Category Archives: country living

Are we Ranchers or Farmers?

That’s a tough one answer!

I think we’re “Franchers”

We have both cattle and crops. Though we have just crossed over to focusing more on cattle and all  it entails.

 

Depending on who you ask, or where you live.. you are one or the other.

If we lived in Montana … the general consensus is that if you have just one hoofed critter, you ARE a rancher.  However… if you have milk cows, you ARE a farmer. As in ‘dairy farm’.

Many farmers will argue that many ranches are part granger , therefore farms.

Trivia: In Australia  they are called sheep and cattle Stations. img_7317

Cattle Ranch. Dairy Farm. Sheep Ranch. Fish Farm. Buffalo Ranch.  Goat Ranch. Boneless Chicken Ranch. Game (wild) Ranch. Art Farm. Nut Farm. Fruit Farm. Fur Farm. Emu Farm. See a pattern here??

Typically- in ranching- they have always been ranchers. Farmers on the other hand are img_6158more typically ‘diversified’. Especially in the mid west.  We are diverse.. cattle, small grains and mobile yard art (chickens).

Farmers are not romanticized the same way ranchers have been. Cattle drives across the wild prairies and so on evoke our imagination. Plain old practical farming doesn’t seem to be as gripping!

When our Nation was young, having cattle and crops, or a dairy cow or chickens was not only a means to making it, it was also extra money at the end of the year. Butter and extra eggs could be sold.  A great book to read on this is Women of the Northern Plains by Barbara Marchello. And by the way- If you ever get a chance to hear her speak… GO! It is an eye opener to what Farm and Ranch women did ‘back then’img_7227

Our farm has always been known as a farm. For nearly 100 years, the hubby’s family have farmed this land we are on. And while there has always livestock, it was always called ‘farm’. So I guess for now, we will remain farmers.

~Katy~

A road trip, Espresso and truth in advertising…

Once upon a time in a far off land…. Okay, not so far off, but it sure seemed like it!

Cope, Colorado is 130 East of Denver and 75 miles from ‘anywhere else’.  We used to live there.  Mind you, this is out there in the sandhills, with a population of a hundred. If you wanted an espresso, or French press or any other ‘fancy’ coffee~ you were pretty well out ofespresso cup luck.

One day a huge 1/2 page ad popped up in our bitty local paper…. advertising for the small town 45 miles North…

NEW COFFEE SHOP OPENING!!!! WE HAVE ESPRESSO!!!!

Holy smokes!!  In the blink of an eye, I was the horn to my friend Shannon. We were both totally twitterpated!  ESPRESSO… here we come. We made plans…

20140614_125827Shann lived 15 miles South of town and were 15 North of town. I bundled my two kiddos into the van (yes.. the “Down by the river” van)  and headed off to pickup Shann and her three kids.  and off we went, backtracking 65 miles up tovans-by-river Yuma only to find out that the “Espresso” they served was that pushbutton gas station variety.

Talk about heartbreak!  We weighed the options, told the kids to settle in and we headed for

espresso

Not espresso

Sterling… another 50+ miles.. to a place we knew without a doubt had “the Real Deal”  Did I mention ‘Da Van had no AIR and it was the middle of summer??

So… 200+ miles and an entire day later, we had our two dollar drinks and the kids had theirs. (back then they were ‘only’ 2.50!)

Lesson learned…. When you live ‘out there’ call and ask first!

~Katy~

Remember that barn down the road???

Remember that post about the barn down the road from us? ( https://katescountryliving.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/the-end-of-an-era-a-praire-barn/ )

I said I would drum up some before pictures and  have…

2013winterbarnI have to thank Lexi, the owners daughter. She shared them with me.

 

 

From barn dances to boyfriends,IMG_1379

 

And weddings and wakes, these silent sentinels have seen it all.

 

 

 

 

IMG_1619

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0390

Sunrise to sunset, always a hub of activity.

 

 

 

Memories in every corner.

 

IMG_1638

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1628

 

 

 

I am lucky to be able to share these, and they will be added to a coffee table book I am making for the family.

While the barn may be gone, the memories remain and the tales will be told.

 

~Katy~

 

Mama’s Ukrainian Lokshyna Recipe

What the heck is Lokshyna??IMG_5019

Lokshyna is a Ukrainian “tasteless” egg noodle casserole. And it’s easy to make! (And cheap.)

All you need is:  1 pkg  egg noodles (cooked)                                      2 eggs -beaten

2 Tbs butter                        1/2 C heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt               (Or Sour cream or milk)

*and whatever you want  that sounds tasty.

Traditional Lokshyna  is just the base recipe with a little  cloves and sometimes 1 C cottage cheese thrown in-

WE happen to LOVE it with some cooked diced bacon (and the fat.. or at least some) and sometimes Ham and onions. It is also good with 1/2 C cheese and some spinach.

~In large bowl -Combine the cooked noodles with melted butter. Add in the eggs, salt and sour cream. Mix well. Pour into a greased cake pan.

You can also make this in a bunt pan. Some of the old timers do this and fill the center with ‘stuff’. Usually something like Deviled Ham or some such craziness.

Also if you melt some butter and mix it with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top before baking, it gives the Lokshyna a crunchy top.

Bake 350 for 45 minutes.  *doubles and triples easily*

shchaslyva yizha

(Happy Eating in Ukrainian)

~Katy~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

IMG_4889

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~

 

 

.

 

 

Mama’s super soft Cinnamon Rolls

IMG_3450Cinnamon rolls remind me of Grandma’s house. They always smell soooooo good!

And they’re soft and gooey too.

Here’s my recipe based off my Grandma Bessie’s  recipe. Pretty much “No Fail!”  This doubles easily, and used for sticky buns, monkey bread, caramel rolls too.

You will need:

Yeast: (Either 1 pkg or  1 tablespoon)         1/2 Cup warm wate

1/2 Cup warm moo. Note: You can scald the milk f you want a sweeter dough.

1/4 Cup sugar                                1/3 Cup melted Butter

1 tsp Kosher salt (regular will do just fine too)      1 Egg- beaten

3- 3 1/2 ish cups flour.    1 Tbs Baking Powder (Optional)

Directions

~Heat oven to 350

~ mix (lightly) Yeast and warm water in small bowl and set aside to “proof”. -about 15 min-ish

~In a large bowl mix  warm milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and beaten egg.

~Add in about 2 cups flour and stir well.

monkey bread2~Add Yeast mixture.

~Add another cup of flour to make a soft dough. If it’s still ‘runny’ add some more flour.

~ turn out and knead a bit. . (I  do it about twenty times)

~put back in bowl and cover to raise until double in size.

~turn out and punch down. Roll into a rectangle about 1/4 +/- inch thick.

~Brush with melted or soft butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it. (I use Brown sugar and lay it on pretty heavy and then sprinkle cinnamon on top)

~Roll up. Cut into rounds and place  Cut side down on greased pan or cookie sheet. (makes 12-16)

~Bake  20- 25 min until golden brown. Remove. Cool. EAT.  (I always start checking at 15 min- every oven is different)

Notes to my kids who don’t cook:  *No rolling pin? Use a wine bottle or mini rollssimilar. *  Simple frosting: about a cup of powdered sugar, mix in 1 tablespoon moo and pour over.  *Add raisins or cranberries for more flavor * Scalded milk makes it more of an Italian Sweet Dough. * Yes-you Can use Margarine. * BakingPowder is NOT same as the Baking Soda you use in the fridge! * Want them to taste like Johnsons Corners rolls??? add Vanilla pudding to the mix. ~ Either a snack pak or 1/2 package dry mix. **if you use the snackpak you will need to add a bit more flour.  ***Monkey Bread~ instead of rolling out, tear into pieces and pile in a bread pan (pie pan, whatever) .  Mix 1 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup melted butter and pour over top. Bake 350 for about 20 min.  *Make Minis by cutting dough in 1/2 and then rolling out to make baby rolls and use a muffin pan.

~~Other useless information:  Where I grew up there is a huge difference between Sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls, caramel rolls and sticky buns!!!!  ~~ Cinn Rolls are just plain, Sweet has the white or cream cheese frosting, Caramel has the Carmel frosting ON TOP. and sticky buns are bakes with the gooey and nuts in the pan.

~Katy~

 

 

 

 

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~

L-A-R-D you are a friend of mine!

LARD.

How do I love thee? Let me list the ways~

Mouthwatering cakes, finger-licking good fried chicken, crispy onion rings….well you get the idea. But I could go on.

Potato Pancakes…. sizzling!

In todays world, most people cringe when you say LARD. “Whaaaaat?? Lard???? That’ll kill you! ”   In the past century some of the greatest recipes called for rendered lard.  Pork. Beef. Chicken. What do you think people used before all these processed oils???

(*ok.. besides the Italians, Greeks and Spanish that had a direct line to God with their olive oils.)

In the years we butcher a pig, we render our own.~ otherwise I suffer with Armour or Morrell  because it’s what we can find locally. Want to know how to render your own lard?? here’s a great link for making your own in the crock pot : http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/01/the-mystery-of-the-missing-pig-fat-and-how-to-render-lard.html

My grandmother made the moistest, richest chocolate cakes with lard. And I have made some incredible Chocolate/Apricot COOKIES with a recipe gleaned from an old boyfriends mom…. It was in  her WW2 era cookbook.1305759103-minimalistic-cookie-monster-pac-man-wallpaper

 Happy cooking!

~Katy~

SaveYour.Town

~life, love and humor on the farm

Paula.Jensen

Creating passion for community leadership and development

Grotto on the Go

Big Adventure ~ Tiny Space

daisiesandbluebellsblog

we are an online Children's Boutique selling funky, vintage style and retro kids clothes

A Girl & Her Chickens

A dive into all things feathered and farming...

Daily Hike

Just the daily things...

knotty is nice

Loving the knotty pine in our vintage homes

Kate's Country Living

~life, love and humor on the farm

The Misters Mrs

A Southern Fried Housewife