view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: Blessed!

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Friday, March 22, 2013


My friend Sylvan and I are currently having a conversation on why we are so happy we live in the era we do.  We are both moms and ranch wives, and love being outside, working with our husbands.  I feel very confident that Sylvan will agree with me, we are very lucky to live in this era.  We can have careers outside of the home, or we can be stay at home moms.  Either is acceptable.  We can also work as part of a cowboy crew and not be thought of as unlady like, or looked down upon.  We are given the respect we earn for our capabilities, and aren't "tolerated" because our dads or husbands are the boss.

That doesn't mean we have things easier than our mothers or grandmothers.  Sometimes I think it means more work for us.  Especially in the ranching industry.  During the era when my grandmother was a young mother, branding time, haying, or turning out cows for me would have meant preparing a huge meal to feed my husband and his help.  I would have cooked a large roast with mashed potatoes and gravy.  I would have baked my own bread or rolls, and prepared a salad and a couple of vegetable side dishes, and a nice dessert to top it all off.  I don't imagine there were many convenience foods to make things easier.  I would have spent pretty much all morning in front of the stove, then worried about how I would keep it all warm when the crew didn't show up on time.  After the crew ate, I would clean up everything, probably spending the rest of my afternoon in front of the sink washing dishes.  If I was lucky, maybe one of the other wives would have come over to help me for the day especially if her husband was helping.

Yesterday we turned out cows.  I was up until 9 the night before making sure I had all of my food prepped, and baking a cake for dessert.  I got up a little earlier than usual to finish my cake, and get all of my food going in crock pots because I needed to have my horse saddled by 7 when the rest of the crew arrived.  After we got back home, I had to hurry into the house to finish lunch and get it set out for the crew to eat.  They got to visit around the table while I set the meal on.  Mid way through my meal, I got up from the table to get dessert for everyone.  After eating, the crew went home and the Cow Boss went outside to do some stuff.  I hurried to clean up and put the leftovers away before heading out to feed cows and do our afternoon work.

I am lucky though.  We do have some "conveniences" that make days like yesterday a little easier.  I have 2 Crock Pots, and Crock Pot liners.  I put a roast in one and a potato dish in the other.  I can buy cake mixes and pudding mixes to speed up some parts of my cooking.  But the best convenience I have is my dishwasher!

Here are my recipes from yesterday:

Crock Pot Tri Tip:
2-3 lb. Tri Tip Roast
1 Onion Sliced
1 c. BBQ Sauce
1 tbsp. Vinegar
1 tbsp.  Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Trim all visible fat from roast.  Place onions on top of roast.  In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients and pour on top of onions.  Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4 hours.  This roast is pretty forgiving.  The longer it cooks, the more tender it gets and literally falls apart, as long as there is liquid in the crock pot.  I highly recommend Crock Pot liners.  Makes clean up so much easier!

Crock Pot Potatoes
2-3 lb. Potatoes
2 Cloves Garlic
1 c. Water
1 c. Cheese
1/2 c. Ranch Dressing
1 tbsp. Dried Onions
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Wash and quarter potatoes (you can peel them if you are feeling ambitious), and place in a Crock Pot with garlic and water.  Cook on high 4 hours or low 7-8 hours.  When tender, remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.  I used Parmesan and cheddar cheese.

Coconut Poke Cake
1 box Yellow Cake Mix and ingredients to make as shown on box.
2 small packages Instant Coconut pudding mix and milk
1 small tub cool whip
Bake cake according to directions.  Let cool and using handle end of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over cake.  Make pudding according to directions and pour over cake.  Refrigerate and serve with cool whip.

I also had a green salad, raw cauliflower, and dinner rolls from the grocery store.  I could probably get away without cooking a meal for the crew, especially when we are home before 11 a.m.  I would feel very guilty not feeding our help.  There is just something nice about a nice warm meal when you come in from a cold morning moving cows!


  1. Oh my gosh! I couldn't agree with you and your friend more. I LOVE working outside. The barn is ALAWYS cleaner then the house at calving. I love riding and working the cows. The we come in and hubby lays on the couch while I make dinner! Yea, the dishwasher and washing machine I could NOT live without! I hear stories from the inlaws. They had at one point when the kids were little, they had a bunch of hired men. And all I hear are the BIG meals that were cooked. Oh, I would have a hired maid then! :) My husband is a 4th generation rancher. I hear alot of cool cool stories from his Dad. I am glad I live in the era I do too. :)

  2. Yeah, it doesn't matter what time of day we get done...if there's people there to help us work, we WILL feed them! I do enjoy big workings days like that, but for the women, it IS a LOT of work! Not only do we have to prep the food and everything the day before, cook the food, then serve the food, and clean up, we have to to all of the chores and outside work too! Phew, I'm getting tired just thinking about all of it :)

    1. You are right, but I wouldn't have it any other way! =)