Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Buffalo Horn Ranch - II

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.

The saga continues...

So the excitement today was that Xavier Wolf (my boss) left the one of the Toyota Land Cruisers in neutral without the parking brake and it rolled backwards off the road, down a hill, and through the lodge pole fence before coming to rest in the middle of a cow pasture. By the time I went out to look, a small herd of deer had gathered nonchalantly near the broken fence to assess the damage and gossip amongst themselves.

It was also my first day into town...Meeker...a one street town where most everything is closed on Saturdays AND Sundays so I was only able to get a few of the things I needed--particularly MOISTURIZER. It's so dry here, my skin is chafed all over and my hands are cracking and sore. On the way to town, one passes a convenient store called "Kum and Go," more favorably known on the ranch as "Ejaculate and Evacuate"...(to quote Yuri, "now that IS convenient.") Tee hee.

I saw my first dead animal today (aside from the ten I counted in the dining room--mounted and hanging on the wall). It was a huge elk hanging in the big walk in cooler down the road--shot by one of the hunters I've been cooking for. (On the whole, everyone loves my food...except for the occasional cowboy grimace at the mention of Asparagus or Butternut Squash Soup.) They're very happy if I open a can of Campbell’s and serve up hot dogs and fries for lunch. Easy enough.

My helper in the kitchen is Andy, a Mexican man with one tooth who speaks very little English. Xavier and the waitress, Chrissie, call him "El Dente" (get it?) He's sweet, and a very hard worker who says he's been washing dishes for 23 years!

Tomorrow, Chrissie and I are going 4-wheeling up to some hunting cabins that she visited today. She said I HAVE to see the beautiful canyons up after breakfast is done (5:00 am) I'll be free for the rest of the day (and Monday) for a little R&R and hopefully a little time off the ranch to explore the area.

More stories to come (ahem, Kum) I'm sure...


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