Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cooking for Cowboys

Today I'll begin with heart felt apologies to Darlene. She let us know that September was National Sewing Month and we MUST sew every day this month. I wanted to. Really, I did. But my September exploded last week. Our Fall Cow Works are on the horizon beginning on the 24th.
10 days.
12 cowboys.
3 meals a day.
I've been cooking for a crew for 25 years. I couldn't cook a lick when we married so my apology to those early crews. I can't even remember much of what I served. Perhaps that's selective memory and I'm thinking it's a good thing.

So through the years, I have collected recipes...lots of recipes. My family are very willing guinea pigs. They are not picky eaters and will try just about anything. That makes it enjoyable for me.

I posted about my recipe book here,

The Recipe Book

 and when making my menu, I mostly pull out the tried and true recipes I have always made for the crew. Once I did not make lasagna. They jinggled in and Bill said, "Last day! We're having Lasagna! Yay!"  Ummm...nooo. I felt awful. I guess they have come to expect certain things and since they pretty much only get it when we brand in the spring and wean and ship in the Fall, they look forward to it.

When one sweet family moved from the ranch, the wife called me and asked me for numerous recipes. Her husband said she had to get them before they moved. LOL. Just for the record, she is a great cook and I have a few of her recipes that we love too.

So I am in menu planning mode. Lots of meat and potatoes and bread and dessert. Quite a departure from our empty nest menu.

I'll make all the favorites, but I like to introduce a few newcomers into the mix every once in a while. Some people say that cowboys are picky, but I haven't had that experience. Sure, some won't eat salad, but more often than not, the salad bowl is empty at the end of a meal. I was once told of a ranch that fired the cook for making chicken. I make a mean chicken enchilada because I have a dear friend (Hi Beth! waving furiously!) who kindly shared it with me and  that pan is always empty. So just try and fire me. Long about day 7, I'm so wore out that I might make chicken and HOPE they'll fire me because I have some sewing to do! :)

So, the list begins:

And the first trip to the grocery store is made:

A stop at Sam's where I really didn't need much because there is quite a bit in my freezer:

I make most everything from scratch, but I love my shortcuts. I will be baking some kind of bread just about every day, but I buy the 5-cheese Texas Toast for Lasagna day and I buy the Angus Burgers at Sam's.  The paper plates are for supper at night. No dishwasher here - except for me - so I'll be washing enough of those tin plates as is. At night, they get paper plates.

I'll be back for more later because I just found out this second that we'll be skipping a week before picking back up. Good thing too because I'll need that week to recuperate.  I used to do this with 2 little chiddlers scampering about hollering, "I BIG now! I go wiff Daddy!" and, "I holping you Mama!" and never bat an eye and I can't for the life of me figure out how. I miss those days and it's heck getting old.


Nancy said...

Oh my, does this post bring back memories of my childhood, preparing meals for the silage-cutting and haying crews. I used to be pretty good at preparing a hot meal and delivering it 10 miles away still piping hot and freshly made. Everything went with me, even a bucket of hot water, soap, and towel for them to wash the grime off. We were so busy at the time to take photos, but I sure would like to have captured those memories.

A well-stocked farm pantry/freezer is a wonderful thing.

Keep up the good work and sit down for a cup of hot coffee or tea and a piece of pie - you deserve it.

Kristie said...

My goodness! I don't see how you do it. My mom does this too, on the river barge/boat. She cooks for 10-15 men, 3 meals a day for 28 days at a time. Let's just say that when she is home for her 28 days....she doesn't cook at all! LOL! And to think that I feel like complaining sometimes over having to cook for my little family. LOL! You ladies are brave.

Have a wonderful and Blessed day

Linda in TX said...

I have been following you for months and you never fail to entertain me, make me giggle, or make me think. I love this post (and I did go back and read "The Recipe Book") and would love to be there to help you cook. I'm a real cleaner-upper in the kitchen and I bet you could use that! Have fun - and keep your sanity so you can get back to quiltin'.

Cheryl said...

Wow....I totally understand why sewing is taking a backseat this month!!! You are really amazing, and I bet a great cook too!

Deanna said...

Work 'em hard. Feed 'em late. It will all taste good!

Judy Laquidara said...

You should invite a friend or two to come help you. I'd love to help. Sounds like some good eats at your house, and even though I know it's a lot of work, I'm betting it is so much appreciated.

ytsmom said...

Wow! That is some grocery list, I had to take a closer look. What is scratch? And I noticed that jug of clorox in your cart; must be for a special recipe!! I feel for you without a dishwasher. It would be easier to be working the cattle.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

When Judy comes - I should come too - we could make you laugh LOL

So - October is National Sewing Month for you!!

Denise :) said...

I don't think my shopping carts were that full when we were still a family of four and I was shopping/cooking for a month at a time! Whew! Get along lil' doggie! :)

Judy D in WA said...

Oh My Goodness! I love the recipe book.....tried and true, throw in some new. How sweet they missed your lasagna. That says a lot.
You are so organized and your grocery list is a bit scary to me. LOL

Karin said...

Oh WOW - thats a big shopping list! And a bigger WOW for the job you are doing. They are lucky to have you managing the kitchen!!!

Shelljo said...

Karin, Karin, Karin...why are you feeding those poor, hard workin, cattle folk STORE BOUGHT MEAT!

Staci said...

Absolutely can not wrap my mind around cooking this much food for that many people for so many days! I've cooked big meals for holidays for 35 people and not blinked, but to turn out that many homecooked meals in such a short time! I am in awe of your Kitchen Goddess Greatness!

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