Friday, May 22

so today i leave to spend my weekend in the middle of the grasslands of weston county, wyoming.

i just have one question: why does everything always happen at once? why can't we spread things out a little more so that i have ample time to prepare and feel like i'm on top of things? so far this week i'm trying to get ready for a new roommate and leave for three days, but all that's complicated when my present roommate, amanda, is gone for the week and i'm not really sure what to do with her stuff, meanwhile trying to move my stuff in with her stuff in her room and get my room as clean as possible for the new girl, which included borrowing my friend griff's carpet cleaner to clean up the 'dog spots' on the carpet. (thankfully, they came out easily)

so when i come back monday hopefully the new girl, cassie's her name, will have moved in, but i'll still be living with two people's posessions in my room because amanda will be gone all of next week, too, to new york. which is fine, just crowded. hopefully we'll gain some organization sometime the second week of june????

and, i also volunteered to bring food to the branding, so last night i also spent time making bacon potato salad and s'more brownies, which both turned out well. luckily i remembered to put the ice packs in the freezer. somehow i usually forget that important thing.

Bacon Potato Salad:

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Creole or whole-grain mustard
  • 4 strips crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled

Put the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook, partially covered, until fork tender, about 10 minutes.

Drain and transfer to a salad bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, season with the salt, cayenne, black pepper and lemon juice and toss well to combine. Add the celery, green onions, parsley and eggs. Combine the mayonnaise and mustard and add to the bowl. Sprinkle the bacon over the salad and toss gently but thoroughly to mix well.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve slightly chilled.

Yield: about 2 quarts, 6 servings

S'more Brownies


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch fine salt


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 large cold eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  • 4 cups large marshmallows


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.

(both recipes courtesy Food Network)

and last night i also had to clean the roundup office. and i tried to take manda's visiting friend ben to gravity hill, but it didn't work. i know it does. i was there. with dejoe. in a bigger truck than mine. his rolled uphill. mine didn't. i think it's because the moon wasn't full.

and now my friend jake, who lives on a ranch west of town, just called and i'm heading out there this afternoon after i load up my horses so we can give all 10 of mine and his their west nile vaccine. and i'm taking griff's carpet cleaner back to his place. on the other side of town. :-)

and i have yet to drive the three hours to get to the middle of nowhere in weston county.

so yeah. i wish all these things were a little more spread out over the evenings where i head home from work and think - so, what'm i going to do tonight?

it'll be nice to relax and work in a part of wyoming's vastness for a couple days this weekend. i'm looking forward to it. the best part of camping on wyoming's range is leaving the rain flap off your tent and realizing the full impact of the stars. and having your horses corralled nearby. and waking up with the dawn to drink some coffee and go work cattle. sure beats waking up before dawn only to head into a hog barn to load the ornery beasts. ;-)

Branding trip checklist:

Tack (saddle, saddle pad, two bridles, brushes, fly spray, two halters)
Tent, sleeping bag, pillow
Spare gas can, filled
Spare boots, jeans
Cowboy hat, oilskin duster
Cameras - big one and little one to fit in my pocket
Leather gloves - i still need to find them....

S'more brownies
Bacon potato salad
Brats, brat buns
Land Shark (because we've had 2/3 case sitting on our fridge forever. maybe i'll get rid of it)
Pendleton?? (if i make it to the liquor store to pick up jake's everclear)

and more stuff i'll remember 20 min after i've left town.........

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