Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Buffalo Horn Ranch - VI

Buffalo Horn Ranch Diaries

A New York Chef at Home on the "Range"

These letters were written to my friends in NYC in the Fall of 2000, when I worked as Head Chef at a hunting lodge in Meeker, Colorado.

Hey Friends! I can't believe my time at the ranch is almost up. I'll be so sad to's been an incredible experience! I just came in from helping shovel all the snow off the deck...we got about 6 inches last night. It feels so good to be out in the cold fresh air and sunshine with icicles & little snow crystals blowing off the roof. Today's my day off, and I wouldn't have had to lift a finger, but the exercise

feels good and I'm eager to breathe in as much of the west as I can before I head back to the big city.

The last week has been fun--we had a bunch of hunters from Florida--one guy who owns all the Hooters in the south east, so I got a pretty cool camouflage Hooters hat and all the guys got big-boob calendars. Though I expected them to be "pervs" (Chrissie's word) they were very polite and funny! Two of them had brought their teenage sons to shoot their first elk, and when they did, I made them a cake. After searching all day in Meeker for some kind of elk figurines to put on top, I finally came back to the ranch and at Chrissie's suggestion, we made two elk out of tin foil that were better than anything we could have bought! (I DID find Michael Jackson's Thriller on vinyl in town for 50 cents, so the trip wasn't wasted!) I cut off some juniper branches for "trees" and covered them with "snow" icing and the cake was gorgeous! I'll show y'all pictures when they git developed!

My shining moment this week is when I locked horns with Gayle over a comment she made to Chrissie. As I think I mentioned, Gayle no less than HATES Chrissie (and, actually, anyone who enjoys life--I'm now on the shit list as well!) and after a near-miss accident on the icy ranch road (which Jim and Gayle refuse to gravel even after many have gone off into the ditch) Gayle was blaming Chrissie for the damage made to Marty's truck (Marty is a hunting guide who works here when we have lots of hunters at once). Marty and Chrissie didn't hit each other, but when they met on the road, Marty's truck slid and hit some trees.

An-y-way...I told Gayle I was tired of her blaming Chrissie on a daily basis for things that are clearly not her fault. "Well, I often have a hard time finding ANYTHING nice to say," replied Gayle. (No kidding.) She also expressed the fact that she did not like to be snapped at by me. And I replied that we do not like being snapped at by her. So I had the last word and she went storming off in her Jeep Cherokee. Tedi told me later that Gayle said, "I am SO OVER her" and "she thinks she's more important than she is." Oh dear, my self-respect is getting me in trouble again! However, Gayle has been nothing but sticky sweet nice to the kitchen staff since, and even invited us to a "Christmas Craft" show with her today. ....I don't think so.

We've got plans of our own. A lamb roast this afternoon at the Meeker high school (Chrissie met the high school wrestling coach at the Halloween party) so we're going to show our support and party with the locals. Then off to Glenwood tonight for our Saturday night dancing fix. It's become a tradition. Last Saturday, I tried to make it 2 for 2 in the sport of drunken "shirt trading"--(one of the bouncers has a rugby shirt that says "dip me in honey and throw me to the lesbians") but he said I had to come back this week to get it. We'll see...

Speaking of lesbians, Jim, interrupted dinner conversation the other night to tell us this joke: What do you call two lesbians in a canoe? Fur Traders...He also told Amy, our new waitress (a sweetheart 19-year-old hippie-chick from Ithaca, NY) that she should look like the girls in the Hooters calendar. YIKES!! He's said a lot to me too that would be grounds for a sexual harassment suit, but never anything that cuts that deep. Nothing he's said to me has ever hurt my feelings, but poor Amy was very upset, as she should be. I told her if she wants to sue, I'd back her up with examples. (like when he mentioned "cross-tying" me to the bed? Whateverthehell that means. Or wanting to put a leash on my collar (necklace)) But I just blow him off 'cause he's always drunk, and for the most part harmless. He was drunk this morning at 9:00 as he was plowing the driveway at 60 mph. Or should I say, re-arranging the landscaping.

Well, friends, I'm gonna go play in the snow!! Jake and Gene (Yake and Yiminy as Andy calls them) have gone to get the hood off an old car at the junkyard, which they say makes the best sled. We shall see!

I can't wait to see you all when I get back...It's almost Thanksgiving! The holidays are nearly here and John Denver is singing Silent Night on the sweet!

Love to you all!

xo SB

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