OK, OK, already. Put those big brown eyes AWAY there Clyde.
This Week's Home on the Range Recipe
I had a kitchen of odds and ends, and a crowd to feed. There was one bottle of jarred sauce, that wouldn't go far. Let's get into the staples. Here we go. Three kinds of pepper, applewood smoked salt, green chilies, olives, roasted garlic, sausage and ground venison in the freezer, diced tomatoes, a splash of Merlot, wild honey, and some savory seasoning, simmered for a couple of hours while rustlers and outlaws were taken care of (OK, the brothers, UPS guy, and a telemarketer), then three cheeses added, including smoked white cheddar. (Ok, and I threw a few olives in there, just because we like them).
Go ahead and try it, or as Hedley Lamarr said in Blazing Saddles: Go do that voodoo that you do so well!
This is life on the Range. It's food freshly made, it's loved ones on the deck and a big grill. It's not the exciting life that you'd see on TV, it's not a life of luxurious abandon and decadent spending. It's the smell of grass, fresh vegetables, and sweat. It's the sound of the wind through the garden, of a rooster's crow, of laughter. It's the discarding of weighty thoughts about the world beyond your fence line as you grow and tend, the simple gathering of that which you need to sustain yourself and your family, gathering that which nourishes your life.
Life on the Range is more than a place. It's more than a house, a photo, a moment or a word, it's the redemptive power of self sufficiency that no one can take from you. You can't buy it at the grocery store or get it in a stimulus check. It's something you learn, by toil and tears, and it's worth every bit of the effort. You sleep deep and freely, the barn in hushed quiet, the gun at your ready, in case the predators forget their place.
A day on the Range, and one richly blessed.