The Big Range... - Home on the Range Blog at - 121345

Home on the Range

The BIG range... 
Aug. 29, 2009 9:38 am 
Updated: Sep. 3, 2009 8:45 am we are at PT 2.

I suppose a little information about the ranch we live on would be helpful.

We are employed on the largest, oldest working ranch in the State of Oregon. It's 250,000 acres, which works out to about 400 sq. miles. If you go to SE Oregon, and make a left hand turn at the middle of nowhere for about 1 mile, you arrive where we're at. There's 3500 mother cows...who have 3500 babies a year...I will let you do the math.

When we moved into the cookhouse, there was a huge, neat-o, boss, nifty old stove/oven. It was 64" wide, and 1/2 of that was griddle. It was fabulous for rising bread, but less than reliable for baking it. It was 70 years old and took a couple of hours just to preheat. The worst part of it was that it cost the boss $500 a month in propane just to keep all the pilots lit, so its now stored on the side of the barn and we have a newer, more compact model, which preheats the same day I turn it on!!

One of my duties at the ranch is to occasionally feed crew. That usually falls to the boss' wife, who regularly feeds 35 after a branding, as the "neighbors" and all come to help out with that, which is over a month long event. That leaves me free to ride also...but if she heads for town, the cookin' falls to me.
Breakfast comes wayyyy too early and I don't function at 4:30 am, so my solution is to make something ahead that can be time that was quiche...which i would NEVER, EVER call by its proper name, or it would go untouched. A particular time, I lost my reading glasses and grabbed the diced jalapenos instead of regular diced chiles.

As a result, I found that a cowboy can scream like a girl, if he finds something spicy on his palate that he didn't expect. I have since been able to accept that not all cowboys have good taste, or even good judgment. This is why they used to hang rustlers and horse thieves, but someone has to feed them, and sometimes, that's me.

After drinking copious amounts of orange juice, that fellow was the only one who gave it a thumbs down, so it remains on the regular rotation, WITH the accidental changes, and I reminded him that a body could lose his thumb in that position, not just when he's roping!

Dinosaur so big it doesn't fit in the picture...
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How do YOU spell "serene"?...old milk barn
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The ever handsome Randyman, workin as ground crew
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gotta have a garden...
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...and milk cows....
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and of course, chickens and grandkids!
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and a horse or two...
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and don't get caught nappin&!!!
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Aug. 29, 2009 1:25 pm
Fantastic photo's! I would love to have that Dinosaur! Enjoy and count your blessings!
Aug. 29, 2009 1:46 pm
Sounds like an idyllic life to this country girl!
Aug. 29, 2009 3:58 pm
Wow, it looks wonderful but I can tell it is hard work. I LOVE the stove but for its looks not for cooking with. Thanks for the super country life photos, and the great blog! Home, home on the range where the deer and the grandkids can play...:o)
Aug. 29, 2009 5:47 pm
This is like a fantasy to this NY girl, although my oldest son is trying to get a horse farm started in Northern CA. Your pics are beautiful. I hope you have a wonderful time there with your grand children.
Aug. 29, 2009 6:36 pm
Good place for it, there's a lot of horses up in N CA. I lived most of my life in S CA and trained there for years. Good luck to him!!
Aug. 30, 2009 5:46 am
I love your pictures! Just the other morning I insisted that my husband take me out in the tractor into the middle of one of the big fields so I could take pictures of hay bales in the morning sun. I have yet to catch my hubby napping out under a tree but I know he does it!
Aug. 30, 2009 7:44 am
haha! yeah, except this time, he caught ME LOL
Aug. 30, 2009 8:13 am
Between you, Pelicangal, and me, I think we have managed to shed some light on what our beautiful state have to offer. And it's all different. Beautiful pics Petey.
Aug. 30, 2009 12:32 pm
Sounds like a great life! Love the photos!
Aug. 31, 2009 10:42 am
Great post and wonderful pictures!!! Thanks for sharing!
Aug. 31, 2009 7:57 pm
I have family in Portland and Netarts (pacific ocean near Tillamook) We went to a wedding in Willamette Valley too. They are all beautiful. Your photos make me want to spend even more time there in other parts of the state too! Every time I visit I think why do I live in Minnesota? I know it is pretty here too but no mountains or ocean. Thanks for the post.
Linda Lee 
Sep. 1, 2009 10:50 am
My mom told us about her and her cousin cooking for the thrashing crew her Dad hired in 1930's. She was 15 and cooked bread etc. It's hard to think of any 15 yr. old cooking like that these day's.
Sep. 1, 2009 11:13 am
So true! I know a few who can't figure out the boxed mac and cheese! I am one of those people who see a lot of profit in the old ways of doing things...but I won't give up my flush potty or my internet! LOL
Sep. 1, 2009 9:38 pm
I grew up baking bread from age 8. My three sons cook and bake and all of my grandkids have cooked with me as soon as they could stand on a milk crate at the stove.They are now 14 to 25 and are all great cooks. 1 girl and 7 boys! It is a great way to spend time together.
Sep. 2, 2009 11:07 am
This looks wonderful, I grew up on a small farm. I really miss it since moving to the cities. Great pics too!
Sep. 3, 2009 7:46 am
I just got back from looking at some of the new photos you posted. Amazing! I would love to visit your place and meet you all. If just more people could see that life style the cities would get smaller. Wow!
Sep. 3, 2009 8:42 am
Wow! Do you do all of that and have milk cows too? My hat is off to you. The pictures are wonderful - very beautiful. My mother in law had an old Chambers stove with the grill and a well that she finally had to get rid of. She raised four kids and was the chief farm hand on 500 acres of cultivated land and milked cows early in her marriage, I know that I could never do all of that. My hat's off to you.
Sep. 3, 2009 8:43 am
Hey petey - I'm loving your pics, loving your blog--and I think I would love cooking on that dinosaur of yours. You are mighty mighty!
Sep. 3, 2009 8:45 am
Oh, that also reminds me of my own Grandmother - they traveled to South Dakota from Texas combining in the 40's. They stayed in tents (not the RV's of today) and cooked on camp stove and fire. She learned to make the most wonderful homemade rolls and cinnamon rolls that no one in the family could never duplicate. I can almost smell and taste them now.
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
My favorite things to cook
Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
My cooking triumphs
Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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