Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I Hate Cows

The only good cow is a T bone steak.

Cows and I have had a rocky relationship for a lot of years. When I was eleven or so the kids in the neighborhood would go for hikes in the hills behind our houses, just south of town. On one such hike we stumbled into Dr. Score's cows. We all climbed up ponderosa pine trees. Maybe the other kids were doing that for fun, but I was doing it because I didn't want to mess with the cows. After observing cows from the vantage point of a tree became boring, my fellow hikers got down and horsed around (cowed around?) with the cows. But I went home. Cows aren't very entertaining playmates if you ask me.

I have had the dubious pleasure of chasing cows out of alfalfa fields. I have made the mistake of running at a cow to get her to move only to discover her I was between her and her calf. Not a good location. I have had my dog chase cows off the road in front of me and watched the cow come after the dog. I have been glared at by a bull eating alone on a hillside. I have had to leave a hiking trail and hike through deadfalls because an enormous red cow with a calf made it abundantly plain that she wasn't moving off the trail, so I had better.

When we lived in Jefferson Hills, Travis Smith turned his cows out to pasture on Prickly Pear Creek in the summer. Unfortunately, we had corn and lived near a tributary to Prickly Pear Creek. Cows LOVE corn. Very, very, unfortunately, we had no fence around our corn. It seems like we and our neighbors spent our summer herding Smith's cows out of our corn.

That summer my husband took numerous moonlight walks herding cows that came into the corn in the middle of the night. He learned a lot of interesting things. There are a lot more black widow spiders than you think all over the prairie. They love to build webs in gopher holes and come out into middle of the webs to bask in the moolight, I mean moonlight. I suppose we owe that bit of trivia to cows, but a good night's sleep would have been way more useful, especially to the parents of five children.

At that time of the moonlight walks, Tucker Smith, the artist, lived in our area. People would get him mixed up with Travis Smith, the cattle owner, and call him up to bawl him out about the cows. Later, I heard Tucker Smith moved to New Mexico. I wondered over the years if Travis Smith's cows were the reason for the move.

My latest, and nastiest encounter with a cow occurred during a hike in the Elkhorns. While my daughter and I were hiking up a trail, cattle owners were moving their cows down the trail. I heard the mooing of upset cows, but didn't know what was going on as I started to wade through where the creek and the trail converge. Before I knew it, I saw the whites of the eyes of an upset bull. Evidently, he decided to take his bad day out on my daughter and me. He started after us as we scooted off the trail into the thick, reforested growth of a 15 year old burn. The bull was not deterred in any respect by the thick sapling growth.

Lucky for us, a cowboy came along, and shooed the bull back onto the trail. The forest growth was so thick I don't think the guy even saw two terrified hikers huddling in the trees. I still have a scar where I scraped my shin trying to get away from that stupid bull.

No, I do NOT like cows.

Grandma Latour's Caramel Corn Recipe

Pop enough popcorn to fill a large,silver bread pan. We've found the best way to prepare the popcorn is after popping it, but it in a large bowl and shake the bowl. Any unpopped seeds will fall to the bottom of the pan. Then remove the seedless popcorn to a new bowl before pouring the cooked syrup over it. That way no one breaks a tooth on a popcorn seed.

Mix together:

3 c. brown sugar
3 cubes of butter (1 1/2 cups)
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. Karo syrup
1 tsp. salt

Cook to soft ball stage. Pour over popcorn and mix together

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Do I Really Want to Spend This Much Time Doing Something Like This?

When my kids were little I never had a minute to spare. I knew when they grew up I would I have time to do all the things that I never had time to do. So now the baby is 20. Why do I have less time than ever? Is there a time factory some where that creates time. As we get older does the amount of time we are issued crank up to a faster and faster speed? Or am I just getting slower? It doesn't seem like I am, but then oft times I am oblivious to things.

So with time in such limited supply, do I really want to wrack my brain to come up with clever posts every week? Maybe not, but I was thinking this would be good place to put the recipes the kids are always asking me for.