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Diane Prather

Stories by Diane

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Using leftover ham

We have quite a lot of ham left from Easter dinner. I’ll bet you do, too. One of our favorite ways to use leftover ham is to grind ham, pickles, hard-boiled eggs and then mix it with Miracle Whip. It’s a great sandwich mix. We also like scalloped potatoes with pieces of ham mixed in with them. This week’s column features two more recipes for using leftover ham. Enjoy!

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From Pipi's Pasture: Remembering the spring seasons of the past

When my siblings Duane, Charlotte, Darlene and I were growing up on the ranch at Morapos, we looked forward to spring — boy, did we ever! The snow really piled up in the winter so it took a while to melt.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Making Easter Salads

Awhile back, Patty Myers, of Hamilton, sent me a recipe for “Raspberry Salad.” I put off making it until Easter, so it’s on the menu for Sunday dinner. Patty got the recipe from Berdna Nicodemus. I featured the recipe in a previous column, but I’m repeating it this week just in case you want to go out and buy the ingredients and make it for your holiday dinner, too.

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From Pipi’s Pasture: Coloring Easter Eggs

When my sisters, brother and I were growing up on the ranch, we looked forward to coloring Easter eggs — perhaps as much as hunting them.

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Prather’s Pick: A novel inspired by a portrait

Author Christina Baker Kline did a lot of research before writing “A Piece of the World,” this week’s new (2017) novel. It was inspired by a portrait of Christina Olson, a young woman who lived in Cushing, Maine during the 1930s-40s. The portrait was done by Andrew Wyeth (whose father, N.C. Wyeth, and son Jamie were also famous artists).

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Making bar cookies

Brownies and other bar cookies are good anytime, and they’re great desserts to take to picnics and potlucks. They are good for Easter dinner, too! This week’s two recipes come from my old cookbook without a cover and other pages.

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From Pipi's Pasture: So now it’s April

It’s April already; in fact, the first week of the month is nearly gone! What’s going on here at Pipi’s Pasture is much the same as for local ranches, except we’re on a much smaller scale.

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Prather's Pick: An Easter story

“The Easter Basket,” this week’s picture book for children, is enchanting. The book was written by Beth Harwood. The illustrations were done by Susanne Ronchi. The book was first published in the United Kingdom by Templer Publishing.

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Prather’s Pick: April Fools’ Day memories

My fond memories of April Fools’ Day go back to my childhood days when my siblings and I were growing up on the ranch. We looked forward to “fooling” our parents, friends and each other.

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Prather's Pick: A story about a Colorado Easter Bunny

Easter is about two weeks away, and I found a great picture book to read to children or have them read it to you. “The Littlest Bunny in Colorado” is intended for ages 4 and up. The story is told in rhyme, and the illustrations are beautiful. Readers even get to take part in an Easter egg hunt.

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From Pipi's Pasture: The first calves of the season

Calving season has begun at Pipi’s Pasture. I think that calving season is a worrisome time with the uncertainty of weather and the possible complications of calving. But it’s not without its rewards, either. It surely is enjoyable to watch the two new little heifer calves as they run around the pasture and then suddenly plop down for their naps.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: A traditional cake

This week I tried an experiment, an adaptation of a recipe. The idea came when I read through an August 2016 issue of a little magazine sent through the mail, along with coupons, by King Soopers.

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Prather’s Pick: The latest book in the ‘killing’ series

I know that readers of Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” series of books will be happy to learn that his newest book is out, and you can find it at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Making strawberry desserts

Whenever I think about preparing an Easter dinner, I think of strawberries. Spring and strawberries just seem to go together. I usually bake a yellow cake or buy some little cakes and serve them with sugared strawberries and whipped topping. That’s our Easter dinner dessert.

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From Pipi's Pasture: Feeding round bales

A couple of weeks ago we started feeding round bales here at Pipi’s Pasture. For the past few years we have been running out of small bales by about this time in the season and have to resort to a new feeding routine. We continue to use small bales for the corral. The bales weigh between 900 and 1,000 pounds — big, indeed.

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Prather's Pick: Another Irish tale

This week’s column reviews yet another Irish tale in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It’s “Daniel O’Rourke,” a picture book for children by Gerald McDermott. As with last week’s book, this one was also published some years ago. It’s an older book but charming nonetheless.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Making cabbage rolls

Next week we’ll celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. I’ve been thinking of Saint Patrick’s Days when I was growing up, but I can’t remember what Mom cooked to celebrate the day. I’m pretty sure it was a cabbage dish, however.

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From Pipi's Pasture: So now it’s March…

It seems like it has been just a few days ago that I wrote a “So now it’s February…” column. Now we’re into March, the month that teases us with hopes of spring while it is still winter.

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Prather’s Pick: A St. Patrick's Day folktale for children

St. Patrick’s Day is nine days away, so this week’s column reviews an Irish folktale for children. “Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato” was retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, a well-known children’s author and illustrator (and the winner of a Caldecott Honor). The book was published in 1992, but no matter of copyright date — the book is charming.

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From Pipi's Pasture: On the other hand…

Our daily lives are filled with lots of happenings or experiences that we don’t care for very much. However, if we look hard enough, there’s often a positive side to them, too. To see what I mean, consider the following examples.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Making breakfast

Breakfast is my favorite meal. When we have family here I like to fix breakfast casseroles — if I have the time to put them together. This week’s breakfast recipes are from a packet of recipes that Geraldine Coleman of Craig sent awhile back. Geraldine has contributed several recipes to this column.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Broccoli cheese soup

It’s been warm and spring-like, but undoubtedly there will be lots more snowy days before spring really arrives. That means that there’s still time left to enjoy soup, like this week’s recipe for “Broccoli Cheese Soup.” The second recipe for “Spanish Noodles” is quick to prepare and yet good, a recipe to fix when you don’t have much time.

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Prather’s Pick: Celebrating the works of Dr. Seuss

When I taught children’s literature and inquired about my adult students’ favorite children’s author, they almost always replied, “Dr. Seuss.” Because of his wacky words, rhyming verse, and ingenious artwork, Dr. Seuss is indeed one of the most beloved children’s authors. Besides that, his books leave all readers — young and old alike — with messages about life.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: A surprise casserole

First of all, I’d like to thank all of the readers who sent letters and called with recipes for mincemeat. There hasn’t been enough room in the column to print all of the recipes I received, but I’m setting some of them aside until Thanksgiving and Christmas 2017.

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Prather's Pick: A novel about racism

I have just finished reading “Small Great Things,” a novel written by one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. She is a genius at crafting novels so that the reader cannot put her books down, and then the message is often haunting.

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From Pipi’s Pasture: Feeding top bales

During a good part of the winter, we feed small, rectangular bales (we feed round bales a little later). Lyle loads the bales on a 4-wheeler-pulled trailer, drives them out to the feedlot, and scatters them around the lot — two trailer loads. My job is to cut the strings and spread the hay out (as much as possible when there are bunches of cows pushing each other around the bales).

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Over a Cup of Coffee: A Valentine’s Day treat

Janine Rinker of Craig sent in the first of this week’s recipes with a note that it is “a favorite Valentine’s Day treat.” Crisom Crumble Bars will be a pretty treat for Valentine’s Day with its cranberry ingredient. Thanks, Janine!

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Prather's Pick: A novel about a prodigal son

This week’s novel is the re-telling of the prodigal son story. “Long Way Gone” was written by Charles Martin and published by Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing), 2016.

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From Pipi’s Pasture: So, now it’s February…

So, now it’s February 2017. The tax forms that were supposed to be filed Jan. 31 have been sent. The registration tag for my car, to replace the 2016 tag has been put on the license plate. The property tax notice arrived in the mail. Maybe some of the bitter early winter temperatures have left (though I know it can be cold in February).

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Prather’s Pick: A book with fascinating illustrations

This week’s featured book is “A Child of Books,” a picture book for children. However, as with so many children’s books these days, the story line and artwork will be appreciated by adults, too. Best of all, children and adults can share the reading experience of the book.

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From Pipi's Pasture: Making do

When I was a kid growing up on the ranch, our family learned to “make do.” It might have been using a jar-sealing rubber — a circular piece of rubber used to seal canning jars — to hold a sole on a pair of everyday shoes. Or it might have been piling thick telephone books — the Denver kind — big storage cans or anything else we could find on top of a stool in order to reach the ceiling when we painted or cleaned.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: A 'Good Common Mincemeat' recipe

On Tuesday, Dollie Frentress, of Craig, called and said, “You’re going to get a kick out of this,” and I did. I hope you do, too.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: More mincemeat

This week’s mincemeat recipes were contributed by Pat Pearce, of Craig. She found them in a recipe box belonging to Claudia Pearce, her mother-in-law. It is interesting to note that some of the old recipes use “mince meat,” two words rather than “mincemeat” that is used today.

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From Pipi's Pasture: A calf with tag number 65

I remember when calf #65 was born. According to the calving record book it was April 9, 2016. I wasn’t expecting my 20-year-old-plus cow, Ucky, to calve last year. I figured that she was too old. Wrong!

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Prather’s Pick: A home full of books

This week’s picture book for children was a Christmas gift from my sister and brother-in-law, Darlene and Miner Blackford of Rocky Ford. (They know that I love children’s books and sometimes use them when teaching classes.) It’s the cutest book!

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From Pipi’s Pasture: So now it’s January…

So now it’s January, and the holiday season is over. What is on mind right now is what is on everybody else’s mind — the weather. It’s hard to focus on any other writing topic here at Pipi’s Pasture because, after all, it is taking three to four hours a day to do all the chores. If you have animal chores to do, you know what I’m talking about; if you don’t you still have to deal with the snowy, wet mess.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: An old mincemeat recipe

This last week, while I worked from home, I had several calls from readers who gave me information and recipes about mincemeat. I’ll share what I learned in this and future columns. I so enjoyed visiting with you all, and thanks so much for the information.

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Prather's Pick: '13 Ways to Kill Your Community'

If you’re making a list of books to read during the new year, put this week’s book at the top. It’s “13 ways to Kill Your Community” by Doug Griffiths, MBA, with Kelly Clemmer. The book I reviewed is the second edition.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Baking warmth in the wintertime

Winter is here, and if the weather keeps being so snowy, you might want to spend more time in the kitchen — perhaps baking cookies. This week’s column features two recipes from my mother’s (Judy Osborn) recipe files.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Patty’s Raspberry Salad

This week’s column offers up a treat. It’s a yummy salad recipe, made with raspberries, cream, cream cheese, Jell-o and more. I’ll bet it could be served as a dessert. Anyway, the recipe was sent to me by Patty Meyers who lives near Hamilton. Patty got the recipe from Berdna Nicodemus. Patty makes this salad for every holiday dinner. She doesn’t know if you could use fresh raspberries in place of frozen ones.

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From Pipi’s Pasture: Remembering New Year’s Day

In those days when I was growing up on the ranch, we didn’t have people in for New Year’s Day — not that I remember anyway. We did celebrate the beginning of the new year with a nice dinner which probably consisted of roast beef, potatoes and gravy, and all the trimmings. During the day, perhaps dinner, we talked about our hopes for the year and made our resolutions, which we might have kept to ourselves.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: A side for Christmas dinner

It seems like just about everyone serves turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, but that isn’t necessarily true for Christmas. Though turkey is a popular choice, some families prefer roast beef or ham or even something else that’s interesting. This year I’m fixing ham, a pasta salad, fresh veggies, rolls and maybe the vegetable casserole recipe featured in this week’s column.

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From Pipi's Pasture: Remembering Christmas dinner

Tomorrow most of us will be enjoying Christmas dinner with family and friends. I’m remembering Christmas dinners back when I was a kid growing up on the ranch.

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Prather’s Pick: A principal’s Christmas

Over the years, several authors have written their own versions of “The Night Before Christmas.” This week’s picture book for kids, first published in 2004 (and with two more printings), is an example.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Christmas cookies

By the time you read this column, it will be just eight days until Christmas. Unbelievable! I’m busy; you’re busy, and that’s all that’s left to say—except that this week’s column features two more cookie recipes that you can bake for Christmas. Both recipes are taken from my old cookbook that has lost its cover and some other pages, too. Enjoy the cookies!

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Prather’s Pick: A different view of the North Pole

“Santa Kid” is a picture book, written by James Patterson and illustrated by Michael Garland, and it has a very “different” plot, indeed.

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From Pipi’s Pasture: The country school Christmas program

Since I’ve gotten to be an adult, I’ve tried to “bring up” the same wonderful feeling of anticipation that I used to have when we kids got ready for the Christmas program at the Morapos School. That was the country school that we community kids attended through grade eight. And the feeling of anticipation? Well, I can’t quite seem to bring it back to mind; that’s what happens when we grow up, I guess.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: A gift of homemade treats

This week we received an “open now” box from our son Jamie’s family who lives at Bailey. We knew the box was coming because our daughter-in- law Brandi called to give us a “heads up” that the box would contain perishables. It is a tradition for her to put together a box like this each Christmas.

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Prather’s Pick: Craig appears in a recent novel written by a Colorado man

This week’s novel for adults was written by Colorado resident Erik Storey, and readers will recognize some of the towns — such as Meeker, Rifle and Craig — in the setting of the book’s plot.

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From Pipi’s Pasture: A childhood Christmas Eve

Each year when the Christmas season rolls around, my mind wanders back to my childhood days when I was growing up on the ranch at Morapos. Whenever I write about growing up experiences, I marvel at how much I’ve forgotten or perhaps how I have chosen to remember things. My siblings often remember events another way. So here it goes.

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