Wednesday, January 19, 2022

White Horse

One proof that I went all in with the Lord when I went to seminary is that I gave my truck to the monastery and bought a Subaru. It served me well for the eight years of school, but when over, it was time return to my cowboy roots. 


The name White Horse came from my favorite tack store in Thermop. But it is also fitting because she has been Faithful and True. Rev. 19:11

Getting a pickup was heavy on my heart in the fall of 2016. Over Thanksgiving I was driving to Newcastle to visit my cousin. Upon entering town, I happen to turn my head and there she was. My future truck. 2012 3500HD Chevy Silverado with 135,000 miles on the 6.0. Just broke in. 

The first order of business was to put on a set of BFG's and fit her with Grandpa's stockracks.


She has served me well through thick and thin...


...through good times and bad.


She has been essential in my ranching...


...and farming.


Though she has been irreplaceable in our butchering, we both felt she could up her game.


The idea of a flatbed had crossed my mind, but when Dcn. Kim planted the seed of a bale feeder bed I was sold. This gem came out of an auction company in of Billings MT. Though it was a bit tweaked and the wrong size, it had the potential to fit my ole girl. 


Beings I overslept my flight to Hawaii and missed the trip of a lifetime, I decided to spend the week back home, renewing my relationship with White Horse.


I'm no stranger to putting on flatbeds. In my early days in Helena, part of my job was installing flatbeds of various sorts. The main problem with this bed was it was too long. We had to cut 14" off the front and narrow the headache rack. 


I love working in the shop. A solid five days together with Dad was necessary to accomplish a mission of this caliber. 


With the welder I will solve my problem. Psalm 49:4


The lift arms on a bale feeder bed are going to be the greatest asset when slaughtering cows. However they are not long enough to string up a cow. So we built these arm extensions. You should see me with chopsticks. 


Giddy up.

Part of my mission in life is to keep people out of retirement, which includes Dad and my truck. After 10 years and 238,000 miles, White Horse is still ready to run. I continually thank God for my pickup. She has never let me down and has carried me all around the big wonderful state of Wyoming in style. I'm excited for 2022. No sense in burning daylight, let's get to work!


Saturday, January 8, 2022

Sharp Side

With the dust settling on this years butchering, it's fun to reflect on what all we've learned. I've found some new cuts and gotten more proficient with my time. But I've really gotten an education on sharpening knives.  


You've got to have good quality and sharp knives if you want to be safe and effecinet in cutting meat. I've been running mainly Victorinox inside the shop. By far the sharpest knives I've ever owned. 


Here's where it gets interesting. So much can be said about putting a good edge on a knife. Most knives in the kitchen have a 15 degree angle to them. The ones I use in the field are 30. I've found that when you are sharpening you are really not removing metal from the blade, as much as you are straightening out what's called the wire edge. The wire edge is the very tip of the blade edge. From cutting it can start to roll over to one side or the other. The point of a stone is to straighten it back out and even remove it. For a long time I wasn't being aggressive enough with the stone. You have to put the tip of that edge right on the stone, and cut the stone, as I like to say. In other words, keep tipping it until you see bits of stone start to come up with the oil. Anther tip I learned, is to make one pass forward on the left side, moving the blade across the stone as you push it along, followed by the same procedure with the right side. It's best to go back and forth, one side and then the other, in order to get an even edge. 


A steel is then used to keep the wire edge straight while you are cutting. Most are actually not intended to sharpen. The concept is basically the same, consistent angle, one side at a time, and often. 


This is my favorite boning knife: 8 inch blade and I use it for everything. 


This 10" steaker is only used for clean cutting, mainly for steaks. With a deep curved blade you easily push through the fattest of meats. 


This little 5 inch is great for fine tune cutting. Being small, it is easier to control.


Most of the time. These knives are made for cutting flesh and it doesn't matter who's. 


Done.

It really has been a good and fun butchering year. 12 cows were purchased in the spring. And 12 have now made their way to the freezer. Hard to say how many cows worth of beef is here, but should be enough to get us to the summer when we start all over again. I'm tired. I think I'll go to Hawaii for a break.  


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Tom and Jerry

Growing up Grandpa always made Tom and Jerry's for Christmas. We'd have them as kids and when we grew up we’d get to have the rum in them. Anyway, this Christmas I thought I'd try my hand at Grandpa's tradition. 


This is actually Grandpa's sister Mollie's recipe. They were German sugar beet farmers so I shouldn't be surprised that it called for 1.5 pounds of powdered sugar. Sure is sweet though. 


It's not too tough to make and is super good. To make the actual drink, I'd fill a quarter of the cup up with the batter, add a shot of rum, then fill the rest up with boiling water, stirring it up good. The nutmeg sprinkled on top is the final touch. I can still hear Grandpa yell across the kitchen to Grandma, Ruth, where are the givetz?(German for nutmeg, so we think) 


A perfect holiday drink for family and friends.

So fun. We've been celebrating hard this Christmas Octave. One more day to go in 2021. Might as well make the best of it. 


Too Full

Fast helps us think clearly.



 

White Horse

One proof that I went all in with the Lord when I went to seminary is that I gave my truck to the monastery and bought a Subaru. It served m...