Breakfast For Road Crew - Home on the Range Blog at - 201104

Home on the Range

Breakfast for Road Crew 
Oct. 20, 2010 5:42 am 
Updated: Jan. 3, 2011 8:29 pm

My apologies to those who read this before on my blogsite, but due to Randyman's attempt to remove his finger* yesterday, and his trip with the boss today (I did inspection and packed a ton of bandaging material along with his candybars) , I am up at 4 a.m. and remembering why I hate getting up at this hour! ...which brought me to memory lane, and back to this blog. So here it is again! (Ya think I can hold a grudge??)
Breakfast for the Road Crew

We live 110 miles from the nearest small town. There is a county road that goes past the ranch. Its all dirt and gravel, but has to be maintained, so the county has worked out a deal with the boss to set up a rock crusher on the ranch for the summer. Now rather than have a buncha guys drive 2 hours each way to and from work, they also worked out a deal where a road crew stays here from Mon thru Thurs. They have to be fed. This is just one of the many jobs that the boss’ wife takes on. I don’t envy her, as they eat both breakfast and dinner REAL early, and its very inconvenient, with all the work that already has to be done on a ranch, which lasts from sun up to sun down.

I got up at 4 a.m. in the morning. Yes!! I DID say FOUR IN THE MORNING!! feed the road crew that is staying here.
The boss’ wife told me that she and boss would both be gone. So...let me tell you how well that went! I am NOT a morning person.

We had just returned from a stressful 2 day shopping trip that nite, and I was exhausted. (grocery shopping is 5 hours away, and combined with errands, it runs about 20-24 hours a trip. This time we stayed overnight...frivolous, I know.)

I was informed that there were 6 guys who had to be out the door by 5 a.m. She said she had gravy in the fridge, and all I had to do was make biscuits, ham, eggs, tea and coffee. She would leave her sourdough biscuit recipe on the counter.

Sooooo in order to function well enough to find the boss’ house at 4 a.m., I had to start wakin up by 3 a.m. I threw on a sweatshirt and some bluejeans, and rode the 4 wheeler, (quietly of course)up to the house. I took off my shoes, and jacket, found that the boss’ wife had stoked the woodstove before leaving and it was a cool 110 degrees or so, inside the house. I opened the glass french back doors, hoping to find oxygen, and the wind slammed them back against the house. No glass broke, so I left it open, then started chasing the napkins and the recipe around the house where the wind was blowing them...I shut the stinking door...then realized, I had no GLASSES and could not READ the recipe! So back to OUR house to find reading glasses in the dark, and beg Scottie and Cider, our astute watchdogs, to stop barking at me and SHUT UP.

Return to boss’ house.

Read recipe at 4:30ish and note that it says, "shape rolls, and allow to rise til double. Bake 30 minutes"
Talk myself through panic attack.
Drive back to house for biscuit recipe that can actually BE made before tomorrow afternoon.
Lock Zoey, the ankle biting Jack Russell, in boss' back bedroom and tell her to SHUT UP.

Did you know that if you put the water in the coffee machine,  before you go to dump the old grounds and replace them...there will be hot water all over the counter and the freezer when you get back?

Dry off counter and freezer.

Attempt to locate measuring cups and spoons for biscuit recipe.
Drive back to house for measuring cups and spoons.
Tell Coon and Bubba, 2 of the 5 cowdogs,to SHUT UP.

Did you know that the boss’ coffee measure is a totally different size and shape, and I am unable to tell how many are needed to make a cup of coffee in their machine?

Begin putting ingredients for biscuits in bowl, bravely attempting to do math in head, in early morning, to double recipe.

Drive to house for lard and cream of tartar.
Threaten dogs, again.

Make second pot of coffee, with different amount of grounds than first, hoping one of them is right.

Note there is no pastry cutter at boss’ house, REFUSE to drive home a 5th time in the pitch dark at OBSCENE hour when real people should NEVER  be up cooking, or eating!

Cut out biscuits with bottom of glass as there are no biscuit cutters. Note they are the size of frisbees.

Place biscuits in oven at 4:58 noting they take 18 min to bake.

Start making scrambled eggs, as there is no way I can do eggs to order for all these guys without totally screwing them up. I am a pancake girl.

Did you know that the boss’ wife sometimes leaves tinfoil in the oven with stuff that has spilled over on it from baking something else, and that it can fill the entire house with smoke within minutes?

Note that eggs are not cooking, and assume electric stoves don't cook as hot, so turn dial up to high.

Find 6 gallon bowl of gravy in fridge and wonder if there is a FURNITURE DOLLY to move it to the sink so I can pour some in bowl and heat it in microwave.
Note that once electric stove gets hot, eggs burn very quickly and stove does not cool down again for two days.

Reread note from boss’ wife that cryptically says "tea-2 bags"

Pour water in tea pot and plug it in.
Wonder what the hell I am supposed to do with the tea bags.
Tell 'sissy-man, road-crew, tea drinker' to put a bag in his cup. Make note as he puts 2 bags in a carafe and pours hot water in.
Wonder who the hell drinks tea anyway, and recall seeing  boss drink it. Reserve smart- comment.

Serve breakfast at 5:30, informing victims there are no guarantees.
Note with pleasure, all survive and take extra biscuits with them. Perhaps to eat, or maybe to run thru rock crusher. Who cares? I’m going back to bed.

*info on
Oct. 20, 2010 6:07 am
Wow! I am a morning person, but I don't think I could tackle all that at 4 am!! Sounds like it all went OK, at least they all survived long enough to get out the door, huh?? Pleasant dreams....
Oct. 20, 2010 7:40 am
I think these guys are just real tough!They could probably have eaten nails and done ok :)
Oct. 20, 2010 7:56 am
LOL! Great blog!
Oct. 20, 2010 8:02 am
OMG that gave me my chuckle of the day :)
Oct. 20, 2010 8:14 am
Too funny! I hope you DID go back to bed :)
Oct. 20, 2010 10:47 am
Gawd that was funny. I laughed so hard at it all. Got the makings of a good book in the Bombeck fashion. Where are you, generally, located? Sounds like Wyoming or Montana or the Dakotas...
Oct. 20, 2010 11:23 am
we are in SE Oregon. Go to the middle of nowhere, turn left 1 mile and you are at the ranch. We are the stone house below the barn LOL
Oct. 20, 2010 12:07 pm
That had to be the funniest blog I have read in a while. Doesnt it make you appreciate a woman in the kitchen just a litttttle? Well it couldnt have been too bad of a breakfast-your still alive.
Oct. 20, 2010 2:59 pm
no wonder I couldn't find you, Petey. I turned right. Great laugh, I know you were not laughing that morning but life happens:)
Oct. 20, 2010 3:01 pm
That was awesome! Don't ya just love barking dogs at 4 in the morning? Grrrrrrrr! lol
Oct. 20, 2010 3:33 pm
Great piece, Petey! I giggled out loud, and I'm going to share this with my sister. BTW, the picture of the sunrise isn't bad, either!
Oct. 20, 2010 4:23 pm
thanks bibi! Marie, actually, I appreciate a MAN in the kitchen...I am a 'she-petey' LOL
Oct. 21, 2010 5:21 am
A great post!
Oct. 21, 2010 12:58 pm
hahahah! that was Great!
Oct. 21, 2010 1:06 pm
I'm still confused, is Handy Randy man OK, you did start out saying he almost lost his finger-or is that another blog??
Oct. 21, 2010 1:43 pm
it was a blog on my other site, gmma. He cut his finger down to the bone on a chop saw, but as of this morning, he was still breathing!
Oct. 21, 2010 3:03 pm
The only way I could have fed that crew would have been if I pulled an all-nighter and I haven't done that since my kids were small. We're laughing with you, not at you right? Hope Randyman's finger recuperates well, that must have hurt. Another great post.
Oct. 21, 2010 3:14 pm
Petey, you're gonna be the death of me!! You write so well and never fail to have me seriously snorting with laughter...AT WORK! My co-workers always ask, "You're reading THAT BLOG again, aren't you?!" LOL!! Keep 'em coming, GF!
Oct. 21, 2010 5:00 pm
Thanks Keri! That is high praise indeed! :)
Oct. 24, 2010 8:51 am
Oh dear! Catching up on reading today...thanks so much for the chuckle! Reminds me of Grandma's tales of fixing dinner for the threshing crews.
Oct. 24, 2010 8:54 am
We live in CA and 3 min from market, but we have a 2nd home in LA, that I have to drive 25 mins to the grocery store...I'll never complain again! Thanks for sharing such funny stuff!
Oct. 24, 2010 10:20 am
Petey: Oh, my goodness! You always crack me up! My boss describes those out-of-the-way places as "30 feet from water, 2 feet from he11." Hope Randyman keeps all his fingers.
Oct. 24, 2010 1:11 pm
Oh my. I laughed all the way through this. I could not imagine going through all that! I too live quite a distance from what I call real civilization, but we are a 'city', with maybe 1500 people. We have 1 grocery store and 1 gas station. I do not go to either. I will drive the 30 miles to the nearest actual city & shop at good 'ol walmart. But to do any REAL shopping, it's a 2.5 hour drive. I could picture everything taking place as I read your blog. I have to say...I am NOT a morning person either, but where you live sounds lovely, and I think it would be fun to try that experience just once. *ducking*
Oct. 25, 2010 10:37 am
I think I broke a rib!!!!From one AM person to another...WELL DONE.
Oct. 25, 2010 3:09 pm
Haha! Great blog! What a heck off a morning that was! I am soooo not a morning person, so I can relate lol. On long road trips I have often wondered where in the world the people that live in the houses in the middle of nowhere shop- I guess I know now! My closest grocery store is so close it is almost silly to take the car lol :)
Oct. 25, 2010 6:35 pm
That was hilarious!
Oct. 26, 2010 6:44 am
Really funny! I wouldn't have made so many trips back to my house. You get an A+ for all that work!!!!
Oct. 26, 2010 3:30 pm
LOL!! This was great. As a native Oregonian, I can imagine all of this...the desolation, the dogs, the boss' wife. However, the 4am part? I can "imagine" it, and that's as far as I can go.
Oct. 27, 2010 7:34 am
This blog was a delight! As someone who lives on a ranch that is some 15 or 25 miles from nearest towns (depends which town you head toward) and as someone who gets up at 3 AM to go to work during the summer, I totally related to your day, and you deserve that chance to go back to bed! :) Hope Randyman's injury heals wonderful DH has already been informed he may not handle sharp equipment unless someone is in shouting distance or cell range. Yes, they managed to survive before we came along but not as well. LOL ;) And feel free to tell the dogs that if it's too early for birds to chirp, it's too early for dogs to bark. ;)
Oct. 27, 2010 8:26 am
Great writing!! It took me right there with ya (as a fly on the wall) - I have to laugh out loud! That is great!
Oct. 27, 2010 8:27 am
LOL You are quite a trooper. I would have started hunting for a magic lamp after the third trip. HAH!
Oct. 27, 2010 8:55 am
Two weeks ago, I cooked breakfast for 60: pancakes, fritatta, OJ, fruit salad, coffee, tea. It took two hours, with all the prep (cutting) the day before. I feel your pain!
Oct. 27, 2010 9:38 am
Petey, you put a BIG smile on my face!! I have the same "bug" Mother Anne has and really needed this! I laughed so hard I think I hacked up a lung! Thank you
Oct. 27, 2010 1:01 pm
I could hardly stand the build up of suspense while reading...have to finish What a life you live!!
Oct. 27, 2010 3:18 pm
LMAO!!! Great Blog...I can hardly want to read the next one...That is like my life lol...
Jan. 3, 2011 8:29 pm
Absolutely loved this - laughed the whole way. That's easy for me to do - I have a desk job that is warm, starts late in the day, and I actually like (I work for Habitat). I can't imagine a life like you live, but it sure is fun - and funny! - to read about it. Keep up these wonderful blog postings!
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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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