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Posted by on Nov 16, 2017

My mother-in-law cooked simple, comfort food with home-grown vegetables and sweet iced tea. More often then not, every meal included the creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever tasted. She fixed stick-to-your-ribs kind of meals so the men and boys could get back to the farm and cattle work. One of the dishes she excelled at, and my husband’s all time favorite, was her apple pie. Made from scratch crust and juicy apple slices drenched in cinnamon and sugar, this pie didn’t need ice cream. Every bite had to be savored and enjoyed on its own. Ice cream only distracted from the happiness in your mouth. My mother was a good cook too, but she taught me how to take advantage of time-saving conveniences. Mom usually had a project waiting in the sewing room, so cooking was something we had to...

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Posted by on Sep 28, 2017

A year’s worth of work on a Texas cattle ranch leads up to one day: shipping day. The signs of Fall in the Texas Panhandle signals the time to gather the herd, wean the calves, and ship the to market. Last year our calf crop sold through Superior Livestock Auction and brought the highest price in the nation on the day of sale. A valuable herd is made possible through the year-long efforts of our Ranch Foreman, reliable day workers, and an impressive group of registered Angus bulls. The Sanford Ranch participates in the IMI Global process verified program in which our cow/calf operation is graded, inspected and approve on various points. The USDA issues approved producers with Certificate of Conformance. Our calves are age and source verified, being raised on the grasses where they are born, and are...

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Finding Inspiration on Route 66

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017

I spent a lovely Saturday morning several weeks ago with my writing critique group on Route 66. We’ve discussed working together on a project for many years. This time a topic was suggested that had definite appeal to all of us. To set fire to our story settings and characters, we journeyed along I-40 to visit one of the better known landmarks on Old Route 66 in the Texas Panhandle. The U-Drop Inn in Shamrock was built in 1936 at a cost of $23,000, the Tower Conoco and U-Drop Inn was featured in the 2006 Disney Pixar movie CARS. At the grand opening held April, 1936, it was considered “the swankiest of the swank eating places.” When Route 66 came through Shamrock in 1937, it was the only eating place for a hundred miles along the new highway. As...

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WWA Cookbook

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017

    Maw’s Cherry Salad, Page 67 ~ This cherry salad recipe is from my grandmother who made this sweet, fluffy creation every holiday which we celebrated on the farm at Lockney, Texas. If Mom wasn’t watching, I filled up half my plate. Maw always served this dish as a side with the turkey and ham, and I now own the bowl she served it in. I have also created a lower calorie version which is included in this book. Western Writers of America is a writing organization founded in 1953 to promote the literature of the American West. With over 600 members from all over the U.S. and other countries, we are united by our obsession for the American West. Our work is varied, including songs, poems, screen plays, fiction, historical analysis, mysteries, romances, and biographies. In addition...

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Cowboy Approved Potato Casserole

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017

By popular request, here is the potato casserole recipe that was served at this year’s branding. Belinda Sursa is a former team roper, all around ranch hand, and as part of being married to a New Mexico cowboy, she can cook too. She has fed day workin’ crews for many years. She told me that her New Mexico guys were never fans of the traditional cold potato salad, so she came up with this hot potato dish as a side for the BBQ brisket and cole slaw.  Fresh green chillis adds a New Mexico twist. She buys the hatch green chillis fresh every year, as most of us do. The roasted peppers store well in the freezer. If you don’t have fresh, Belinda suggests using the frozen variety from the freezer section. 1 large package Frozen potatoes, cubed 1...

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