Senior Girl Honoring

For over 50 years, the women’s literary club at White River has hosted a high school senior girl’s honoring for the girl’s and their mothers. Each year, the club has a theme which is carried out in the decorations and the meal.

2012 had a Hawaiian theme. A delightful meal and fun activities were enjoyed by everyone. Suzanne had fun being on the organizing committee.

Below are a couple of tasty recipes.

Luau Beef

1 2lb Chuck Tender Roast   1/2 c. butter
1 can sliced pineapple          Steak seasoning
1 sliced apple                        1/2 green pepper
2 T. onion flakes

Melt butter in a skillet. Season the roast with steak seasoning and sear all sides of roast in butter.

Put the roast in a crockpot and add pineapple slices with juice and apple slices. Then add green pepper slices and onion flakes. Cook on high for four hours. When done, slice and return roast to crockpot.

Luau Chicken
1 1/3 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
1 T. and 1 tsp. soy sauce
2 T. and 2 tsp. brown sugar
8 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 T. and 2 tsp. ketchup
1 1/4 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/4 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/4 (8 oz.) cans  sliced water chestnuts
1 T. and 1 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar, ketchup,
ginger, garlic salt, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Simmer all together for 5
minutes over low heat.

Place cooked chicken, bell pepper, onion and water chestnuts in a 9 x 13
inch baking dish. Pour skillet mixture/sauce over the top. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

“New” Recycled Feeder Wagon

Being frugal, often involves creativity and the help of good friends.

We have been in need of a feeder wagon to store feed for our laying hens and pastured poultry. It is exciting to have our new recycled feeder wagon.

The tank is originally a water tank that has not been used at the ranch for
many years. The tank was then welded onto set of running gears. Inside the tank is an auger attached to the outside wheel for augering the feed into the awaiting buckets. The top of the tank has welded tire rims for a watertight seal and worn rubber tubs to cover the top and hinged with rubber hooks. The feed wagon can be easily moved using a four wheeler.

Many thanks to neighbors and friends, R and B for helping locate recycled
materials and welding expertise!



One day the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On the return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?”, the father asked.

“Oh yeah,”, said the son.

“So tell me, what did you learn from the trip”, asked the father.

The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.”

“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.”

“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.”

“We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.”

“We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.”

“We buy our food, but they grow theirs.”

“We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

I snipped this story out of our local agricultural paper a few years ago. The paper is now yellowed but I continue to keep it hanging on the bulletin board in our kitchen. It serves as a reminder to George and I that when times are hard and stressful that we are very rich indeed in the things that are important in life. It is important to always count the blessings and not worry about the things we don’t have.

Feathered Finery

Here are the 3 pictures of our laying hens- I think the girls are quite
beautiful in their feathered finery.

Ranch Blessings

It is looking like 2012 is off to a good start for us.

Due to good friends, the barn is now completely wired on the inside- no dark shadows, can turn on lights at any door entrances and have plug in’s too! The guys came this weekend with supplies and set off to work- wouldn’t take pay so gave them canned goods and eggs.

The barn time and time again has shown us what good friends we have through help in keeping it in tip-top shape.  Another friend, is bringing us 2 free goats- her Mom had them and now needs a new home- plan for one is possibly goat summer sausage- which is like eating deer summer sausage and delicious and the other to give away to a youth raising goats in the community- I have 2 girls in mind.

Speaking of goats, our buyer from the south wants all of our crossbred doelings- so now we have started selling goats at 1-month gestation- we are happy.  We are planning to go to a new goat show in Newell, South Dakota and start making more selling connections closer to home.  We are slowly building are egg customer clientele and it will be even better this summer at the Farmer’s Market. We have all the calves due to be born in May already sold. George and my goal of selling directly off the ranch are starting to happen and we are very excited about it.

Speaking of livestock, does anyone want chickens? I prepared our order form and chicken recipes for mailing today- our plan is to have 2 batches of 210- so a total of 420- with 30 for us and 30 for our chicken mortgage- so 360 for sale. Plan to butcher 2nd week of July and second week of August- Just let us know.

Our friend is having her 90th birthday the 31st of Jan. George and I are hosting the Birthday Bash with a traditional Sunday dinner of fried chicken and all the trimmings.

Well, enough of the ranch report- Have a good week everyone!

Festive Around the Homestead

It has been a great goat year. We are going to potentially buy 4 breeding age Nubian doelings- which would bring the herd up to 35 does- meaning lots of baby goats coming in early May.

We just got a skiff of snow and it looks very festive around the homestead. Our chickens are in overdrive and lay between 18-19 a day so I hope everyone wants to eat some eggs.

The Incredible Edible Egg

The Incredible Edible Egg

We gathered our first 2 eggs tonight. So it  will be England Ranch eggs
for breakfast!

Fresh Goat Cheese

We have started making fresh goat cheese with our milk. On the left is
fresh ricotta- made pancakes with it this morning with rhubarb sauce, and on the right is mozzarella.

It is delicious and no goat taste- just tastes like cheese!

Chicken Story: The Final Chapter

The chicken killing season is over for another year. We sold all but six for ourselves and for everyone to taste when they come back to the ranch. George wanted to sell most of them to build up clientele.

We could have sold 100 more easily. Today we had a few larger ones averaging 5lbs so mainly had 4-5lbers and a few 3lbers.

George and I learned a lot and hope to improve the operation next year. We definitely would not have been successful without the help of our friends today.

We are thinking of 2 batches of chickens next year. We will send out letters earlier in the year to get an idea of demand and if anyone wants to come help- we pay in chickens!

We are tired and happy we actually succeeded at this new ranch enterprise.

Chicken Butchering Day 1

Just a chicken update. We got a late start- the heating element went out of the scalder- so we took an old lick tub and put it on the base of the turkey cooker and it heated the water nice. The chicken plucker is amazing and fast. We did 104 birds in 3 hours including bagging and weighing. Our neighbors are helping us tomorrow for the last 75 birds. It is ideal to have 6-7 people helping- we are paying in birds. I got “my groove on” with eviscerating and did 35 birds myself. It goes fast and is not very stinky since the plucker even gets the smallest feathers off the birds. Average weight is around 4 lbs, a few 3 and a few 5 lbs. Tommorrow we will finish and be done for this season.

Fresh Chicken

George did a test run on chicken butchering and chicken eating.

We have friends who are going to help us butcher at least 100 chickens in the morning!

So the next time everyone comes to visit- then we will have some chicken for dinner.

The Chickens Are Here

The chickens arrived yesterday at the post office.
Our learning curve is high.
Very cute! Cheep- cheep everywhere.