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Articles written by Susan Metcalf

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 By Susan Metcalf    Voices    January 14, 2022 

Cooking in the West

As I get older, it becomes harder and harder to find a winter sport that I can participate in, because I don't dare risk my knees, hips, skull, etc. So when our friends, Keith and Holly Williams from Virginia, suggested a snowmobile outing, it sounde...

 

Cooking in the West

This morning we woke up to several inches of snow and below zero temperatures. As I drank my coffee, I perused the posts of my Facebook friends who live in Arizona. A couple of them invited me to come down to stay with them, but I doubt if they mean...

 

Cooking in the West

2020 and 2021 have not been easy years for anyone, but especially not for Santa Claus. I wrote this poem to underscore that despite the state of our country and our world, we can still celebrate good and love and joy and remember that Jesus is the...

 

Cooking in the West

The poem I want to share this week was written by Chuck Rein, who ranches with his wife Pam on one of the most beautiful outfits on the planet in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains west of Melville, Montana. Chuck wrote this poem several years ago...

 

Cooking in the West

With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, I have theorized that apparently the clothes dryer has been shrinking my jeans. It could not be my penchant for eggnog and Christmas cookies, so it must be the dryer. The realization that my diet should...

 

Cooking in the West

Being a recipe columnist implies a huge responsibility. One year many years ago, one of my infamous fan letters in the “Agri-News” complained, “The plum cake in Susan’s column was so bad my dog wouldn’t even eat it.” Turns out I had left...

 

Cooking in the West

One of the nicest compliments I receive is when readers tell me that they have hung my column on their refrigerator or mailed it to someone (often anonymously) to try to make a point humorously and semi-tactfully. Since we are going into the holiday...

 

Cooking in the West

As Veteran’s Day approaches, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to all Veterans, but I especially feel deep sadness for those who served in Afghanistan who are feeling betrayed by their leaders who botched the exit and effectively erased all of their...

 

Cooking in the West

We have entertained a lot of international guests at our ranch over the years, and I am always amazed at how much they know about the United States--especially in comparison to what I know about their countries. We recently had guests from Toronto...

 

Cooking in the West

One of the unsung heroes of the horse world is the horse packer. He has to understand horse anatomy and mule psychology, spend long days in the saddle, have nerves of steel, a strong back, and it helps if he ends up in one piece at the other end of...

 

Cooking in the West

Many readers commiserated with me in my pack rat war that I recently recounted, but to be honest, the pack rat war was not the most fierce battle I ever fought as a camp cook. Now, hunting camp cooking is ordinarily a delightful experience! You get u...

 

Cooking in the West

Every time I read a Baxter Black poem, I am inspired to become a cowboy poet, but "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service is my favorite inspirational poem. It was his signature poem that launched his career. He got the idea from a story he...

 

Cooking in the West

Seems like most battles these days are fought on social media where keyboard warriors try to change our perceptions, if not our lives, and it just might have the power to change the course of history. Everything we do now is chronicled on social medi...

 

Cooking in the West

by Susan Metcalf I spent Labor Day weekend in Burlington, Colorado helping my sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Shawn Bellows, host a national Iron Horsemen event. The amount of work involved in feeding three meals to approximately 400...

 

Cooking in the West

The bull elk are starting to bugle, and this is the week that hunters are packing into the wilderness for the opening of early rifle season. One of the best things about working in the outfitting industry is helping clients fulfill lifelong dreams su...

 

Cooking in the West

We have been in the retail/food service business now for two and a half months, and many readers have asked how that is going? The answer to that is very well after the first couple days. The first couple days were not our brightest shining moments...

 

Cooking in the West

Every year when we wrapped up our ranch vacation season and turned the "dude" horses out to pasture, I marveled at how they were the key to the success of our operation. These old ranch horses endure a lot of greenhorn mistakes, but they bring their...

 

Cooking in the West

School is about to start, which means teachers are having back to school dreams, kids are buying supplies and clothes, and parents are celebrating the fact that they made it through summer vacation. As an English teacher I am so excited to see that...

 

Cooking in the West

The chokecherries did pretty well this year despite the heat, drought, and smoke, so around our place that means the bears are coming down out of the Deer Creeks for a berry eating frenzy. I am always torn about mentioning bear visitors to our cabin...

 
 By Susan Metcalf    Voices    August 6, 2021

Cooking in the West

All of my life I have heard stories about 1936. That was the summer that my Great Grandfather Roberts stopped eating, because he could not deal with the drought and Great Depression any longer. They had tried to winter their cows on slough grass hay...

 
 By Susan Metcalf    Voices    July 30, 2021

Cooking in the West

Just when my muscles have grown used to working, it is almost time to go back and sit at a desk as the school year approaches. The entire month of June, my body thinks it enlisted in the Army and no one told it. By July, the severe muscle cramps...

 
 By Susan Metcalf    Voices    July 23, 2021

Cooking in the West

Often it is true that the dead become greater in death than they were in life. Such was not the case when our adopted dog, Marvin, died, and he became an international rock star on Facebook when within hours he received tributes from ranch vacation...

 
 By Susan Metcalf    Voices    July 16, 2021

Cooking in the West

It is a tough year in Montana with drought, grasshoppers, and now wildfires. As I write this, our Musselshell Ranch is under evacuation order from the Peterson Fire. We are praying that our place will be spared while knowing that our neighbors to...

 
 By Susan Metcalf    Voices    July 9, 2021

Cooking in the West

I absolutely love kitchen tips, and I try to pass them along without too much commentary, but sometimes I just can't resist sharing comments about the actual practicality of those tips. For example, Martha Stewart claims that if you have a headache,...

 
 By Susan Metcalf    Voices    July 2, 2021

Cooking in the West

To many of us, Independence Day is celebrated with rodeo. I hope that as you are celebrating this year with big beef burgers and a rodeo and hopefully no fireworks due to the extreme fire danger in this drought, you take some time to reflect on this...

 

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