Monthly Archives: October 2013

Creamy Ham Chowder

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my privacy policy for more information.

Today is a very chilly, drizzly day. Thermometer reads 32 degrees, but with the sleet/freezing rain – it feels much colder than that! The Wyoming wind drives the cold into your bones…

To help combat the frigid temps, I stirred up a pot of ham and potato chowder for lunch. When I was a new bride, my cousin made this chowder for me one day and I was hooked. I have made it with alarming frequency ever since! It is a perfect comfort food for these cold fall days.

The great thing is how adjustable it is. If you don’t have ham – just leave it out and it becomes potato chowder. If you have some velveeta on hand, it adds a delightful richness! If you are dairy-free, just use water instead of milk, and so forth.

Ham and potato Chowder soup economical, diy homemadeGet a large kettle,  OnionsSaute the onion in butter while you dice the ham. hamThrow in the ham and continue sautéing while you dice the potatoes. potatoesDice the potatoes and toss them in the pot. pouringwaterPour the water into the kettle. stirsoupStir and scrape the browned bits from the bottom. Let it simmer for 20 minutes or till the potatoes are soft. milkinsoupAdd the milk,  soupLawry’s,  soupGarlic powder, soupand pepper. Stir well.soupStir the flour into the water till smooth. If it has a few lumps it’s OK. No one will notice.  soupSlowly dribble into the soup, stirring quickly as you pour. soupLet it cook a few minutes till it thickens. soupServe and enjoy!

*I am joining the party over at Thrifty Thursdays

And over at: What's Cooking Love?


5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Ham Chowder
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Old fashioned Ham chowder
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 1 TBLS Butter
  • ½ Onion, diced
  • 1 cup Ham, diced
  • 3 med. Potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned salt
  • ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ⅛ tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 TBLS Flour
  • ¼ cup Water
  1. Saute onion in butter.
  2. Dice ham and add to kettle.
  3. Dice potatoes, add to kettle.
  4. Add water to kettle.
  5. Simmer 20 minutes.
  6. Add milk.
  7. Add spices to kettle.
  8. Mix flour and water and add slowly to chowder. Stir constantly. Simmer 5 minutes or till thick.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4


Texas Cowboys ~ Featuring: Curt


Name: Curt Hoksbergen

Location: Frey Cattle Co., Mason, Texas


What is your job description? I’m a cowboy on yearling outfit. My main responsibility is keeping the calves that we buy, alive. That involves a lot of prowling and doctoring. If the cattle are not doing well and a chute is handy I drive them in and use it – it’s a good job for young horses, and I think a person can do a better job of staying ahead of a wreck that way. If there isn’t a chute I’ll rope ’em and tie ’em down. I like to tie my cattle so my horse doesn’t have to hold him while I doctor. It gives him a little rest and a reward for having done his part.


What is ranching in Texas like?  Ranching in the Texas hill country is very different from ranching in Wyoming. The ranches are smaller and covered in brush. It’s hard to gather horseback and get all your cattle so we get them cake* broke – which means we blow a siren when we put out cake, and the cattle come to you. I know it doesn’t sound like fun but it’s better than beating the brush and crippling good horses and maybe not even see the cattle.
Some cattle will get spoiled if they aren’t cared for properly. Then you have a real problem, because if you can’t gather them you can’t sell them. Sometimes you can go out and rope ’em and get them out that way but in the brush and rocks – it’s not as easy as it sounds. You can’t rope them if you can’t see them, and some will stand or lie still and let you ride right past them. And if you do find them they have the upper hand because they can duck and dive through that brush and just disappear. I’ve been almost in rope range and cut around a tree to get a little closer just to have the critter vanish.
If we can’t find cattle or hold them we get a helicopter and they find ’em and bring ’em out of the brush for you. Much faster and easier on horses and cowboys. A good pilot can herd cattle while we rope and tie them.


Did you grow up on a ranch?   I grew up on an Iowa dairy farm…ranching may have long hours and hard work, but at least is ain’t a dairy!!


What is your favorite part of your job?  My favorite part of the job is the challenge of keeping high-risk calves alive and well.

cowboys by fence3

Note: Mr. Hoksbergen and My Cowboy worked on the same ranch in Laramie, WY for a time. Mr. Hoksbergen has since moved to Texas.

*‘Cake’ is a type of concentrated cattle feed – usually in the form of large pellets.


How To Can Pumpkin

Canning Pumpkin

Do you have a pumpkin setting on your front porch, that you don’t what to do with? I challenge you to use it! If it is still firm and not squishy/rotten, that is. :)

It is really simple, actually, and if you don’t want to can it, you can still follow these steps and just freeze the chunks instead of canning.

First, you wash it off well. Mine was kinda dusty from sitting around.

Next you cut it open,

cutting pumpkin

…and scrape all the seeds and stringy insides out.

pumpkinAhh! That’s better!



Once you have it cut up into chunks, place in large kettle and cover with water. Cook for 5 minutes.

( I like to cut mine in strips – makes it easier to peel after it’s cooked.)


After it is cooked and peeled, cut the pumpkin into cubes and place in jars. Cover with leftover cooking water.

Add lids and rings and place into your pressure canner. Process quart jars for 90 minutes at 15 pounds pressure. Process pint jars for 55 minutes at 15 pounds pressure. (may need to adjust cooking times for your altitude. I live at 7,500 ft)


*Linking to ‘What We Accomplished Wednesdays’ over at:

Wyoming Cowboys ~ Featuring: Bill


Name: Bill

Location: I work on the T/A Cattle Co. in Medicine Bow, ZigZag Horse Training in Arlington, and Rockin’ EZ Cattle Co. in Rock River, Wyoming.

What do you do for a living? Cowboy.

What is your job description?   Well, I’m always breaking and training colts. Starting them and getting them trained up. Then of course its a nonstop battle with doctoring. Some years you fight pink eye and foot rot; others years you gotta fight selenium poisoning. And of course pneumonia – last year it was lichen poisoning.


What is something you dislike about your job?  Well, there’s not much I don’t enjoy about it. I don’t like fencing, but I know its needed. :)

What are some things you enjoy about your job?  Gotta love the green up of spring and seeing young healthy calves running around. But my favorite is breaking a colt and training a new pup and being able to see the progress you’ve made in real time.

What do you do in your spare time?  If I get spare time, I like to read a lot, to get out of the every day world and into another time or place. I like work on my leather work or even play video games. :)  But lately I’ve finally been taking lessons learning how to dance some.


Note:  If you liked this cowboy profile, stay tuned! There are more coming! You can get new stories easily by signing up for updates by email. 😉

Easiest-ever Donuts

 Take a can of refrigerated biscuits. Any kind will do…
Heat 1 inch of oil in a pan over medium heat.
 Mix up a dish of cinnamon-sugar.
 Melt a 1/4 cup butter in a dish big enough to hold a donut.
Wash a prescription pill bottle, and use it to cut out the donut holes.
Just kidding! …you can use whatever you have. :)

Fry the donuts a few minutes on each side – till golden brown. Drain on paper towels a bit – then dip in butter. Now dip in cinn/sugar mix and stack on a plate. Done!

And try to grab one or three before your family devours them all!!

Seriously – I never expected them to be so  delicious.

Finger-lickin’ good.

And that’s my delicious-not homemade-fattening-preservative-laden-DIY-delicious tip of the day.  I may or may not have another can of biscuits in the fridge, waiting to be made into donuts. Hot, yummy donuts in 15 minutes?? Oh yeah. I’m on board!


Fall is Shipping Season

Bringing in the cattle

Bringing in the cattle.


The air is crisp, the nights are getting chilly…yes, it’s shipping season! This payday. This is the reward for the long days haying and the longer nights calving. This is why they work on water tanks and build fences and take a spotlight out at 2 am to check first-time heifers.



Neighbors help out.

Neighbors help out.

Because this is not a pile of papers that can sit on a desk from Friday till Monday. These are living, breathing animals, who get sick and need a ‘doctor’ and get hungry and thirsty whether it’s 75 degrees outside or -10 degrees.


And to get a paycheck, the rancher (and his help) must work all year…for this.  These few days of busyness that bring the whole years paycheck.

No, the critters themselves aren’t very cute after the first month or so…


“Why am I in here?”



Corrals full of cattle.

But the cowboys are interesting. :)

out to pasture

Back out to pasture.

What does fall mean to you?







A Country Day


A Country Day

Coyotes calling far away,

wind is making the willows sway

creek is rushing and running away

raccoons scurrying down the pathway.


Darkness starts to disappear

Colors light the atmosphere

Sun is shining bright and clear

Night is gone the day is here!


Wind is blowing through the trees

children’s laughter on the breeze

chirping of birds and buzzing of bees

summer days filled with ease.


Afternoon shadows stretching long

golden sunshine streaking the lawn

supper is ready the work is done

everyone wants to come on home.


Evening is a peaceful time

relaxing after dinnertime

listening to the old clock chime

snuggling up for storytime.

©Kay Schrock


Windmill in early morning.



Big Changes!

Howdy to all my friends and followers! I hope you were able to easily find me on my new site. I have heard so much good about the site, that I decided to upgrade.

It’s been a huge learning curve, and kinda tricky to figure it all out, so please bear with me while I make the necessary changes.

I hope to soon have it in smooth working order.

Thank you for all your support over the last few years as I figure out how to swing this blogging thing. :)