I've had to cook at a couple of ranches but the most memorable is when we lived on the Quien Sabe. My first "cookout" was for 15 cowboys. I had to cook breakfast and lunch for 7 straight days. Whew!..I'm gettin' tired just thinkin' about it. Do you think 15 sounds like alot?? Well, it ain't. The most I had to cook for was around 38 cowboys and cowgirls. This included actual ranch hands, dayworkers, friends of the boss, and kids that tagged along.
Now cookin's not too hard but when you have to cook for (on average) 20 people for 5-10 days, breakfast & lunch, then you start to get tired and a little crabby.
Preparation was the biggest part. I had to make my menus, figure about how much to make, go shopping, and start preparing the food for the following day. I made just about everything from scratch and even though it was more work, it was also very cost effective.
Here's an example of a daily menu:
- Hash Browns or Fried Taters
- Jelly (about 3 different kinds)
- Chicken Fried Steak
- Mash Taters
- Pinto Beans
- Peach Cobbler
- Ice Cream
Now that is just one day ....try thinkin' up a menu for 20 cowboys for 7 days.
My cooking was OK at the beginning but improved a great deal over the 5 years we were there. Of course, none of the cowboys are gonna tell you it wasn't good but I knew if I had a crappy meal or two. They would always say "Thank you ma'am..that was good", rinse their plate in the sink, and then go outside and visit while everyone else finishes up.
Some people ask me if I miss it and..........I miss the interaction with adults and I did enjoy cookin' all the different things but I DON'T miss the cleaning!
After cookin' for that long you start to accumulate MANY recipes, so I thought I'd share a EASY & cold dessert with you guys. We call it Pookey...don't ask why;)
POOKEY for a family of 4
- 1 Package of DOUBLE STUFF Oreo Cookies
- 1 Carton of Cool Whip
- 2 Boxes of Chocolate Pudding
Make your pudding using the directions on the box, break oreos into pieces and add to pudding, add half of cool whip in pudding mixture and mix it all together, and then add the remaining cool whip on top. I would finely crush some oreos to put on top for garnish but it's up to you. If you want to fancy it up a bit, you can use a clear bowl and do layers. Add or subtract according to how many servings you want. You can eat it right away but I think it's better to refrigerate for an hour or so. Hope you all enjoy!!
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