May 282013
 

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I have a dog-eared index card in my recipe box that I received over 35 years ago.  It was one that was given to me by David’s Aunt Patty.  It is called “Sweet and Sour French Dressing.” I have it in her writing, and next to it, in my handwriting, a quadrupled version of the ingredients that yields 2 quarts.

I don’t like it.  David does. It is sort of similar to Catalina dressing, I think.  I say, “I think” because I am positively NOT a fan of French dressing and so I really cannot tell you if they are the same.  I will take David’s word for it.

French dressing?  I just don’t love it.  It just seems so wrong to put ketchup on your salad (and now that I said that, you agree, right?)  And since I am a mustard person, and most French dressings have ketchup in them, you now understand why I sidestep them.

But since David has a strong preference for the French—I build this one often.  It is simple, uses common ingredients, and, although I am not a fan, many of my guests love this one.  I must admit, IT IS pretty.  Especially atop a spinach salad—the contrast between the dark green leaves and the reddish glisten of the (ketchup) and green onion –a delight to the eyes.

BESIDES—it is so inexpensive to make your own salad dressings! Besides,  I am NOT fond of forking over several dollars for a small bottle of what I can mix up in a blender is less than five minutes.

So, I said two dressings—here’s the deal– Yesterday, when I was making this recipe, I paused before adding the ketchup (like it takes courage to add this to the beautiful blend of ingredients.)  It struck me—maybe this recipe is delectable WITHOUT the ketchup!  So here’s what I did:  I saved out half of the mixture before adding the ketchup and voila’! Two recipes for the effort of one!  I served our salads for lunch, David’s with the French, mine with the French minus the ketchup.   It works.  The taste of both—sweet and infused with that green onion freshness, his with the ketchup, mine without.  Definitely a pleasing discovery—one that I will pass on to you.  Maybe next time, I will add mustard to mine, because I am definitely a mustard girl.

I will get back to you on the mustard idea.  I will have to wait until my fridge door has enough room to house all the condiment jars that I try to fit into those narrow cubbies.  Ahh… the limitations of the inspirational cook.

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The ingredients– simple and common

Two in One:  Green Onion Sweet and Sour Dressing and Sweet and Sour French Dressing

½ cup white vinegar

2/3 cup sliced green onion (use the green parts)

1 cup oil

2 t. salt

2 t. pepper (fresh ground or course ground is preferable)

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup ketchup—for the French version.

Measure all the ingredients except the sugar and ketchup and place into a blender.

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Blend very well (about one minute).  While running the blender on low speed, add the sugar slowly for about one minute.  Stop the blender and pour off half of the mixture. This is your Green Onion Sweet and Sour Dressing.

Now add the ketchup to the other half, blending for another minute.

Pour into jars and refrigerate.  This recipe keeps very well if kept refrigerated.  Makes 1 cup each version.

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A Tale of Two Dressings—one on purpose, another by chance.

A Tale of Two Dressings—one on purpose, another by chance.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sliced green onion (use the green parts)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 t. pepper (fresh ground or course ground is preferable)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup—for the French version.

Instructions

  1. For detailed and pictured directions, go to: [http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/a-tale-of-two-dressings-one-on-purpose-another-by-chance/]
  2. Measure all the ingredients except the sugar and ketchup and place into a blender.
  3. Blend very well (about one minute).
  4. While running the blender on low speed, add the sugar slowly for about one minute.
  5. Stop the blender and pour off half of the mixture. This is your Green Onion Sweet and Sour Dressing.
  6. Now add the ketchup to the other half, blending for another minute.
  7. Pour into jars and refrigerate. This recipe keeps very well if kept refrigerated. Makes 1 cup each version.
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/a-tale-of-two-dressings-one-on-purpose-another-by-chance/

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May 192013
 

 

Soon after I posted my blog about the  wonderful phenomena of the bread machine, I attended a presentation at the Montana Historical Society  titled “A Taste of the Past: What We Can Learn from Historic Cookbooks.”  The topic of cookbook evolution fascinates me, and before your click to go read something else, please hang with me while I tell you how lucky we are to live when we live.

Everyone has struggled with a recipe that was sloppily written, or missing important elements necessary for a successful dish.  Or, maybe you have a grandmother’s recipe with unconventional vernacular, like: “add a teacup of sugar,” or “place in a hot oven.”  Obviously, we have come a long way and most of us have no clue what it was like before we had the standardized recipe format from Fannie Farmer–  or experienced what it is to bake without the convenience of the electric oven.

Back to the presentation:  The Historical Society has a collection of cookbooks that go back to the 1880s.  The oldest in the collection was “The Montana Cook Book” that with a compendium of recipes “adapted to the Rocky Mountain region.” The “Crumbs of Comfort” cookbook dated 1893, and tells how to make a lettuce sandwich.  Lettuce sandwich?

The early cookbooks took much for granted.  No, OODLES for granted. There was major assumption as to how much skill a cook possessed.  Clearly, most girls were tutored by a mother or grandmother on the basics of food preparation. Most postmodern high school graduates might mistake these recipes for a grocery list.  Many recipes seemed only to list what went in, in what order, and voila’, a finished culinary creation appeared! Or, not.

And clearly, they did not have ready access to the variety of staples that we take for granted.  If a recipe called for butter, one did not buy it at a nearby Costco or Sam’s, but likely milked the cow, skimmed the fat and churned the cream.  Imagine that?  Or, baking that cake meant stoking the wood stove and testing the heat by “placing a bit of flour on a sheet and waiting until it was browned!”  Sounds more like a science experiment to me.  (And to think how often I opt for the boxed cake mix so to avoid the “tedious” measuring.)

Another point of interest are those with pictures of the pioneer kitchen.  Oh dear.  It wasn’t even apparent that the room pictured WAS a kitchen!  A stove, yes, but counter or cupboards?  No, I wondered how well I might have fared, since I felt deprived because it was 30 years of marriage before I had the convenience of an in-sink garbage disposer.  And speaking of a sink?  Did not exist in these pictures.  And I am ashamed to think of my own dismay that I neglected to include a pull-out cutting board for my new kitchen!   Nowadays, we are infatuated with stainless steel appliances, ice cube makers and granite countertops.  A decadent and pampered generation of cooks, we are.

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Perhaps the most detailed and well- written cookbook in the Montana Historical Society’s collection is one titled “Manual for Army Cooks” (Prepared Under the Direction of the Commissary General of Subsistence, 1896.)  Though not of any particular Montana significance, it does describe the best way to gauge the temperature of your stove  and  how to dispose of garbage “so as to not attract flies” — A skill still yet to be conquered – I still miss those fabulous “No Pest Strips” that I used in the 90’s.  (For those who don’t know abut those amazing hanging slabs of insecticides—they were a fab invention that killed those pesky flies from the corrals.)  The only disturbing aspect of this wonderfully detailed cookbook is that its author was most likely a man.  I guess that tells you I am that most definitely gender biased.

100_1974And yet, while I admire the determination and solid work ethic of the pioneer cook, I am abundantly thankful that our technological advances have freed up women for other pursuits, like helping professions, Bible studies and volunteer work, not to mention, Zumba dancing, spray tans and gel manicures.   And to think, Martha Stewart has made millions by teaching us how to master these pioneer domestic activities!  Who’d have thunk it?  She has re-established homemaking as a hobby, yes,  an artistic and vogue pursuit even.  (I’d like to know if Martha makes a lettuce sandwich?)

Finally, a clear indicator that we now speak a different language of political correctness—one of the collectibles featured was “The Montana Federation of Negro Women’s Club Cookbook”.  Published in 1925, they boasted that theirs was a superb publication because “they make their living by cooking.”

It was an interesting night.  I appreciated the history lesson and reflected happily how grateful I am for my microwave, 5 burner gas stove and my ever-so-wonderful bread machine.  Sometimes it only takes an hour long peek into our past to celebrate the timing of our birth into this world.  And though I am intrigued by Martha’s reinvention of our domestic opportunities, I’ll stay comfortable with my level of energy and commitment in the kitchen.  I have far too many other pursuits (a job, gel nails and Bible Studies) to fill my days!

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 Posted by at 8:23 pm
May 192013
 

 

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A while ago I wrote about the evolution of cookbooks after I had attended a lecture at the Montana Historical Society in Helena.  It was made abundantly clear that we have come a long way – in that we have standardized our measurements and cooking techniques in such a manner that recipes are easy to read, easy to follow and mostly, predictable in outcome.  Gone are the days of a “teacup” of sugar, a “spoonful of lard” and the ever so descriptive “bake in a hot oven.”

However, I have a favorite recipe card handwritten by my paternal grandmother that was “old school”.  Providentially, my mother had the gift of interpretation and was able to explain the particulars of how the cake is made. It was a beloved dessert of my dad’s, so mom was well practiced in how to make it, and maybe even learned it firsthand from her mother in law.

I have the recipe on an old index card and I treasure it as one of the few belongings of hers that I have.  She was an attentive grandmother– not affectionate– but expressed her love for me by sewing superb outfits for me and my sister.  I recall one dress in particular, a brown and pink flowered corduroy dress that was a favorite of mine.  I remember  that I wore it at least once a week and I so wish that I had saved it in a hope chest (that I never had).  It was lined, soft, and surprisingly stylish considering Grandma Mary was not particularly chic in her Roundup, Montana sort of social circle.

In addition to being an excellent seamstress, she was a wonderful baker.  I wish that I had more of her recipes.  But I am thankful that I have this cake recipe, for it has special significance and favor in my family.  And when it comes to making cakes, I must confess that I am mostly guilty of laziness.  A boxed cake mix passes for me, sadly, because the frosting is what I adore.  (I never buy ready made frosting.  Seems to be inexcusable to do that.)

But, this cake holds a special place in my heart.  Boxed cake mixes seem mostly to be an act of capturing air with flour and sugar, but not this one– this cake has substance and texture.  Using sour milk (I don’t know why) and unsweetened squares of chocolate softened by hot water (this I understand why), my grandmother created this old fashioned chocolate cake for her three boys and coal miner husband.  It does not rise like a cake mix, usually has a bit of a valley in it, but possesses taste that beats the beauty of those pretty (but pretty awful) store bought cakes.  And besides, the valley only means that you wait for the serving that comes from the middle of the cake since it boasts more frosting to enjoy.

And speaking of frosting–although the cake is oh so wonderful, it is her frosting that made it so delicious!  I tried for years to recreate it, going by my mother’s verbal coaching, but never could master its silky smooth cocoa flavored sweetness.  Finally, only about 35 years after trial and error, I convinced my mom to make it and measure while doing so.  She agreed, and we got it on paper.  For which I am glad, because my girls have baked it for their families, too.

So what is the he secret to her delectable frosting?  Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup.  Most of us thin out the powdered sugar with cream or milk, but Grandma Mary used chocolate syrup.  I have never seen another recipe that does so, but now that you’ve heard it, it makes sense, yes?  It spreads so beautifully and has a gloss that I have remembered since I was a little girl.  And as I write this, I have that upset in my stomach that comes from the indulgence of scraping the bowl, licking the beater, and heck—why lie?  The spoonful of frosting that never made it to the cake.  I will never learn.

Anyway, here it is.  It is easy to make, uses common ingredients, and promises to please.  Which is why it makes the cut for:  only my best recipes.

And thank you,  Grandma Mary.  I wish you were here to enjoy it with me.  I never took the time to tell you how much I liked your cake, or how much I loved that pink and brown flowered corduroy dress that you made for me when I was in 7th grade…

My blog about your recipe is my attempt to express those unspoken thanks.

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The ingredients for the cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandma Mary’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

1 cup of boiling water

2 1/2 squares of unsweetened chocolate

1/2 butter at room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 sour milk (you can make it sour by adding 1 t. vinegar and allowing it to sit a minute)

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch cake pan.

Pour the hot water over the chocolate and allow to soften.  Cool.

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Place cooled water and chocolate in a mixing bowl.

Add the butter, sugar and eggs.  Beat until combined.

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Add flour. Mix at medium speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl when needed.

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Pour into prepared pan.  Bake 30 – 35 minutes in the center rack of your oven.  Remove once the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.

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Not very pretty, but don’t worry, it will frost nicely!

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Here is what my grandma meant by “pulls away from the pan.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow to cool.

Frosting

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The ingredients for the frosting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Combine 5 T cocoa with 2 cups powdered sugar.  Add 5 T melted butter or margarine and 1/4 t. salt.  Beat until combined. (mixture will be pasty)  Add 2 T cream (you can use coffee creamer) and 1 t. vanilla.  Beat well.  Add 4 – 6 Tablespoons of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, beating to spreading consistency.  Frost cooled cake.  (note:  this cake is better on the second day!)

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Frosting is best spread onto cake by “pushing” the frosting, not dragging…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cake is prettier with a topping of nuts!

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Grandma Mary’s Chocolate Cake- not so pretty, but oh so good.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 2 1/2 squares of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 sour milk (you can make it sour by adding 1 t. vinegar and allowing it to sit a minute)
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 cups flour

Instructions

  1. For detailed pictured directions, go to: [
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch cake pan.
  3. Pour the hot water over the chocolate and allow to soften. Cool.
  4. Place cooled water and chocolate in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add the butter, sugar and eggs. Beat until combined.
  6. Add flour. Mix at medium speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl when needed.
  7. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 - 35 minutes in the center rack of your oven. Remove once the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  8. Allow to cool.
  9. Frosting
  10. The ingredients for the frosting.
  11. Combine 5 T cocoa with 2 cups powdered sugar. Add 5 T melted butter or margarine and 1/4 t. salt. Beat until combined. (mixture will be pasty) Add 2 T cream (you can use coffee creamer) and 1 t. vanilla. Beat well. Add 4 - 6 Tablespoons of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, beating to spreading consistency. Frost cooled cake. (note: this cake is better on the second day!)
  12. Frosting is best spread onto cake by "pushing" the frosting, not dragging... Cake is prettier with a topping of nuts!
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/grandma-marys-chocolate-cake-not-so-pretty-but-oh-so-good/

 

 Posted by at 8:04 pm
May 142013
 

Years ago I fell in love with Applebees’ Oriental Chicken Salad.  I don’t know if it was the crispy Napa cabbage or the unusual dijon mustardy dressing.  Or a combination of both.  But whatever, I could not get enough of it!  So imagine the thrill when I discovered a version of it on the internet.  So, made it, I did.  Again and again.  I even wrapped it in flour wraps and pretended that is was a sandwich.

I could make it weekly, except that David objects and rejects my notion that it is good enough to eat that often.  My solution?  I make it up, divy it into four servings and take it to work with me.  Sure, it looks like I am being a bit repetitious, but who cares?   I get my indulgence and David gets to escape my passion for this salad. (We all have our secret life.)

Here is what you will need.  And oops, I forgot to buy the purple cabbage to add to it.   And since it is several miles to the grocery store,  I am going to ask you to imagine that it is there.  It mostly adds color (don’t get me wrong, color is important) but it is perfectly fine without it.  Just add about 1 cup of shredded purple cabbage and it will be a pretty addition.  And if you have never tried Napa cabbage– this is your chance to fall in love again. the crispy mild flavor is  addictive.  And, like other cabbage, it keeps in the fridge for a long time.  Always a plus for those of us who live a ways from the grocery store.

Oriental Chicken Salad

 

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Dressing:

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3-4 T. honey

1 1/2 T.  rice wine vinegar (or white vinegar if you don’t have rice on hand)

1/4 cup mayo

1 t. dijon mustard

several dashes of sesame oil– do not omit this!  It is very important for the specific taste of this dressing.

Add all of the above and stir well.

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Note:  I like to triple or even quadruple this recipe and use it for a regular dressing also.  David does approve of this indulgence.

Salad greens:

1 cup chopped purple cabbage

1 cup chopped Napa cabbage

1 bunch of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 carrot, shredded

1 green onion, sliced thinly

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toppings:

1/3 c. sliced almonds

1/3 c. chow mein noodles

2-3 prepared breaded chicken breasts, cooked and cooled.

Place the chicken breasts into the oven and cook as directed.

Mix up the ingredients for the dressing.  Chill while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine the salad ingredients.

To serve, slice the chicken breast into bite sized pieces and toss with the lettuce salad and toppings.  Top with the salad dressing.  Serve immediately.  Also works well by doubling the chicken amounts and served inside a rolled flour wrap.

 

 

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Makes 1 large dinner salad, or 4 side salads.

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Oriental Chicken Salad

Oriental Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • Dressing:
  • 3-4 T. honey
  • 1 1/2 T. rice wine vinegar (or white vinegar if you don't have rice on hand)
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 t. dijon mustard
  • several dashes of sesame oil-- do not omit this! It is very important for the specific taste of this dressing.
  • Salad greens:
  • 1 cup chopped purple cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped Napa cabbage
  • 1 bunch of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  • toppings:
  • 1/3 c. sliced almonds
  • 1/3 c. chow mein noodles
  • 2-3 prepared breaded chicken breasts, cooked and cooled.

Instructions

  1. For detailed and pictures directions, go to: [http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/oriental-chicken-salad-crispy-crunchy-and-addictive]
  2. Measure the honey, vinegar, mayo, mustard and sesame oil and stir well.
  3. Place the chicken breasts into the oven and cook as directed.
  4. Mix up the ingredients for the dressing. Chill while preparing the other ingredients.
  5. Combine the salad ingredients.
  6. To serve, slice the chicken breast into bite sized pieces and toss with the lettuce salad and toppings. Top with the salad dressing. Serve immediately. Also works well by doubling the chicken amounts and served inside a rolled flour wrap.
  7. Makes 1 large dinner salad, or 4 side salads.
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/oriental-chicken-salad-crispy-crunchy-and-addictive/

May 092013
 
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Armed with vaccine

The whole mystique of ranching invokes pastoral scenes of mother cows nursing calves, cowboys atop horses and pitchforks of heavy hay. But behind every dreamy scene or idyllic impression is the reality and truth of what life really is.  Raising cattle in Montana would be a dreamy lifestyle that city dwellers would love to live.  For the most part, it is all that and more.  But let me tell you this:  branding cows is dirty, stinky work.  Which is why I prefer cooking.  Cooking for branding, that is.

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My niece– tough as bullets, pretty as a princess

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My granddaughter, Havyn, perched for the best view

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My daughter in law, Mindy and my niece, Bonnie. They do the ear clipping and vaccines. Oh, and Bonnie’s hitchhiker? One year old Brenner in the back pack.

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My grandson, Gavin, my “grand”cowboy

And the reality of branding is this picture:  smelly, smoky (think: burnt hair) soggy or dusty manure (depending on where you step) and noisy, crazy pandelarium.

I suppose that some ranches have a pretty as a picture operation.  Our ranch?  It’s a “git ‘er done” picture.  Rounding up the cow and calf is usually not on horseback but rather, on foot or four-wheeler.  No pretense here– we are real, and it works better than the Hollywood version.  David and his family have never embraced the cowboy image that makes a magazine spread.

So we round up the cows on four wheelers, on foot and sometimes horseback if someone wants to go to the extra work to catch one and saddle it.   Once the cows are corralled, the next step is separation.  This involves a process of herding/ scaring/pushing the moms to one corral while coaxing the babies to another, which eventually leads them to a barn, which eventually leads them to the chute, which takes them to the “treatment.”  All this happens with several generations of Diehls and volunteers—kids, grandkids and friends who want to be “cow”boys for a day.

So if you don’t mind getting dirty, smoky, stinky and endure a bit of verbal abuse (cutting out calves can provoke a few angry commands) then you might just love it.

Me.  I don’t love it.  I don’t like to get dirty, I get my “feelers” hurt easily and I am not very brawny. All of which explains why I head for the kitchen duty.

Harken back:  I remember the first time that David brought me to the branding event. (I was a city girl, remember?) I thought it barbaric.  And every once in a while, I revisit that scene in my head—how the burning happens, the calf cries out and the ear is snipped (part of our brand.)  Add to that, a vaccination, and oh, if you are a boy calf, you suddenly will become a steer by way of the “elastrator”– a simple device that “rubber bands” the jewels so that they eventuate into bits of lifeless flesh that returns to the soil.  When I first saw the process, it was not so kind.  A calf was emasculated with a knife, and the testicles saved for “Rocky Mountain Oysters”—which we women would bread and fry.  And just so you know, if you must, they taste like chicken.  Yes, chicken Nuggets, sort of.  But alas, the risk of infection and the danger if reaching into a calf’s groin to retrieve the little gems no longer make it worth the little morsels that some consider a western delicacy.

So, once all this is completed, the calf is released and returned to its mom, and then gets the once over “smell and taste” test until mom is certain the calf is hers (since every calf we own is all black, I am in awe of the magic of God’s greater design.) They all smell of manure and burnt hair, so His plan works well for the cows.  If cowboys had to pair them up again, I am not certain many men would enter this occupation.  They simply would have no patience for the hormonal components of that task.

Once the happy reunion is complete, it seems that all is well for both mom and baby.  They make their way to the hay or pasture as though nothing was amiss— whether it be ear tip or  jewels, of both as it is for the males specie.  (for those who are privately wondering why we castrate the male calves, you have never eaten “bull hamburger”.  And if you did, then you would never wonder again.)  Only a few calves “make the cut” to remain bulls– those are either sold as breeding components for other ranches, or we keep them to help keep our ladies pregnant.  If you get what I mean.

Now before I end painting this picture for you, I want to tell you about the journey to the chute, the pathway to the treatment. For many years, the task of holding a calf was manual labor, and not for the faint of heart.   It requires that one must grab a calf’s hind leg, gripping a kicking, shaking and sometimes slickery hoof and dragging the surprisingly strong little animal until you could get your partner to his part.  Doing this feat requires a fair amount of brute strength and certain courage.  Once the leg is in firm grip, the calf is pulled to center arena, where another “cow” boy secures the front end, with knees into the neck and front leg turned so as to be immobile.  This isn’t always a ballet, for often one or both ends can wriggle loose of the holds and take out a few pieces of flesh, a tooth, or inflict a few contusions on the cowboys.  Our son in law, Trinity, was the recipient of a precision strike to his front tooth.  Not only did the hoof extricate the tooth, but catapulted it, root and all, to the pit of his stomach, never again to be seen (or at least I think that is the story.) Hence for Trinity, this began a many year process of flippers, bridges and eventually, bone graft and implant to make his smile pretty once again.

So greater wisdom, or, more likely, older age prevailed, and now we make use of a branding “table.”  Not to be confused with the lunch table, this is a contraption wherein the calf is pushed down the chute and squeezed into t pivoting table that secures the baby for the treatment.  Kindly, it holds the calf in position, exposing all necessary parts and pieces for branding, clipping, injections and, for the males, jewel banding (Google “elastration.”)

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Our son and son in law at the table

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Our son and daughter in law making the brand– VL- and the snipped right ear. Niece, Bonnie ready to give the vaccination.

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Trinity, our son in law steadying the hind leg

So by now, perhaps you can understand why I prefer the job of cook? I’d much rather endure bacon grease, flour caked, and apron-stringed decorum for my branding day.  And because we usually have volunteers enough to straddle the gates and push/pull the tails, it works fabulously.  It is a long day that ends with tired bones, terrible dirty jeans and not a few bruises and nicks.  For me, the worst damage is a full dishwasher or sink full of dirty dishes, all of which make me happy to be the cookie.

And although I’ve posted a picture of me with a vaccine gun, let me inform you that it was posed.  Completely posed, because the only shooting that I did on that day, was on the other side of a camera.  Because in spite of the romance of the cowboy life, my romance remains firmly ensconced in the kitchen, which is why I volunteer for cooking duty every time.  My favorite contribution this year to our hamburger feast,  Grandma Marge’s Baked Beans with a whole pound of bacon added — because the extra calories will not go to waste (or to the waist on this hardworking day.)

And I think I will keep it that way.  Which makes everyone dirty, happy, tired and hungry.

And me? Happy, tired, clean, and  … appreciated.  Which is good enough for me.

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 Posted by at 6:44 am
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