Welcome to our ranch near Canada's west coast in Beautiful British Columbia's West Chilcotin mountain region. Where calling the vet means hollering back at the house to bring your kit, new friendships are formed from the back of a horse and true fun for a five year old is getting a machete for Christmas. Where 'cutting the dinks off' has a totally different meaning than what first comes to mind, Muck Boots are a household name, a hand shake still means something and the coffee is always on.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Cooking again

Out of the saddle and in to the kitchen.  I'm pretty much organized (on paper anyhow) for the fast arriving hunting season but have been making the last of the main meals (spagetti sauce, shepherds pie and bbq ribs) and just have a few desserts to go.  There are only three camps this year, but it still takes some thinking and planning.  I found myself in the store in Williams Lake, list in hand, with a total mind blank.  Like, seriously........... my note says 'hot sauce' and as I stared blankly at the rows and rows of options I thought "I want my MOM!"  

All photos are credited to Magalie S., with one exception (indicated below photo).

Unfortunately, my mom, with her years of experience and expertise was no where to be seen.  And really, I'm an adult, I've been part of this type of business since I was 12 and I can figure it out.  I gave myself a mental smack in the forehead, grabbed three bottles of mid cost range hot sauce with pretty labels and moved on.  Hot sauce, check.  Oh geez, lemonade or orange juice...........ack!  
It's DIFFERENT when you have to make all these wee little decisions and just hope the ones with the pretty labels are the 'good ones'...........  But what the heck, I'm sure all the hunters are friendly and easy going.....(or at least polite enough not to yell at me........or Eli will find himself shopping next year!)  There is no lack of food anyhow, that part I am sure of.  

When I found myself blankly staring again (which noodles?!), I did have an 'a-ha' moment and called Dave.  Dave and his wife Deb (Allison) are long time friends of ours.
In fact, Dave and Deb used to own the Five Mile Ranch that we just purchased, and were our closest neighbors for about 13 years I think.  I remember as a kid being SO excited to go over there to watch a MOVIE on TV (we didn't have that option at all.)  Through Dave, I also worked in Switzerland and he eventually directed me to go to Olds College to get my Farrier Science Degree.  I did quite a bit of range riding for them over the years and started several of their horses.  Eli started guiding for him about 8 years ago and now, of course, we have purchased the Lehman Creek territory from him.

Photo by Chris Harris

So I phone Dave.  He asked how much I'm willing to pay for recipes and lists.  "Plenty" I reply, and barrage him with questions, which he quite willingly answered.  Phew.....  (I didn't ask him if the pretty labelled hot sauce was good, I was past that aisle already.  Decision made.)  He got some entertainment out of my confusion and I got some good solid advice.   
Among her other talents, Deb is an amazing cook.  I asked her earlier this spring (on my first round of cooking) for a couple of the recipes that she has used in the past.  Tomorrow I will try out the rum cheesecake.  If it doesn't work out, I guess I will still have the leftover rum for consulation.    
I hope she does not mind, but I do have to share her sweet and sour recipe.  It has made me laugh many times to think about it.  (But guess what, it works like a dream!  So good.)  Don't worry about running for your pen, it won't take long.  These are my instructions from her, almost word for word. 

As far as the sweet and sour, it was different all the time depending on what I had in the cupboard.  I use fruit for the sweet like pineapple or peaches (made it with fresh apricots and moose meat the other day).  
Splash some cider vinegar in for bit, some chili powder for kick, some soya sauce for balls and brown sugar to smooth it all out again.  And of course, fresh garlic.  

Isn't that awesome?  Love it!  Talk about 'cooking by taste'..... 

Another of Deb's talents (oops, now I have to call her Allison...) is that she has an amazing voice and the songs she writes bring shivers to your spine (or do mine at least!)  I just found a youtube sample of one but there are many other awesome ones.  There is a link on there to her website and I think she has other samples on there as well.  Well worth the listen.  


Alright, I'm out.  Cheers all.  

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