Hey you guys!! Happy, happy, happy Saturday!!!
If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know that being stuck down here in Louisiana, I’m not exactly in my “happy place,” lol! I’ve met great people, and had some great experiences, but it’s not home. Home is Iowa, and I will always be an Iowan at heart, and have never stopped considering myself an Iowan.
One of the great things about Louisiana is the food, but nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE has meat better than Iowa. Being “cornfed” and raised on Iowa meat (also cornfed) really makes you spoiled, and nowhere else could ever compare. As for the best meat in Iowa? That would be Triple T Meats- they’re located in a small town called Ackley, which is only minutes away from the even smaller town I grew up in.
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In such a tiny town, everybody knows everybody, and families stick around for many, many generations. My own family has been there since the town was first established, even before it got its name. I also have a lot of memories of many of these hometown people- including a lovely couple named Abe and Rosie, who lived across the street from the school.
I can still picture Abe standing in his front yard, and Rosie at the Green Door (the best restaurant ever). They had a daughter who babysat me once or twice, although I don’t think she’s much older than me. Yet another small town thing…lol!
So, anyway, fast forward to my adulthood, and Mom would always send us care packages of meat. I’m talking steaks, pork chops, you name it. Well, the meat she sent was from a place called Triple T Meats, and she said they also had beef jerky. Sweet! So, she sent us some beef jerky, which coincidentally was the Willie Robertson jerky. Yep, Louisiana’s own Willie Robertson loves Triple T SO much that he has them make his jerky. I’m telling you, this stuff is the bomb dot com!
Jerry has eaten jerky his whole life, and grew up here. Even HE said the jerky was the absolute BEST he’s EVER had in his ENTIRE LIFE. So, we started asking Mom to send us some. Funny thing is, she kept talking about a woman named “Jolene Heikens,” as if I’m supposed to know who she is. Well, Jolene Heikens and her husband, Greg, own Triple T Meats (named for their three children).
Well, that’s just great and wonderful- don’t know who they are, but I love them very much! Every time we’d visit Iowa, we’d have Mom pick us up something from Triple T. They’re a family-owned business, and beloved by all the communities in the area and beyond.
Then, I found out online that Jolene’s maiden name is “Huisenga.” Now, flashback to the lovely couple, Abe and Rosie, I just told you about. I called Mom, and asked if Jolene Heikens was Abe and Rosie’s daughter Jolene- indeed she is!!!!
Well, I’ll be damned!! So THIS is why Mom kept talking about this mysterious woman as if I should know her- it was because I DO! Wow, I couldn’t believe this whole time, it was someone local who started this marvelous, award-winning, heavenly meat company.
Jerry and I eat low carb, and one of our go-to snacks lately has been beef sticks. They’re cheaper than jerky, convenient, and tasty. Yes, they’re loaded with preservatives and sodium, but we snack on them in moderation. Then I got a text message from my mom, telling me to eat my heart out, that she was eating a Triple T beef stick! I told her she sucks…lol!
A short while later, a large package arrived, with the return address of Triple T Meats, and a note from Jolene. OMG. I opened the box, and it was beef sticks galore!!! Beef sticks, beef stick ends, cheese filled beef sticks, this was seriously a beef stick paradise. EAT YOUR HEART OUT, MOM! 😛
This has been a crappy summer- no beach time, and horrific allergies and sinus problems among other health issues. Long-term power outages, severe storms, flooding, multiple states of emergency declared. On top of that, I’ve really felt “not at home.” Then that package arrived, and it was literally a taste of Iowa, a taste of home, right here in Louisiana. I almost cried- but tears of joy and happiness!
We got beef stick ends, beef sticks with cheese, and individual beef sticks. The beef stick ends are the devil- my sister said she will sit down with a package, and eat the whole thing all at once. The first time I had them at Mom’s, I could see why it would be so easy to do- they’re SO addicting!
We also got beef sticks with pepper cheese, and with cheddar cheese- so these are an extra special treat! They’re such a lifesaver when you’re doing the low carb thing. And the best part is that they’re better for you than the mainstream store-bought brands, they don’t have that “preservative-y” taste, none of that fake chemical icky-ness!
The regular, individually packaged beef sticks are not only great for snacking, but they’re perfect for travel, and they make awesome gifts. They not only package them with their classic Triple T label, but they have special packaging for the three state universities: Iowa State University Cyclones (the best), University of Iowa Hawkeyes, and the University of Northern Iowa Panthers.
Iowans are very proud of their education, and take equally immense pride in our state universities. The funny thing is, most families have members that attended at least two of the universities, so the good-natured “rivalries” are a lot of fun!
I went to ISU (the best), and have family who also attended, as well as family members who went to U of I, and even a cousin who graduated from ISU, then got a second degree at UNI. So, it’s really neat that Triple T is so supportive of the school pride we all have!
If you’re lucky enough to live in the area, they have daily lunch specials, so you can get a REALLY good meal without actually having to cook for yourself. If you’re out of town, or out of state like us, it’s not the end of the world- Triple T is a federally inspected facility, so they can ship to you! Yes, they can ship you Iowa steak, pork chops, all sorts of stuff!
Whether you’re an Iowan or not, you don’t want to miss out on trying some of the amazing foods Triple T has to offer. So, hurry up and head over to tripletmeats.com, I promise you won’t regret it!