Dust In My Coffee

Loving my life as a woman in agriculture one sip at a time

As we near the end of  “May is Beef Month”  I would like to share with you another beef recipe from a woman who is a great cook and who places God and her family above all else.  This woman is  my sister-in-law, Julie Heftie.  Julie is Steve’s youngest sibling.  She is married to Kelly and has four amazing kids.  I would like to tell you more about Julie and share with you the beef recipe she has given me.

This is Julie with her family.  From left to right are Kelly, Tabitha, Julie
Simon, Maria and Elijah.  This photo was taken after Julie completed
a marathon race in Lincoln.

I met Julie in 1980 when I started dating Steve.  Julie was in high school at the time and was friendly to me right from the start.  Julie cooked many of the meals I enjoyed when I visited Steve on the weekends. I only recently learned that Julie loved cooking with her ingredients measured out in many different bowls like the chef Julia Child used.  In those days cooking shows were rare and only found on PBS!  Julie continued to amaze me as she entered college and persevered through the required courses it took for her to become an Occupational Therapist.

During Julie’s college years she was also a doting aunt to our children.  Julie loved to play games and eventually would host one of the kids at a time for weekend sleepovers.  Julie also met a young man and fell in love.  Julie and Kelly were married and started their life together in Lincoln.   We were aware of the desire Julie and Kelly had to start their own family.  They were both so very good to their nieces and nephews and it seemed they would be the perfect parents.  Several years passed with our own children saying daily prayers for Julie and Kelly to have a baby.  The love Julie and Kelly showed one another and extended family continued as they placed their trust in God.

Prayers were answered when a family chose Julie and Kelly to be the adoptive parents of a little girl to be named Tabitha.  Our entire family was elated when this beautiful little girl became part of the extended Ruskamp family.  More prayers were answered as Julie gave birth to a son, Simon, daughter, Maria and son, Elijah.  Each new baby brought more love, joy and laughter into their home and into all of our hearts.  A new trial for the family came when little Elijah needed heart surgery.  Prayers, trust and love were very evident as Julie put her baby in the hands of the doctors and nurses.

This is a photo of Elijah enjoying a roast beef sandwich at our house last fall.

Elijah came through the surgery very well and all four children continue to grow and thrive.  We’ve had the oldest two, Tabitha and Simon, at the farm for “Camp Ruskamp”.  Tabitha has been a great assistant for some of our farm tours including a television interview.

One of the activities at “Camp Ruskamp” is fishing.  This photo is from
a few years ago. Tabitha is proudly holding up her fish while Simon
and our son, Jeff, look on. The fish can be fried in an area just behind them.

I know that new challenges will continue to face the Heftie family because that is how life is.  Julie has shown me in so many ways that she embraces her womanhood and her faith.  She is truly a woman after God’s heart and she brings that into her home and into her workplace.

Maria Heftie was baptised in 2009.  Every family needs a Maria!  This photo
captures more than words can say about faith and family.

Here is a recipe she has shared with me that her family loves.  I have proof of that because the recipe has “Yummy!” and a star by it!

Barbecue Meatballs
3 lbs. ground beef                                    1/2 cup onion-chopped
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk                 1/2 t garlic powder
1 cup oatmeal                                           2 t salt
1 cup cracker crumbs                               1/2 t pepper
2 eggs-beaten                                            2 t chili powder

Combine all meatball ingredients (mixture will be soft) and shape into walnut size balls.  Place meatballs in a single layer on a wax paper cookie sheet.  Freeze until solid.  Store until ready to use or can be used right after you make them.

2 cups ketchup                                           1/2 t garlic powder
1 cup brown sugar                                     1/4 t onion chopped
1/2 t liquid smoke or to taste

Combine sauce ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.   Place meatballs in 9x13x2 baking pan and pour sauce over top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  May take longer to bake if using frozen meatballs.   Julie notes that she doubled this recipe for a church event and it made 191 meatballs.


“She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the day to come. When she opens her mouth, she does so wisely; on her tongue is kindly instruction.  She keeps good watch on the conduct of her household, no bread of idleness for her.  Her children stand up and proclaim her blessed, her husband, too, sings her praises:  ‘Many women have done admirable things, but you surpass them all!’  Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty; the woman who fears Yahweh is the one to praise.” Proverbs 31:25-30

2 thoughts on “For God and Family

  1. Nice pictures and such a beautiful post. Not just that, I love the recipe that you have posted. It looks very delicious.


  2. Joan says:

    Thank you! Did you get a chance to try the recipe? They are very good! Have a great day!


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