Category Archives: Buffalo Gals Mercantile

Grammy’s Super Soft Sugar Cookies

Most of us love sugar cookies.  Me included… I am particularly fond of soft cookies.

47500364_10209882770504256_2737900106257793024_oWhat is the secret to soft sugar cookies??? Normally I would say lard… but in this case it is actually sour cream.   (okay- maybe a combination of the two)

These are made with my Grammy M’s recipe. *note* I make a very simple frosting that is so much faster and easier than making a traditional Royal Icing  (in case you were wondering, yes, it’s the very same as the  Hog Heaven Sugar Cookies I was selling in Buffalo Gals Mercantile)

Ingredients

1 1/2 C  Butter (or 3/4 lard (or Crisco) & 3/4 margarine)                                                                1 1/2 C  Sugar                       3 Eggs                                                                                                         2 tsp Vanilla (or Almond/lemon or whatever else sounds good at the time)                            4 1/2 C Flour                         4 1/2 tsp baking powder                                                                       1 tsp Salt                                A heaping spoonful of Sour Cream

~Cream well butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat in eggs. Beat in vanilla and sour cream. Add in baking powder and salt, mix well. Add in flour 1 cp at a time.  ** mixture will be very soft!** Refrigerate for about an hour. Roll and cut into desired shapes. (a 1/4″ or more is perfect.

Bake at 350 on parchment lined cookie sheets about 7-8 minutes. The bottoms will be just turning color and they will be soft to touch. Let cool a couple minutes, remove to rack to finish cooling.

Frosting- I cheat- I simply mix powdered sugar with a smidge of milk and then add in Karo. ***For this many cookies, 2 c powdered sugar, about 1/4 +/- c milk and 1 TBS Karo ought to do the job.*** It should be pretty thick. *Super easy to color with liquid or gel coloring.  **Super easy to ‘paint’ on with cheap paintbrush                                                                                                If you want a real Royal Icing check it out here.

***NOTES*** Bear with me- these notes are  geared towards my kiddo’s!

*Yes. Mom cheats and does not mix the dry goods together first.. I just do it all in the one bowl.                                                                                                                                                  *NO– you do NOT have to sift the dry goods.. You can, but I have not noticed a difference.  *Eggs– If you have fresh eggs from the farm, “3” is open to interpretation.. usually moms eggs are smaller than ‘jumbo’ store bought, in which case use 4.                                          *Rolling them out-  Don’t forget to flour the counter when rolling! (keeps it from sticking. if you don’t have a rolling pin, don’t worry.. I know you have at least a beer bottle or something similar. **No cookie cutter? Use a glass or whatever you have handy.

Enjoy!

~Katy~

 

 

 

 

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What do a seamtress and a coffee roaster have in common?

Community.

That’s what a seamstress/creative and a world class coffee roaster have in common.

“When people talk, community happens”Becky McCray

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Me and Jo

(And let me tell you…. Jo and I can TALK!!)

We are a community. A community of entrepreneurs. A community of women. A community of small town advocates. A community of creatives . A community of givers and do-ers~It only takes two to be part of a ‘community’

~The funny thing about our “community” is that we don’t even live in the same town. Not even the same part of the state!~

I met Jo Kahlifa , at a local Pride of Dakota event a number of years ago. We instantly became friends and have since done a number of exciting things jointly both personally and with our businesses. ( check out MoJo Roast and read about her and the coffees)

IMG_4902The fact that we are a “community”  was driven home this past week when we attended an OTA conference. (NorthDakOTA,MinnesOTA,SouthDakOTA)  Part of the purpose was to bring together creatives from towns across a tri-state area to help transform where we live into great , re-envisioned communities. Places where people once again gather and talk to each other instead of about each other. Communities where roots are put down and dreams are realized.

Community matters. In so many ways. And Community is not always where you live. Often it is what you do.

~Katy~

 

 

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I am “Country Woman” ~ hear me roar!

Every year Farm and Ranch Guide puts on a Country Woman of the Year contest.

People are supposed to write in why they think their woman should win…. But there are guidelines… Community involvement, Special deeds, Involvement with the daily operations etc.  ~  This implies all manner of things.DSCN5883

Most of the women nominated log long hours in real production in crops and livestock, they are active in church and volunteer for nearly everything, blah- blah- blah. All without a hair out of place. You know the types.

Don’t get me wrong~I am not disparaging them in any way. Many of the nominated women are my neighbors. Some of them have won. I admire these women.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I asked Hubby once WHY he didn’t nominate me. He said because I am none of those things, but am Everything to him. (and that he sucks at writing)

That being said- I AM a Country Woman of the Year… Day in and day out. Year after year.

I don’t need a contest to tell me so. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“I can bring home the Bacon…. Fry it up in a pan…….”  Remember that commercial? That about sums it up.

In my little world, I am the one who raises the kids and attends school functions, nurses the bottle babies (Calves and Kitties alike), bakes fresh bread every couple days, Cooks from scratch every meal, minds the garden, cans more goods than a grocery store, gate girl when it’s blizzarding and -30 out, sews and mends, shuffles hubby and vehicles from field to field, watches the markets, tracks the weather, brings him lunch in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe field, never ever calls him when he’s out with the guys, works from home, goes to church, does the parts running, beer fairy,  handles correspondence and the usual round of maid chores too. I  put a good spin on things when they go awry and make hubby feel better about it.  I  am20140906_173647 constantly championing small business in rural communities, attend Downtowners Conferences on my own dime and time so I can better myself and my community, make a quilt every year to donate for raffle at charity, finds the humor in the dark times, mend broken hearts and bruised egos, teach the kids to dream, keeper of the memories and family stories, teaches others how to bake and sew, butchers chickens with the best of them, run a small business of my own, don’t complain when our plans are cancelled yet again 20141128_101658(1)because ‘We have to go to the field, NOW’, I know that  boots DO go with everything, and more. ~ I know that there are 3 big social functions (4 in a good year!) … Two farm shows and a Pheasants  4ever banquet (you can sub- cattlemans, DU or whatever)  If it’s a good year- a trip the fair gets tossed in. Otherwise my social engagements are solo.

Things I won’t or don’t do? I refuse to ever again “Hold that panel, damnit!” when the BULL is making a break for it nor do I drive his big boy toys.

I am proud to support my Hubby- an American Farmer-  behind the scenes in all these little ways.

~Katy~

A little Italian humor…

~  Today on the radio I listened to an interview between well known Italian chef  Gino D’Acampo and a British talk show host… and of course the moment I got in the house I HAD to Google the live event….

In a nut shell~ The host insults the poor man by saying “If you just add ham….” who quickly replies with

if’a my Grand-a-mutha had wheels, she’d’a be a bike-a”  

Can you Hear the cadence and inflection in your head?? I can.

I laughed and laughed.

Because I am half Italian. and I understand. COMPLETELY.

 

~When we were younger, my brother told my mother that her cooking was “ALMOST as good s Chef-Boy-R-Dee”

My mother went on strike with some gestures and muttering with what we loosely translated to mean  “If we ever wanted another hot meal, we’d damn well better fix it ourselves because we sure the heck-0 weren’t getting it from her.”   (ever)10154406_10200976135483947_550699380467426684_n

I actually have some very funny stories about being Italian… But we’ll save those for a later date! WHY??? Because I will have to run fast when my Mother finds out I put her picture in here! ~

 

~Ehhh Tu~

Katy

 

Giving hubby a Christmas list~

Always an adventure.

The hubby tries. He really does.

But you would think, being that we actually live in the same house- he would KNOW my tastes…

I have learned over the years to be pretty specific.

There was the year that I had mentioned new pots and pans were needed… (waaaaaaaay before Christmas!) and an Electric Skillet with 5 pounds of Potatoes appeared

This year my list looks a lot like a ransom note.

I cut out pictures of item specific things I would like and pasted them to paper along with Where they could be gotten. I only listed the stores I actually thought he would go IN

Fingers are crossed!

~Katy~

A Summer to Remember

So my cousin Hannah has come for a month long visit to our farm. She is 9 years old.
At first I was “What am I supposed to DO with a GIRL?” We raised Boys!
~As it turns out, there was nothing to fear.~ We both speak SARCASM fluently.
She was (is) a self admitted “indoor” girl.Fashion-ista
Well- things have changed a smidge.. I am sure her Mama will have a few bad habits to break!
BOOTS go with everything. Hannah has worn her boots more that her sandals and hasn’t even touched tennis shoes yet. 🙂

Cookies for breakfast

Cookies for breakfast

COOKIES for breakfast are ok sometimes.
WALKS  are great for dream making… Hannah wishes to be an Artist or a Fashion Designer… I hope she follows her dreams, where ever they may lead.
Dirt won’t kill you… we have been in the garden daily. she has learned to simply rub things that fall in the dirt on her pants and keep on going…

She can DO ANYTHING. She has learned that with a little perseverance and cussing, all tasks are do-able!  So very proud of her!!

I Can Do it!

I Can Do it!

Coffee nearly BLACK… and a sweet tooth for French Vanilla flavoring.
POLKAand two-step are a must have in the dance repository if you want to be ‘social’ around these parts.

fun in the sun

fun in the sun

   HAY BALES are great fun. So is the quad and the dog. CHICKENS will follow you like the Pied Piper.

Well~ I gotta run. More on our adventures later…. sewing, baking, swimming, dancing and more!   We have MEMORIES  to go make!

~Katy~

Why Burlap??

 Why not?
It’s versatile, biodegradable, recyclable and more.
Hessian or Burlap as it is called in the US, is made from a tall, grass like plant called Jute. It is cut and woven.jute%20oogst

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I use burlap in many of the projects I make at Buffalo Gals Mercantile. I love the rustic-ness of it. The graphics on the vintage bags are fabulous and truly speak of our Agricultural roots and early advertising.

Burlap is biodegradable- we actually use the scraps on the garden. It’s a natural soil enhancer and weed barrier. We just till it in at the end of the season.  “Post consumer burlap compost creates a constantly renewable product that increases soil fertility, rather than depleting it” -The Green Building Handbook

10256824_501759616595111_2700429621183935268_nBurlap is recyclable. –  Use old bags to make purses, chair covers, window treatments, accessories, table runners, stuffed animals, lamp shades … the ideas are limitless really.  Here’s a link to Pintrest  with fabulous ideas!

Did you know…. Statistics show that Burlap is quickly gaining  in popularity and  may surpass Cotton as the most used natural fiber?

Burlap is Eco-Friendly & Eco- Chic .   A great way to use it is as a market tote. No more plastic bags! And it’s quite the fashion statement as well.

~Katy~

 

 

 

Chickens and Kittens and Calves…Oh mY

 

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How did wanting 4 layers and 1 noisemaker (rooster) turn into 50 chicks and 10 ducks????

I was perfectly ok with buying a few grown layers from the neighbor. But alas, over coffee with the father-in-law…they morphed!

(but he did promise he would help at butchering time)

And Yes…. If I thought for a minute I could add food coloring  to their water and make them change color ~ I WOULD~ 🙂

That being saidOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA… It’s springtime here on the farm… That means lots of little calves, kittens and chicks..

Our cows are mostly Catholic according to hubby… They are trained to line up and stick their tongues out on cue and ‘accept’ their treats. The one , I am sure is boarder line diabetic… she LOVES peppermint and brownies.

And the chicks always make me want to go to another Mike The Headless Chicken Festival! Mike is a true story about a chicken that didn’t die after they tried to butcher it!! No kidding!! he went on to perform at Coney Island, the Santa Monica Pier and more.. it’s really an interesting story.  Click the link and read all about it.mike-the-headless-chicken

The festival is great fun too. They have “Mike parade” where you and your pets have to dress up as “mike’,  fried chicked and all manner of strange fun! The kids still regale their friends with tales about it.

~Katy~

 

Sewing for Victory!

 

I have decided to join the Sew For Victory challenge. I stumbled onto to the Lucky Lucille blog.  And that’s how I foundvictory out about the challenge.
The goal is to sew an outfit from the 1940’s.
I think…NO…I KNOW  I can!!  My Grammy Helen was an accomplished seamstress and taught me many tricks. Grammy sewed for San Francisco’s upper crust. Many of mgrammyy outfits in the 70’s were made with scraps from these ladies. 😉

In fact, I sew on my other Grammy’s 1960 Kenmore !!

Though I will say I was NEVER a fan of polyester!

My Grammy learned to sew very, very young. And later as a war bride, she learned to make do with whatever was at hand. Including flour sacks.

It’s interesting that off and on over the years I have used the skills I didn’t really realize I had, to earn a living!

So in memory of her, I am doing the Sew for Victory Challenge.  I have not quite decided on a pattern yet, though I have an idea of what I want. The 1940’s were a great time for ladies fashions. Very flattering and feminine.

Lucky for me, I happen to posses a number of vintage 1940’s patterns… (Shhhhh… don’t tell!…taken from Grammy’s ‘stash’)  Ranging from kidspattern3pattern1 clothes and aprons to evening wear….

Keep an eye out for updates on my outfit!

~Katy~

 

And so it begins~

We are building a new house this spring. WE.. as in WE are doing ALL the finish work. We had the shell and rough plumbing contracted.

~Oh Joy.~OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you ever done anything important TOGETHER???    It is challenging.

Todays challenge was we had to take down several trees so the house could go up. Two were dead. Two were my favorite little apple trees. 40 year old apple trees!

Beautiful, droopy, cozy little apple trees.

I was OK with the first three. But I totally turned Tree Hugger on the last one!

We had hubby’s dad come over and run the chain saw. Hubby wasn’t ready to trust me with either the tractor (with the cable)  or the chainsaw.

There they are in the background (with my cousins!)

There they are in the background (with my cousins!)

I personally think it was because we live in old school “Man’s Country” and some things are simply “Men’s Work”.

PERIOD.

I can hear that old jingle from George of the Jungle… “George. George… George of the Jungle…watch out for that treeeeeeeeeeeee”

Stay Tuned…

Katy

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