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Ranch Meals

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Spring Fever

Now that we are back on Daylight Saving Time, winter must be winding down, and spring should be right around the corner. It means the daffodils are breaking out in all their cheerful glory, trees will be leafing out, and I will have to get started on my gardening. My seed order has been mailed. I have notes on all sorts of ideas for the yard and garden, so let’s get going! It’s really been a very warm winter at Long Hollow, at least since the New Year. And it looks like we could have an early spring. At the very end of April we’ll have our annual cattle drive, pushing them up the hill to the rangeland. There are still some rooms available. We require a three-day minimum for cattle drive guests. If you’re interested, call for details. Of course, Mother’s Day is coming up on May 10, so it’s not too early to start making your plans for that. We will plan some nice things for that weekend so keep in touch, call or email for details on a special Mother’s Day weekend at Long Hollow. We are also making plans for some added activities this summer. The cooks are planning their menus and adding some new “ranch style” foods.  Yum! I can’t wait to see all the good things. And of course Katie will have some added activities for the horse enthusiasts, too. And spring seems to be the time to clean, paint, repair, replace, etc. By the way, if you read these blogs fairly regularly, you may remember the contest we had a few weeks ago. Next year will be the 50th playing of the Super Bowl. The question was, “What [...]

Food to Satisfy Any Appetite

There was an old saying, ”The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Nowadays, I believe that applies to anyone and maybe it always did. At any rate, we take that idea very seriously at Long Hollow Ranch. Our meals are designed to feed body and soul. One thing we find that really makes our guests happy is sitting around the dining table as a group, rather than at individual tables. People from around the globe become acquainted with each other, their homelands, lifestyles, and families. They share ideas, beliefs, dreams, jokes, hopes, fears, and questions. Sometimes they even argue politics or plumb the depths of religious tenets. All of this builds community and relationships, which is a major function of dude ranch vacations. People become friends – what a concept! This is especially gratifying for us to watch since we have to opportunity to meet and host guests from countries around the world. Mealtime should appeal to the senses in many ways. We prepare meals that will appeal first of all to the sense of smell (how can you not like waking up in the morning to the smell of bacon frying?) The dishes also need to appeal to the eye, so food presentation is very important. The eating area is clean and attractive, and there are few distractions. Our cooking style is down-home, meant to remind us of Grandma’s house when we were kids. Long Hollow Ranch is, after all, an old western ranch. All in all, mealtime at the Long Hollow Ranch dining table is a very satisfying experience. We have made many friends there at the dining table while enjoying a good, home-cooked ranch meal together.

Got Zucchini?

Well it’s that time of year again; zucchini here, zucchini there, zucchini everywhere!  This evening we had zucchini four ways; two kinds of soup, raw as finger food with ranch dip, and the ever-popular zucchini bread. These were so good we thought as a public service we would share at least some of the recipes. By the way, I found the zucchini version of “the one that got away” in my raised bed the other day (see it in the picture to the left); it must be two feet long and as thick as your upper arm. It’s probably a little too big to be really good anymore. Anyway there are still some nice-sized ones that we can use.  So here goes with a recipe using zucchini. Try it, you’ll like it. Zucchini Bisque 1 medium onion, diced ½ cup butter 2 ½  cups shredded zucchini 2 ½  cups chicken broth ½ tsp dried basil (we used fresh basil from the garden) ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper ¼ tsp nutmeg 1 cup light cream In a large saucepan, sauté onion in butter. Add zucchini and chicken broth. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes; add seasonings. Puree, in two batches on low in blender. Return to pan; stir in cream and heat through. Makes five cups. We had some nice homemade rustic bread which was great dunked in the soup. Mmmm... We'd love to know what creative and delicious ways you use zucchini and if you have recipes to share, we'd enjoy hearing those as well. Please share with us in the comments below.