was hospitalized in early January with pneumonia caused by coronavirus complications. Ray was put on a ventilator for seven days, but, thankfully, is on the road to recovery. “They keep telling me he’s slowly getting better,” she says. Throughout the difficult experience, Carolyn says there have been good days. Nurses in ICU held a phone to his ear. He wasn’t able to respond, but the nurses said he reacted to the sound of her voice. F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1  M Y J A R R E L L M O N T HLY

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E D UCATION

by Ann Marie Kennon • annmarie@myjarrell.com photo courtesy Jarrell ISD

Welcome, Dr. Toni Hicks, Superintendent

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sure we are certain of the logistics for everyone’s safety.”

native Texan, Dr. Toni Hicks came to Jarrell ISD from nearby Liberty Hill, which she says is a great transition because she already knows so many people in her new community who are eager to help. “I love that, while we are a fast-growing community, there are so many people raising their kids here who were also raised here, as were their own parents. There is a rich history in Jarrell—I felt it as soon as I got here. It’s great to be part of it.” With more than 25 years in education, Dr. Hicks is a successful leader who is passionate about student and adult learning, collaborative environments, and continuous improvement, which makes her a good fit for JISD. “The people in this community support one another, they are embracing the growth. We all know it will make Jarrell a place with greater opportunities for the families who live here. Even so, many people here already routinely go above and beyond to help the students, and the community. I am pleased to have such a vibrant team by my side.”

For the long-term, Dr. Hicks is working with the Facilities Planning Committee to make recommendations for long-range growth. “Based on demography, we will be a fast-growth district (greater than 10 percent annual growth) for the next ten years. I am grateful to have the commitment and resources of those coming together to move us forward.”

FUTURE PLANNING In the more immediate future, although still a few months out, Dr. Hicks is already hard at work to try to hold as many of the typical celebrations, in the safest way possible, for all students this year, particularly seniors. “We want to want to try to provide those milestones for students and their families, but make

GREAT NEWS FOR THE BOTTOM LINE MILLIONS SAVED Jarrell ISD leveraged a very low interest rate of 1.95% giving taxpayers $3.4M interest savings on bond debt. School districts may refinance bonds when current bonds are eligible. This allows the school district to seek a lower interest rate—saving local taxpayers future interest. Jarrell ISD Chief Financial Officer Robert Navarro said, “The Jarrell ISD Board of Trustees is maintaining strong financial practices. This refunding has resulted in significantly lowering this future debt service amounts.” 8

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As the “CEO” of everything that goes on in the District, she is as enthusiastic about receiving a grant for more radio equipment on school buses as she is about the ladies’ volleyball team reaching the playoffs. “I know every educator says this, but I get out of bed every day to make the difference. I truly believe education is the game changer. It can turn around a child’s situation or disadvantages, and put them on a trajectory for success and caring for their family. I want to make that difference for kids and their parents, to help us all continue to build strength and leadership capacity.”

The district has been monitoring bond market conditions as interest rates drop to all-time lows. In a fastgrowth community like Jarrell ISD, it is imperative to investigate and take advantage of all additional saving opportunities that will better position the district. This ensures future capacity to fund student needs while being mindful of the tax impact on taxpayers. Dr. Hicks said, “Jarrell ISD is focused on being fiscally responsible. We take our responsibility of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars seriously, and this action, approved by our Board, reflects that commitment.”


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C OVER STORY

Meet Jarrell’s Newest Family Doctor

F R O M 1996 TO 2018, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN R A M I R O A . P E Ñ A WA S A F F E C T I O N AT E LY K N O W N A S S A L A D O ’ S FA M I LY D O C TO R . HIS PRAC TICE GETS BET TER E V E R Y D AY B U T, F O R T U N AT E LY F O R U S , JARRELL IS HIS NEW H O M E TO W N .

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r. Peña has been the primary care physician at Jarrell Medical Clinic since early 2019, but his friendly demeanor still echoes in Salado, and many patients still travel from Salado, Belton, and even Temple see him. Dr. Peña has always been known for his medical professionalism, but what truly sets him apart from “big box” healthcare providers is his personal attention and gentle empathy. He explains that the source of his inimitable bedside manner stems from his own life goals; “I started out in the ministry; my wife and I wanted to be missionaries”.

SERVING IN MANY WAYS Long before he became a beloved and respected family doctor, Dr. Peña was ordained as a Baptist minister and served as pastor for several churches, with the intent to be a medical missionary. To facilitate this career

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choice, he sought training in surgery. After graduating Baylor University and the UT medical branch in Galveston, he interned at Memorial Medical Center in Corpus Christi. His training included general and thoracic surgery at Baylor Scott & White, and he practiced there and at King’s Daughter in Temple. That training led to him providing essential service in Vietnam. “I was drafted into the Air Force as a trauma surgeon,” he recalls. “That changed the trajectory of my life. When I came back, I went into teaching and surgical practice at King’s Daughters”. He continued there, performing general and thoracic surgery until his retirement in 1996. Dr. Peña did not care much for retirement, so he created a solo primary care practice. His practice was later incorporated into the Littler River Healthcare group, which later declared bankruptcy, effectively closing Dr. Peña’s Salado practice in September 2018.


A NEW CHAPTER Then, Dr. Peña met Christian Munoz, founder and CEO of Texas Medical Group and Physician Management Consultants in Austin, TX. Christian had assembled a group of diverse and experienced physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other medically trained office personnel who do more than just see patients. “It’s about dignity, concern, kindness, and a respect for the diversity of the community,” he says. Drawing on his extensive experience in Emergency Medical Services and Medical Practice Management, Christian has revolutionized the way medical services are provided in rural areas, group homes, and nursing homes across central Texas. The unique approach has become very popular in growing communities like Jarrell that need additional healthcare options. Christian and its talented group of providers have developed a way to make a variety of healthcare services accessible and affordable. Christian invited Dr. Peña to continue his practice under the umbrella of his medical group. Shortly thereafter, new Jarrell patients began arriving thanks to positive word of mouth about Dr. Peña’s history and stellar reputation serving the Salado community. Originally in Cougar Plaza, Jarrell Medical Clinic is now seeing patients in a new office in the Town Center shopping center (next to Brookshire Brothers supermarket). “With this latest move, we have been busier and blessed to have the ability to make a difference in people’s lives,” Munoz says. Christian attributes much of that success to Dr. Peña, who is now a member of Physician Management Consultants team. “We practice general family medicine,” Dr. Peña says, “the whole range; a lot of pathology, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, weight loss, and minor office procedures”. He is also frequently consulted for a second surgical opinion, due to his extensive training and experience.

Jarrell Medical Clinic is also a training site for healthcare students from many well-known universities and colleges across central Texas. “We understand the challenges students have and have opted for being more than just a medical practice; we want to be a resource for our community and future healthcare professionals. We believe Dr Peña’s knowledge and bedside manner needs to be shared with the world. Better healthcare providers; better patient care.” Munoz added. Jarrell Medical Clinic exhibits their daily commitment to those worthwhile goals. For example, discounts and payment plans to cash and self-pay patients, walk-ins, telemedicine, on-site lab and same day rapid testing, and phone-in prescription refill service. “We accept most insurance,” Munoz adds, “and our staff is available by phone 24/7. We can provide you and your family with medical guidance even if the office is closed”. Christian says their goal for 2021 is “to be the Healthcare Provider of choice for Jarrell, Florence, Harker Heights, Bartlett, Holland, Salado, Belton and Temple. We want to serve all residents, regardless of the patient’s financial situation. At the same time, we want to help with COVID-19 vaccination efforts in our community this year so we can all go back to our normal lives”.

JARRELL MEDICAL CLINIC 180 TOWN CENTER BLVD, SUITE 400 512-588-1501 JARRELLMEDICALCLINIC.COM

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76537 L IFE

All about MUDs Welcome to a Q&A that is all about municipal details and information that, over time, will add to our knowledge base and help readers understand the differences between living in the city limits of Jarrell, the Municipal Utility District, and other associated neighborhood groups. While everyone in this zip code has a Jarrell address, we will address things readers may like to know about the variables within. As a new, or long-time resident, you may have questions like “Why do I have a Jarrell address if I live in Sonterra?” or “Why can I vote for school board but not Mayor?”and other similar topics.

WHAT IS A MUD? MUD stands for Municipal Utility District. A MUD is a political subdivision that is either created by the Texas Legislature or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) through an application process.

WHY DO WE NEED MUDs? MUDs were put in place to provide water, sewage, and drainage utilities to areas that cities did not connect to and would otherwise remain undeveloped.

HOW IS A MUD CREATED? A developer purchases land then adds a waste water treatment plant, piping, digs wells, brings in water, etc. Residents with homes within the MUD pay a MUD tax that can decrease over time.

DO HOMEOWNERS HAVE A CHOICE ABOUT BEING IN THE MUD? No. When a homeowner purchases the property, he or she signs an acknowledgment that the property and the residence are in a MUD.

HOW IS A MUD GOVERNED?

A MUD has an elected board made up of five residents who help make the decisions for the level of upkeep they want the subdivision to have, similar to a city council.

They, along with community input, get to decide what they want in their neighborhood. A MUD also helps protect property values because they see to it that the neighborhood doesn’t get run down, that everything is maintained and well taken care of.

WHERE ARE THE MUDs LOCATED? Currently there are three MUDs in 76537, all located on the east side of IH-35. The largest is the Sonterra MUD, although some parts of Sonterra are in different MUDs. While not all developments / homes on the east side are in a MUD, all the homes in Sonterra are part of a MUD, as well as the homes in Hilltop Estates and a few individual properties.

WHAT DOES MY MONTHLY $24 PARK AND REC FEE GO TOWARDS? Homeowner fees are paid monthly for park and pool upkeep and maintenance. Other costs include paying down the pool debt, mowing, and maintaining all of the common areas throughout the subdivision.

Send your questions on municipal topics to: info@myjarrell.com We will try to incorporate your questions in future columns as appropriate.

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WHAT MAKES TEXAS “TEXAS”?

CATTLE RANCHING Ann Marie Kennon • AnnMarie@MyJarrell.com by Ann Marie Kennon


T E X A S C AT T L E

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attle ranching has been a major Texas industry for nearly three centuries, and is a big part of our Texas legends. But, to begin with, until 1493, North America had plenty of bison, but no cattle at all. The ancestors of modern-day Texas Longhorns arrived in the New World, courtesy of Christopher Columbus. They had large horns, often spanning six feet, but were quite lean compared to later generations. For the next 150 years or so, feral herds moved north and wandered across the frontier. They arrived in what would become Texas in the late 1600s, and eventually met sturdy, British-bred cattle moving west. By the 1800s, a new breed of stronger and disease-resistant Longhorn cattle roamed the Texas frontier by the millions. We are fortunate to have Jim Schwertner (below), owner of Capitol Land & Livestock, and the nation’s largest cattle trader in the United States, just east of Jarrell. To give you an idea of the scope of his operation, one out of every ten hamburgers in the nation comes from a cow that passed through his ranch. Jim and his sister Sherri are part of a generations-old family legacy, and he is one of those Texans who knows as much about cattle as there is to know. He tells us intentional ranching dates from the 1730s, when herds were loosely sent to or kept along the San Antonio River to feed missionaries, soldiers, and civilians in the area. A century later, colonists were streaming into Texas to farm, but soon realized the open land and lush pastures were enabling

cattle to thrive with minimum care. Not surprisingly, many of those farmers became cattle ranchers. By mid-19th century, agriculture was the largest industry in the nation and folks in Texas were ideally suited for the job. “Being a rancher, you had to be hardy, independent, and a survivor; Texas people were like that. At the same time, the climate and grass just wasn’t right in other parts of the country. So, as the United States grew, beef was the protein of choice—you had to have cattle to eat.” He adds that even the U.S. government recognized the importance of the cattle industry and the need for agriculture education. Abraham Lincoln passed the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862, which allowed the use of federal money to purchase land for agriculture & mechanical schools, including Texas A&M. “We needed engineers to build the country, and agriculture to feed it.”

CATTLE DRIVES The great Texas cattle drives began in the 1860s. Texas had most of the Longhorns, and the expertise to manage them, but the rest of the country wanted beef. Before the turn of the century, cattlemen and cowboys drove more than five million cattle from south Texas to Kansas, where the railroad could pick them up. One such legendary trail, the Chisholm, went through Georgetown for a time, until the railroad expanded in the 1870s, and brought faster transportation to the Austin area. It was about that time—despite what you see in the movies—without much law enforcement, ranchers developed their own Code, and the knowledge to raise cattle successfully, which has become so much a part of Texas culture. As people continued to move West, they took those skills with them, as well as the sense of loyalty that Texas had stirred in them. “There aren’t many industries that can say their culture came from Texas. Except maybe the Texas Rangers; they were founded in part to help ranchers. If you grew up here and you understand your roots, then you do what you say and your word is your bond. Today, we don’t string people up for not following the code but within a few days, everyone will know you’re not good for your word and you’ll never do business again.”

MODERN RANCHERS At the turn of the century, Texas struck oil. Jim explains, “Much of the land where oil was found was ranch land. A lot of oilmen started out as cattle ranchers, which is why  F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1  M Y J A R R E L L M O N T HLY

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T E XA S CATTLE Jim keeps a card in his pocket with this Code. He nearly always has extras to share with those who wish to understand Texas, and cattlemen, a little bit better. He and his sister Sherri have always run their business on handshakes. He says, “You do what you say and your word is your bond. That’s why I love Texas.”

Chisholm Trail cattle drive re-enactment in Georgetown

you see so many oilmen still wearing cowboy hats.” As the nation grew, so did the cattle industry. “Without much law enforcement,” Jim says, “ranchers took care of their own, and cattle rustling was one of the worst crimes of the time. Even today, all over Texas, once you’re outside Dallas, Houston, and Austin, it’s all about agriculture, and stealing cattle is stealing someone’s livelihood.” The Schwertners have been victims of cattle rustling within the past decade and it is no less serious today than it was in the ‘old west’. Jim has great esteem for Williamson County Law Enforcement and the Texas Rangers, specifically Lt. Matt Lindemann, for tracking down the guilty party and bringing him back to Texas personally. Jim adds, “While he may have been given a hug and probation down south, in Williamson County, he got about the same jail time as you might get for homicide.”

THE FUTURE Today, energy is #1 in Texas; agriculture is #2 and beef and cattle are the tops there. Jim adds, “Every county outside our metropolitan areas is still all about agriculture. Two percent of the population is feeding the rest of us and we have the safest food on the planet. I am very proud of our USDA food inspection for beef and other meat products. It is one thing our government does very well. This nation’s beef is fresh, wholesome, and safe.” As far as the future of cattle, ranching and beef, Jim says, “I tell my children, ‘Don’t get nervous until you go into a McDonald’s or a steak house and they are empty.’ As long as people are eating beef, we, and the cattle business will survive. We are feeding America. Anyone who tells you that beef is not sustainable, or that it’s not ‘natural,’ I remind those people that no rancher would let his children or grandchildren eat anything that wasn’t good for them. If you don’t believe me, have a read of Will Coggin in USAToday, and don’t ever let anyone ‘steak-shame’ you!”

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Code of the West Live each day with courage.

Take pride in your work. Always finish what you start. Do what has to be done. Be tough, but fair. When you make a promise, keep it. Ride for the brand. (Be loyal to your boss)

Talk less and say more. Remember that some things aren’t for sale. Know where to draw the line.


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KI D S

by Ann Marie Kennon photos courtesy Vanessa Schrauner

Although she plans to bake only as a hobby, Kylie got her first taste of entrepreneurship this past December when she was contracted to bake 300 macarons for Fidelis Publishing Group to distribute as holiday gifts to their customers. "This was a bigger job than she's ever attempted and it was a great opportunity and learning experience, especially at her age," observed Kylie's mom and Jarrell City Manager, Vanessa Shrauner. Kylie's macarons received rave reviews from recipients who were positive they were made by a professional chef.

Renaissance Girl T

hough she's only in 7th grade, this Jarrell chef and baker has been cooking up great things for six years. As a young child, Kylie was inspired by the great taste of her grandmother's cinnamon rolls. "I saw gramma just putting things in a bowl and then it came out cinnamon rolls. I thought, 'I need to learn how to do that!'" Despite one melted plastic baking sheet (from a playset), Kylie learned quickly as grandma taught her and allowed her to help make pies, rolls, biscuits, and more from scratch. "I still help her cook and bake and we try recipes out on each other. When I do my own creations, I like to give away the results because I just like the cooking and I can't eat it all. In our family, food is one way we show love." She gets many requests from family for special recipes, particularly around the holidays. Kylie really enjoys making bread, particularly from the old recipes she's received from her grandmother. She also makes and modifies recipes from three cookbooks handed down from her

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great-grandmother, some of which are handwritten. She is known to many in Jarrell for her excellent macarons, which require expert-level skills, but she says being in the kitchen relaxes her and she can't think of a better way to express herself. Mom Vanessa says her mother has the great "feel" of a southern cook but Kylie loves the exact science and precision of baking, which is one reason her macarons are so good. Outside the home, Kylie is a straight-A student and participates in band, theater, and basketball at Jarrell Middle School. If she ever has spare time, she is still working with her hands on embroidery and making earrings. While still young, she thinks she would enjoy a career as an English or History teacher, or maybe a band director someday. Vanessa says, "I believe kids should do something that means something to them and Kylie chooses to do everything... and is good at doing them." Kylie admits, "The kitchen is my favorite thing. It makes other people happy and I love that they appreciate the thought and the effort."


Williamson County Vaccine News Williamson County has begun providing COVID vaccine to all those who wish to have it. Working diligently with state and private sector partners, County Judge Bill Gravell is committed to acquiring adequate doses of the vaccine to deliver to our most vulnerable populations as quickly as possible. As of January 20, 15,000 doses have been administered; a number which will justify to the State of Texas that Williamson County is registering quickly and waiting for vaccines, which will move them to send more. The walk-in site, at the Sun City ballroom, will be in operation as the vaccines are made available. Judge Gravell stresses that this clinic is not just for Sun City; all residents of Williamson County are eligible. Judge Gravell says, “We pushed hard because our county has the largest number of veterans in Texas, and the 6th largest in the nation. It is incumbent upon us to care for seniors and those who served our nation.” Last month, the County reported all of Group 1A; local hospitals and healthcare systems, EMS personnel, and 2,020 seniors in 14 long-term care facilities or nursing homes received the vaccine. Group 1B includes all individuals 16 years and older with at least one chronic health concern; e.g., cancer, heart disease, sickle-cell, COPD, diabetes, obesity, and others. The County estimates there are 120,000 residents who qualify for Group 1B, and the Judge expects distribution to take about three months.

He added, “From the beginning I have stated our seniors are our most valuable population, and they are the group of people who have suffered the greatest loss of life in our county and country. That is why we are using every resource available to protect them.”

Judge Gravell with Diane Snyder, who received her first dose of the vaccine.

Medical personnel are eager to deliver shots and enter data, real-time, into the state database. Additionally, the Judge says, as availability expands, there will be more than 100 locations county-wide, and the plan also includes a mobile vaccination van to address homebound elderly and rural populations. Most Texas counties, including Williamson County are using the Moderna vaccine. Judge Gravell says. “It will take some time to take care of our seniors first, and there is not currently an unlimited supply. It is important to note, also, that getting the vaccine is entirely voluntary, but we will ensure everyone in Williamson County who wants it will be able to get it.” Visit Wilco.org for news and dates; register at FamilyHospitalSystems.com

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NE IG HB O R L E IG H

Is it just me? S

ince we're just barely into 2021 and there's already enough serious controversy in the world to make Longhorns and Aggies look like besties, I’m just going to noodle on some mundane things that make me roll my eyes from time to time (and sometimes make me sound like I’m preparing a stand-up routine). For instance, what exactly is a “normal” call volume for customer service at, literally, every large company in America? I have not dialed an 800 number in the past three years that the recording did not open with: “We are experiencing higher-than-normal call volume, so your wait time may be long. For faster service try our online chat feature”. Wouldn’t three straight years of higher-than-normal constitute a new normal... for which perhaps they might consider hiring another employee?! I called my TV provider at 6:30 in the morning and got that message. My bill is over $200 a month; what exactly are they spending that money on, since it’s clearly NOT more staff? Just get it over with and play the loopy digital music that is ironically interspersed with “Your call is important to us…” and DON’T tell me to try your online chat op-

tion, TV people! That bot actually texted back that my wait time was more than 60 minutes, which is why I called the 800 number in the first place. Is “Brian from Ohio” the only one answering the phones, ever?

my neighborhood, so can we start the chitchat after I “turn left out of driveway” and through, maybe the first three turns? Just give it a rest every 15 seconds interrupting my podcasts until I reach at least a major artery of some kind?

Also, can someone in the online world please stop making me choose the preset “very strong” password that looks like a cat walked across my keyboard? First of all, how do I know they aren’t cataloging their own suggestions and hacking my account the minute I enter my card number? Second, it’s none of their concern if I want to use “pookieface1968” because I can remember it. If it’s not safe, that’s on me and they don’t need to worry about it.

I know... first-world problems... quit whining, crybaby.

And while I’m at it, can you please stop making the X to get rid of a popup window so small that only a bald eagle sniper can click or tap it accurately without accidentally opening the ad for pickle-flavored toothpaste.

Far be it from me to lampoon a child’s hopes, but seriously, I find statements about lifetime dreams much more believable from a 45-year-old who finally found the courage to move away from Ohio, to try show business, so he can leave his job in customer service.

Still in the Internet frame of mind, I know we’re not supposed to mess with our phones while we’re driving, so can someone please tell Apple to put, maybe, a 5-minute delay on Siri’s directions when I plug something in to my maps app? Seriously, I am pretty solid on how to get out of

Completely new topic. How is it, on reality talent shows, there is always a cute little kid who says, “This has always been my dream…” Really? You shouldn’t even be up that late. You watched one season and suddenly being a headliner in Vegas is your new “lifelong” dream? You’re 8 years old... a year ago, you were watching SpongeBob and probably wanted to be a unicorn.

Just some of the things that make the real (and much more disheartening) problems in the world feel a little less in my face. Hope it makes someone smile to realize … nope...not just you either.

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W OR TH THE DRIVE

Ann Marie Kennon • annmarie@myjarrell.com photos courtesy of Keith Hagler and Hagler Ranch

Make the Trip for Hagler Ranch Longhorn Beef

I F I T ’ S N OT A LO N G H O R N I T ’ S J U S T A CO W. ~ K E I T H H A G L E R

T

hose who live outside Taylor may not know the Hagler family yet, but everyone needs to visit Keith Hagler’s offices before dinner. In short, if you already have an appreciation for Texas Longhorns, you are about to love them even more. Modern Longhorn cattle, once numbering in the millions, have been a part of Texas culture since the 19th century, and Keith has always had a special interest in them because of their gentle nature and beautiful colors. “Longhorns are very Texan. People don’t stop on the side of the road to take selfies with regular cows. I got into breeding and ranching as a hobby, but I enjoy the people who raise them so it’s a great business too.”

WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? Keith’s ranch is in Taylor and he sells Longhorn beef directly from the freezers in his Taylor office. “Our cattle are registered, and they are all grass-fed within 20 miles of here.” He explains Longhorns are very self-sufficient and eat most anything. “They get plenty of rich grass but are also happy to forage for things other cows won’t touch. They tend to clean up a pasture, which enables it to grow back healthier. Plus, while they are very gentle with people, rare is the coyote or wild hog that will mess with an animal their size with horns just as large.”

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In addition to selling the beef, Hagler Ranch also auctions and sells Longhorns to allow others to enjoy owning their own for Ag exemptions, or hobby farming. “They calf easily and are virtually maintenance free. I also love how unique they are; you can put a black bull and with black cow and they will produce a red and white calf—each as different as a fingerprint.” At press time, Keith is looking forward to the Fort Worth Cowtown Classic auction. He has three cattle registered, complete with bloodlines and histories, ready for breeding anywhere in the country. “It is all about genetics, and I have a consultant who assists me with bulls and cows to create the best pairings. For many generations, we have tried to grow the standard size, measured ‘tip-to-tip’ of the horns. A century ago, a large Longhorn was 60 inches. Today, breeding with different bulls, the standard is 70-80 inches and it’s not unusual to have a 90-inch animal. Outside of the beef business, we sell re-purposed skulls to those who use them for decoration, and even the skins find use. We respect what these animals give to us and do not take their lives for granted.” Hagler Ranch also has a heifer in the NASA Longhorn program. Within sight of the Space Shuttle, a small Longhorn show team provides educational opportunities for local high school students. The Ranch pays the fees for students to exhibit his animal several times a year and, while the heifer goes back at the end of the year, Mr. Hagler gives the team a new one to continue their work in husbandry and ranching.


FUN FACT: LONGHORNS ‘INVENTED’ THE STEAK. YOU’RE WELCOME.

TO YOUR HEALTH Keith says the uniqueness of the meat is visible in the rich red color and the health benefits are many. “I had a heart scare and I wanted to continue eating meat; Longhorn beef has no cholesterol and is 97 percent lean or higher. When you cook a pound of the ground beef, you eat a pound of ground beef, and my doctor told me I could have moderate portions at every meal if I choose.” Research has shown that eating lean beef can help increase “good” cholesterol and reduce the “bad” in those who have elevated levels. It also has Selenium, which may reduce the risks of heart disease, and enhance the body’s ability to fight infections. Everything Hagler Ranch sells is certified and USDA inspected, and their prices are very competitive with local grocery stories. Keith’s daughter Cameron works for the Ranch and explains, “Even the leanest beef in the stores is 7 percent fat, and costs $5.39 per pound. Ours is $5 and has almost no fat, so you’re always going home with more meat. We also have recipes and a cookbook available to help customers really enjoy the difference. Generally, because there is so little fat, start by cooking at lower temperatures for more time. I promise, once you taste it, you’ll be hooked.”

SAY HELLO Keith encourages people to drive by the ranch on FM1331 toward Granger Lake Road to see the herd. “We’ve had people visit from as far away as India to see these unique cattle—and they were impressed with our Longhorn chili. Anyone is welcome to stop and, respectfully, have a look and take photos any time.”

H AG L E R R A N C H B E E F 1912 N M A I N S T R E E T, TAY LO R M O N D AY - F R I D AY 9 A M - 6 P M O R D E R O N L I N E F O R P I C K U P O R WA L K I N * H AG L E R LO N G H O R N S . CO M / S H O P - B E E F DIRECT-FROM-THE-RANCH RECIPES ON P. 26

* Mr. Hagler is working on plans to make his beef available for nationwide shipping. Check the website for updates.

NATURALLY GOOD AND GOOD FOR YOU All red meat has benefits; protein, iron, and vitamin B12. In addition to those, grass-fed Longhorn beef is clean and nutrient-dense, which can help heal the gut and immune system, contribute to weight loss and better sleep, and diminish “brain fog.”

 Grass-fed Longhorn also contains Vitamins B3 and B6; and K2, which is important for bone and artery integrity.  Contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid, which has been shown to lower cardiac risks and, in some trials, resulted in body fat loss.  Contains three times the amount of Vitamin E by weight; known to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.  Just 3oz has as much zinc as 12 cans of tuna, and as much B12 as seven chicken breasts.  Switching to grass-fed beef will save nearly 18,000 calories per year. A half-pound portion has 132 calories vs. 143 for white meat chicken, and no cholesterol.  Contains 4× the amount of Omega 3, and lowers levels of inflammatory Omega-6 (polyunsaturated) fatty acids common in most American diets; thought to be a cause of diabetes, cancer, and other chronic conditions.  “Grass-fed” has been singled out as the only red meat endorsed by the American Heart Association. UARRYY 22002211  M MYY JJAARRRREELLLL M MO ON NTTHLY H LY FFEEBBRRUA

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FAC TS TO BLOW YOU R MIND

Heartfelt Valentinus is not only the Patron Saint of sweethearts and love, he is also the go-to guy for bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, plague, travelers, and young people. In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.” The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every year. In South Korea, the 14th of every month is a romantic holiday of some sort. Candle Day, Valentine’s Day, White Day, Black Day (for singles), Rose Day, Kiss Day, Silver Day, Green Day, Music Day, Wine Day, Movie Day, and Hug Day. 220,000 people get engaged on Valentine’s Day every year. Happy Irony Day: King Henry VIII declared February 14th a holiday in 1537. He also killed most of his wives for not giving him a son. A fourth chocolate, Ruby, now officially exists. The innovation of Swiss confectionery company Barry Callebaut, its pink hue comes entirely from Ruby cocoa beans found around the world. Ruby beans provide pink color along with a fruity berry flavor no other chocolate type possesses. The 80 million bacteria exchanged during kissing helps boost your immune system—it’s good for your teeth, too. Americans spend $700 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets. And 15% of American women send themselves flowers. In Russia, the Ukraine and former Soviet Union countries, if you plan to give a woman flowers, make sure you give her an number (not the even dozen typically given in America). Even numbers of flowers are reserved for grieving and funerals. 24

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odd


S HO P LO C AL MARK E T P L ACE

CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM GOD

~ PSALM 127:3 104 Copper Lane Jarrell 512-746-2333

QUALITY, AFFORDABLE PRIVATE SCHOOL SERVING CHILDREN 0-12 YEARS

KiDS’ ZONE

CONSTRUCTIVE LEARNING AHEAD

FULL & PART-TIME CARE AFTER SCHOOL CARE KINDERGARTEN 1ST & 2 ND GRADE

105 Western Sky Trail Jarrell 512-598-3900 4802 Moreland Dr. Georgetown 512-868-8300

MEET OUR TEACHERS! What age do you teach? Infants at Kids’ Zone West!

Infants at Kids’ Zone Sonterra!

How many years have you been teaching? 12 Years

13 Years

What is your favorite thing about teaching at Kids’ Zone?

ELAINE CRANE

Being able to teach and love these infants and watching them grow! I love my students like they’re my own grandchildren.

The friendly atmosphere, how family oriented the company is, and most importantly the children!

CRYSTAL DOTSON

For questions, information or to schedule a tour, visit our website or call any of our locations.

KidsZoneLearningCenter.org

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FO OD

Healthy, Simple & Delicious

Texas Longhorn Steak • Skillet • Olive oil • Garlic salt

• Salt & Pepper • Smashed garlic

• Onion • Rosemary

• Butter

PREPARATION

Cover with foil and let rest for 5-7 minutes.

For the cut and size of your choosing, allow meat to thaw to room temperature.

While letting it stand, melt butter, smashed garlic, and fresh rosemary for drizzle.

Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. We add a little onion or garlic salt, whatever we have on hand.

Drizzle over steak, thinly slice and enjoy your healthy and delicious Texas Longhorn steak!

Heat the cast iron skillet until you can’t hold your hand one inch over the surface for more than 3 seconds.

4-oz Longhorn sirloin

4-oz chicken breast

• 140 calories

• 173 calories

Note: Grass-fed beef is best medium rare. If you cook to medium, it will be tougher than traditional grain-fed beef.

• 25.5 grams protein

• 30 grams protein

• 3.7 grams fat

• 4.5 grams fat

Remove from heat and place on cutting board.

• 61.5 mg cholesterol

• 85.7 mg cholesterol

Add steak and cook for 2-3 mins on each side. To see if done, press with finger; steak will not feel mushy or hard.

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FO O D

LONGHORN CHILI • 1 T olive oil

• 1.5 cups chopped onion

• 1/2 tsp minced garlic

• 2 lbs ground longhorn beef

• 3/4 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp pepper

• 6 oz tomato paste

• 1/2 thyme

• 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes • 1/4 cup chopped green onion • 1 tsp Tony Chachere seasoning • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper • 1/2 tsp cumin powder • 1/2 tsp garlic salt Put olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions, garlic and beef. Cook until meat is browned. Add salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, green onions. Add remaining seasonings. Stir and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Serve with warm tortillas and guacamole or avocado slices.

LONGHORN MEATLOAF • 2 lbs. ground longhorn beef

• 1 c milk

• 1 egg, beaten

• 1/2 c. ketchup

• 1 tsp salt

• 1/3 c. onion, chopped fine

• 1 tsp black pepper

• 1/2 tsp garlic powder

• 1 c. uncooked quinoa (or crushed Ritz Crackers)

MEATLOAF Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 5½ x 10½ -inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray, set aside. In measuring cup or bowl, combine milk and quinoa and cook in microwave for 1 min. Stir. This step is not necessary if using Ritz Crackers. In large bowl, combine ground beef, egg, milk, quinoa (or crackers), ½ cup ketchup, onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well with hands until thoroughly combined. Put mixture into prepared pan, smooth with a slight rise in the center (like a loaf of bread). Put on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours.

SAUCE • 3/4 c apricot preserves • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (or Worcestershire) • 3/4 c ketchup • 1/4 c brown sugar In small bowl, combine sauce ingredients. If your Balsamic Vinegar is too tangy, add an additional tablespoon of brown sugar or honey. Mix well. Spread half the mixture on the loaf evenly halfway through baking; save the rest for dipping or when serving. Let meatloaf rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

F O R Q UA L I T Y, LO C A L LY - G R A S S - F E D LO N G H O R N B E E F, V I S I T H AG L E R LO N G H O R N S . CO M TO P U R C H A S E F O R P I C K U P O R WA L K - I N . G R O U N D B E E F, F I L E T S , S I R LO I N S , R O U N D S T E A K , A N D R I B E Y E S . Thanks to Hagler Ranch for sharing recipes and preparation tips for their grass-fed longhorn beef, one of the healthiest sources of flavor and protein. See our story on page 22. F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1  M Y J A R R E L L M O N T HLY

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PA RTING SHOTS

That Day It Snowed In Jarrell · January 11, 2021

Photos shared with My Jarrell Monthly on Facebook by: (Clockwise from top left) Megan Hubbard • Stephanie Severson • Vanessa Garcia • Sandi Dotson • Amanda Iwabuchi (photos used with permission). 28

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P.O. Box 213, Jarrell. TX, 76537

ECRWSS POSTAL PATRON JARRELL, TX

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Profile for Fidelis Publishing Group, LLC

My Jarrell Magazine • February 2021