All's Well That Ends Well - Home on the Range Blog at - 320617

Home on the Range

All's Well that Ends Well 
Jan. 25, 2014 3:50 pm 
Updated: Jan. 30, 2014 6:46 pm

As January comes to a close, our friend, Afif and his guest are packing up to make the long trek home to Nebraska for another year. They had a good trip, considering it was a bad year for hunting. Luckily, that is because they are not as much into shooting birds as they are into the experience of watching the dogs work and enjoying the scenery...and they covered a lot of that. Several days they hiked 4 miles or more up the mountain then back down. They ran across bighorn sheep, mule deer, chukars, several different varieties of partridge and quail, antelope and just about all the neat things the area has to offer. After a daily dip in the hot springs, they would then come to the house and cook dinner for us all. That in itself was pretty neat, in my opinion. Prime Rib, Lamb Kebabs with Bernaise Sauce, Braised Spanish Chicken, Rib Steaks with Maitre'D Butter, Bananas Fosterwhat a month!

Having them fix dinner freed me up to do other things, and I got a lot accomplished much this month. Ranch Rustics inventory is in pretty good shape and as no one was here during the day but me and the critters, I would spend the days multi-tasking. Here’s what that looks like...

On this particular day.

Take a big chef knife and cut a slab of tallow into small pieces. 


Feed it thru the sausage grinder on the KA and grind tallow into a large stock pot.

 Turn the burner on low (I use a diffuser under the pot so nothing on the bottom will burn) and let it melt down and simmer for a couple of hours. While that is going on, grab 10 beef roasts (average of 4 lb) out of the extra fridge where they were defrosting. Cut away all the fat and bone and cut them into chunks. 

1/2 the meat goes into the big electric roaster with the ingredients to make Charley's Slow Cooker Mexican Style Meat  the other half goes in a large bowl and back in the fridge for tomorrow’s canning session.

 Let the Charley's cook a few hours until most of the flavor has had a chance to work its way into the meat, then prepare to can it. The tallow is pretty much rendered by now, so take it off the stove to cool down enough to strain it into a big plastic bucket. Once that is done, the bucket goes into the 'store' room in the back, with all the soaps, candles and other stuff for Ranch Rustics.

Out comes the pressure canner, 7 qt jars and the rest of my stuff. After sterilizing the jars, heating the lids and filling the jars up, The Charley meat goes in for processing at 90 minutes.  When the 90 minutes of pressure canning is up, I have enough time to go out back and feed the horse, sheep and chickens before the pressure goes back down and I have to open the lid. EmmaLouMoo and Sushi are hanging with the cows at the bottom of the pasture most days, so feeding is fairly quick, barring any filling of water troughs or problems.

Back in the house, its time to remove the canner lid, wait my 5 minutes and take the jars out to cool overnight. I throw everything into the sink, do all the dishes just in time for Afif and his guest to come in and start dinner, while I visit with Mr Potamus, who is still limping from being caught in the leg trap.

I sadly mention that my KA burned out while grinding tallow. Next thing I know, our friend is making a generous contribution towards a new Bosch mixer...which is great, because I need a stand mixer every day. I use it to make all our bread and other things as well as using it to make Whipped Tallow Butter for the Ranch Rustics store. 

The Bosch Mixer…my new love. This bad boy can handle 15 lb of bread dough at a time!

It was a good day.

After a good bye to all the dogs, our friend loaded up with a pile of soap, a tartwarmer and spiced cider wax tarts, and his young friend bought the same for his girlfriend. I'm sure he's gonna be welcomed like a rock star.

Feel free to stop in at and have a look around at the homemade soaps, candles, wax tarts and body butters. See ya around!

Jan. 25, 2014 7:39 pm
Candice: it sounds like you've had a good January Petey! Congratulations on your new best friend and love the Bosch mixer! LOL! I always laugh because we do LOVE our kitchen appliances don't we? I'm so happy you got a break from dinner and enjoyed such good cuisine made by your friends. What is Maître D Butter? I think I've heard of it, but ???? Have a great weekend Petey!
Jan. 26, 2014 6:41 am
Lela: Hi Petey! I can see your photos when I click on the question marks. How wonderful to get a heavy duty mixer! I am sure you will put it to good use!
Jan. 26, 2014 8:27 am
Candice, Maitre'D Butter is a compound butter Afif makes for us. It is diced shallots and garlic sautéed in white wine, then added to the butter with tarragon and whipped. It's amazing on steaks, but it's also good on potatoes and stuff…heck, I would eat it on cocoa puffs it's so good! -petey
Jan. 26, 2014 8:28 am
Petey: Lela, I am glad you can see the photos, cuz on my laptop, it's just empty space. No question marks even! I am SO jazzed about this mixer. The meat grinder for it is on its way, and over time, we hope we can get the blender, and food processing parts so it will be the only thing that has to be out on my very small counter! :)
Jan. 26, 2014 11:45 am
Luv2cook - - Hey Petey, I subscribe to your "Range to Range" blog so I got the "whole tamale" there - words, pics, the "full monte" -- so much better!! I don't understand why the AR site has gotten so difficult - can't post pics - can't see who's writing what - not people friendly at all. Oh well..... I can certainly see that the Bosch will be your new BFF - LOL! It would be mine too!! Congrats on a your new kitchen buddy!!!
Jan. 26, 2014 3:04 pm
LOL@ luv2cook. -petey
Jan. 27, 2014 6:06 pm
Manella:) hello petey, so very happy you had a good month. You sound happy and healthy, I love my stand mixer, it's not quite as big as yours, but I only make 2 loaves of bread at a time. Hope you enjoy yours for a very long time. Wishing you the best petey. Stay healthy:)))
Jan. 28, 2014 9:07 am
Oh man! I missed where you tell us Potamus got caught in the leg trap (for the mtn lion, right?) I'll have to search previous blogs. I'm happy for your new kitchen "sous chef" - you need a heavy duty commercial-type machine for all that you do! It's great that you had fine dining at home - such a treat! But I have a feeling ALL of your meals are delicious...scootersandi
Jan. 28, 2014 4:57 pm
Thanks Manella! Best to you too! ScootersandI, this guy wasn't supposed to be there. He just randomly decided to set traps down below our house and my dogs was injured. He is definitely on my "LIST"… It was awesome having Afif here. Miss him already
Jan. 29, 2014 9:08 am
Petey, I have missed your post for a while now. Been very busy taking care of my husband. He past away on the 21st after 5 years of struggling to get better. He fought a very courageous battle to the end. As usual the post is as good as all the rest. Glad to see that it sounds like your pain has taken a break for a while.
Jan. 29, 2014 3:10 pm
Petey This is great you got a stand mixer. And, with all you do, you do need it. That makes it a need, not a want. You know, we all need to let AR know the site is deteriorating. I tried to change a picture on my blog post and it won't let me. And no one knows who is commenting anymore. Bad. I think they must not know. Thanks for keeping your blog so full of life, Petey. Marjorie
Jan. 30, 2014 6:46 pm
Thanks guys. I wish the site was fixed. I don't know who it is who lost her husband, but I am so very sorry for your loss.
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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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