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Diane Prather

Stories by Diane

“Little Red Hot” is sure to spice up your child’s bookshelf

"Little Red Hot" is a classic tale turned spicy by author Eric A. Kimmel and illustrator Laura Huliska-Beith.

From Pipi's Pasture: Soaking up the season

Summer officially started Friday, and while each Northwest Colorado summer is a little different from the previous one, there are the usual signs that we’re into the season.

Over a Cup: Chili Casserole

This last week, I made a new recipe from my try-it file, and we liked it.

Prather's Picks: Book details life at Elkhead

“Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West,” written by Dorothy Wickenden, is a nonfiction book, but it reads like a novel.

Over A Cup: Rhubarb recipes for summer

This past week I checked our rhubarb.

From Pipi's Pasture: Passing time in the summer

Here at Pipi’s Pasture, the past few days has me remembering those hot summer days on the ranch when my siblings and I were growing up and how we kids passed the time to keep cool.

Prather's Pick: Otis and the Tornado

Otis is a red and tan-colored tractor. He has two big tires behind and a small tire in front. Otis has a tractor seat, a steering wheel and all of the other parts that make tractors run, however, Otis is far from an ordinary tractor. For one thing, his headlights are more like eyes. He has a bolt-like nose and a mouth with a tongue. Besides that, Otis has feelings!

From Pipi's Pasture: The ranch garden, part 2

Perhaps the family member who enjoyed the garden the most was my sister Darlene. When she was in her preteen and teen years, she would put on a big hat, grab the hoe and head for the garden.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Taco salad with green onions on top

The recipe is from a yellowed newspaper clipping that I found tucked in a cookbook. I had cut it out of a newspaper (I’m not sure which one) years ago but had never tried it.

Diane Prather: Moffat County to host 4-H Expo

Moffat County is the host of this year’s Northwestern Colorado 4-H Livestock, Rabbit, Poultry, Dog and Horse Exposition that will be held June 10 to 13 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds in Craig.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Chicken Tetrazzini

I don’t include as many chicken recipes in “Over a Cup of Coffee” as I should. So, this week I’m featuring a recipe for “Chicken Tetrazzini” that comes from my old fundraising cookbook.

From Pipi's Pasture: Planting the garden at the ranch

We worked hard, so we ate hearty meals when I was growing up on the ranch.

Over A Cup: Karen’s ‘Wackie Cake’

Last weekend I made the “Spring Salad” — featured in my column — for branding lunch.

From Pipi's Pasture: A shopping day in Craig, part 2

When my sisters and I were kids, Dad and Mom sometimes planned a full day of shopping in Craig.

Over A Cup: Spring salad that’s good anytime

We’ll be branding calves at our place this weekend.

From Pipi's Pasture: A shopping day in Craig

This morning, the skies over Pipi’s Pasture are gray, and a light rain is falling.

Over A Cup: Karen’s enchiladas

Just yesterday I received a nice letter from Karen Pruitt, a former Craig resident who now lives in Michigan.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Making meat loaf

This week I’ve been hungry for meat loaf, one of my favorite meat dishes. Our family likes it, too, especially our son, Jamie, who could live off meat loaf sandwiches. I always make sure there’s meat loaf in the refrigerator when he’s here.

Pipi's Pasture: Getting the mail

I am amused when I hear people refer to today’s mail as “snail mail.” When I was a kid growing up on the ranch, we didn’t have a telephone — not until I was about 14 — so mail was the only way we had to communicate with people who didn’t live in the community.

From Pipi's Pasture: Going to the movies

When I was a kid growing up on the ranch, a trip to town was a big deal.

Over A Cup: Mary’s clam chowder and chocolate ice cream

This past week I got to meet Mary Burnett in person. Mary lives in Craig and previously has contributed recipes in this column.

Over a Cup of Coffee: A recipe from Aunt Lila

his week, I was thumbing through the recipe cards in my old metal recipe file. I started the file before I was married, so it contains some recipes from my mother and other relatives. I took out a recipe for “Never Fail Mayonnaise” that was given to me by my Aunt Lila Osborn, who passed away some years ago.

Pipi's Pasture: Spot-on-the-Hip and other cows

This morning, as I looked out on Pipi’s Pasture, I was thinking about how gentle Pipi is. In fact, all of the cows in our little herd are tame. We need to be able to work them on foot or by four-wheelers, we need to walk out among them to vaccinate and ear-tag calves, and we need to check them at night during calving season.

Over A Cup: Chicken Mexican Casserole

What a week! First, my oven stopped heating, or so I thought.

Over A Cup: Cakes for Easter

Several years ago, I think maybe at Easter, I featured a recipe for “Pig-licking Good Cake” in this column.

Over A Cup: Potato soup straight from the university

Carol Peterson, director of dining at the University of Northern Iowa, granted me permission to reprint two of the university’s soup recipes in this column.

From Pipi's Pasture: The sloppy season

A lot of melting is going on right now in the feedlot at Pipi’s Pasture. As a result, we’re having to deal with a gooey mixture of manure and dirt.

Over A Cup: Beef barley soup, just like the University of Northern Iowa’s

Last week’s “Spicy Sausage Casserole” recipe inspired at least one readers to take a stab at it.

From Pipi's Pasture: Passing the time in winter

When we were kids growing up on the ranch at Morapos, we didn’t have a television, telephone, computer or any of the electronic games kids have these days.

Diane Prather: Moffat County 4-H students go to conference

The theme for this year’s Colorado 4-H Leadership Development Conference was “4-H Has Got the Magic.” The conference was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver from Jan. 25 to 28. The conference was attended by 4-H members from throughout Colorado. Representing Moffat County’s 4-H program were Will Pilgrim, Seth Morgan, Mitchell Davidson, Austin Luker and Samantha Pearce. Michelle Pilgrim was chaperone for the Moffat County group.

Over A Cup: Spicy Sausage Casserole

Next week this column will feature a soup recipe that was developed at the University of Northern Iowa. It took a while to obtain permission to reprint the recipe, so this week’s column features a recipe I found on an old, yellowed newspaper clipping hiding in a book. I have not tried this recipe, but it sounds good, so I hope to soon.

From Pipi’s Pasture: Winter at Morapos

As I look out on Pipi’s Pasture, I’m reminded of winter days when I was a child growing up on the ranch at Morapos (south of Hamilton). Memories take me back to when I was in the elementary grades, around 7 to 9 years of age.

Over a Cup: Kickin’ Cajun Dirty Rice

This week’s recipe can be found in the “Family Mealtimes” flier produced by the Colorado Beef Council (and funded by Beef Checkoff dollars). According to the flier, the recipe provides “an excellent source of protein, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc and is a good source of fiber and iron.” Besides that, it’s easy to prepare, it’s quick and it’s delicious.

From Pipi’s Pasture: New Fair Book contest offers opportunity for 4-H youths

There are lots of talented young people in Moffat County, and this year 4-H members have a chance to use their artistic talents to vie for the cover of the 2013 Moffat County Fair Book. Each year’s book features a unique cover design. Past covers have been designed by Moffat County Extension Office personnel, but this year the Fair Board has decided to try something different. They are having a contest for the 2013 Moffat County Fair Book cover, and they’ve opened it to 4-H members. The deadline to enter is Feb. 28, so if you’re a 4-H member who’s interested in entering the contest, you’ll have to hurry.

Over a Cup: Taco casserole with green onions

Years ago I had cut out of a newspaper (I can’t remember which one) a recipe for a taco casserole. I recently found the yellowed clipping tucked into the pages of one of my cookbooks. We had never tried it — until now. We liked it, and I hope you will, too.

Over A Cup: Valentine’s Day Gelatin Salad

A couple of weeks ago this column featured a recipe for “Sausage Bean Soup”. The seasoning ingredients were a tablespoon each of dried onion and dried chopped green pepper. A few days after the recipe appeared in the column, Chuck and Ginger Osborn of Craig called to tell me that they couldn’t find any dried green pepper in the Craig stores. They looked in Steamboat, too. No luck.

From Pipi’s Pasture: Reflecting on Winter Livestock Shows

This week’s “From Pipi’s Pasture” is a reflection on the accomplishments of the young people who competed in two winter livestock competitions—the 2013 Arizona National Livestock Show and the 2013 National Western Stock Show. One evening during the last week of the Stock Show our granddaughter Megan (Prather), of Bailey, called to tell us that her registered Columbian ewe, Jolie Chose, was selected as the Supreme Ewe in the Natural Colored Sheep Category, winning over other Champions in their wool breed classes. (The Natural Colored Sheep Category places emphasis on wool production.)

2013 National Western Livestock results

Six Moffat County 4-H/FFA members competed in livestock competition during the National Western Stock Show hosted last month in Denver. Competing were Andrea Maneotis, Alexi Goodnow, Jerica DeLong, Brice White, Call Camblin, and Mackenzie Camblin. The results of competition are as follows:

From Pipi’s Pasture: Showing Shorty at the stock show

This month local youth and adults are exhibiting animals, competing in the rodeo, or otherwise participating in events at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. My granddaughter Megan is competing in livestock competitions, too, and when she talks about the Stock Show it brings back memories of the years (and years and years) ago when I was a 4-H member. As a teenager, I exhibited steers at the National Western.

From Pipi’s Pasture: It’s Cold Outside

It’s cold outside, and everybody’s talking about it. Here at Pipi’s Pasture it is a little warmer than in Craig, but no matter whether the thermometer reads -24 degrees or -30 degrees, one thing is for sure—it’s plenty cold. There are signs typical of the changing seasons on a ranch or farm. You know that it’s a cold winter because:

Over a Cup: Make a Cake with just 1 egg

This week I came upon a recipe that brought back memories. It came from a time when I was a young mother. I did a lot more cooking then. I’m not sure why—perhaps I just had more energy.

A&L: 4-H Members Compete in Arizona National Livestock Show

Four Moffat County 4-H members and one 4-H member formerly of Moffat County competed in the 2013 Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix, held the last week of December 2012. Exhibiting livestock were Call and Mackenzie Camblin of Maybell, Andrea Maneotis and Jerica DeLong of Craig, and Megan Prather of Bailey, formerly of Craig.

Over A Cup: Homemade soup

Boy, has it been cold, and if the weather forecast is correct we’re in for some more frigid temperatures this weekend. I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing that hits the spot than a pot of hot homemade soup when it’s cold outside. The soup smells so good when it’s cooking, too.

Over A Cup: Beef Mincemeat

Awhile back some readers and I were talking about mincemeat. These days, people mostly use canned mincemeat to make their pies, but when I was growing up, women made their mincemeat “from scratch.” I never paid much attention as to the ingredients because I have never liked mincemeat. So this week as I was looking through “Cattlemen’s Favorite Beef Recipes,” a brochure printed by the Colorado Cowbelles in 1957, I found this week’s recipe. I had no idea there were so many ingredients in mincemeat! Please keep in mind, should you ever decide to use the recipe, that food safety guidelines have changed since 1957. I’m not sure what the safety guidelines would be for preparing food in crocks. Check it out.

From Pipi's Pasture: Doing the winter chores

Pipi’s pasture is covered with snow, and we’re delighted to finally have some moisture! However, the snow means lots more work where chores are concerned. For example, snow has to be plowed around the house so we can get our cars out, and also on the feedlot and to the hay yard. Gates have to be shoveled out, especially where the snow has drifted, so we can get into the corrals. Hoses, used to fill stock tanks, have to be brought into the heated shop or back portion of the house so they won’t freeze. Then they have to be carried back out, unrolled, laid out, and once the tanks are filled, drained and rolled back up again.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Clam Chowder

I haven’t had the time to try the fruit cake bars or fruit cookies yet. I’m so thankful for the snow (I keep thinking about more green grass this year), but it surely has made for more chores. However, I did take some time to make clam chowder a couple of nights ago, and it was delicious. Last year I asked readers if they had a clam chowder recipe and most said they used an oyster stew recipe, substituting clams for the oysters. So that’s what I did. These are the ingredients I used: two 7 ½ ounce cans of minced clams, 3 slices of bacon (cut up), 2 medium potatoes (peeled and diced), 1 large onion (chopped), ¾ cup chicken broth, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 cup whipping cream, and ¾ cup milk. I looked at some oyster stew recipes in cookbooks. Some of the recipes called for ½ teaspoon dried thyme and a clove of minced garlic, but I didn’t use these two ingredients in my chowder.

Over a Cup: Fruit Cake Bars

Last week’s “Over a Cup of Coffee” featured a recipe for “Holiday Fruit Bars”. I had not taken the time to try the recipe so I asked for feedback from anyone who baked the cookies. Lois Stoffle, of Maybell, tried the recipe. She reported that the cookies were moist and tasty and that they are a good substitute for fruit cake. Lois added a little nutmeg and a little ginger to the ingredients. Thanks, Lois! Then today Marilyn Riedman called from Williamette Valley, Ore. She also baked the cookies.

From Pipi’s Pasture: Decorating the Tree

When my sisters, brother, and I were growing up on the ranch, it was tradition for Dad to cut the Christmas tree. Before he left to get the tree, we kids always reminded him that we wanted a tall tree. Our sister Charlotte Allum remembers at least one time when Dad came back and teased us that he couldn’t get through the deep snow to find a tall tree so he had to bring a short one. We were pretty worried, but, of course, the tree was tall as usual. I remember decorating the tree the same day that Dad brought it home, but Charlotte recalls Dad putting the tree in water for a couple of days before he brought it into the house and set it up. By that time we had gotten down the box of decorations. We could hardly wait until the tree warmed up and the icicles and snow in the branches melted.

Over A Cup: Holiday Fruit Cookies

It is less than two weeks until Christmas! This week I came across the cookie recipe for this column. I haven’t tried it yet because I’m a wee bit behind with my holiday chores. I haven’t even decorated the tree yet. Anyway, I intend to try the recipe soon because my husband likes fruit cake, and these cookies are made with candied fruits.

From Pipi’s Pasture: The Christmas tree

This time of year my memories go back to those years when my brother, sisters and I were growing up on the ranch. Perhaps my fondest memories are associated with the Christmas tree. During those years we didn’t put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving as many families do today. That’s because our parents grew up with the tradition of decorating the tree on Christmas Eve. It was also a tradition that Dad cut our evergreen tree. My sister, Darlene Blackford, remembers that it was “kind of hard to get Dad going” when it came to cutting the tree. That’s probably because he didn’t see any reason to get in a hurry until at least a couple of days before Christmas. (As memory serves, there may have been times when he didn’t cut the tree until December 24.)