First Time Pizza & Martha

March 25, 2014

We tagged our heifers yesterday. Basically this means that we took out the I.D. buttons that were in their ears and replaced them with ear tags that mean something to us in our record book. We use numbers on our tags plus the year on them as well to identify what year these particular heifers were born. This is what our ear tags look like (this year we are using purple).

Working cows around here is a family effort. Even though Stone had oral surgery on Tuesday….he was out helping us like a trooper. Most ranch kids are this way…..Shane and I can totally relate because we were both raised like this. It taught us the value of working hard at a young age. The term “Cowboy Up” comes to mind when I think about our lifestyle. We don’t get sick days…..someone always has to be available to check on things around here and take care of our livestock. Ranch kids don’t shirk their responsibilities and they grow up understanding the importance of pulling their weight. I am truly so glad we get to raise Stone in the same fashion. I truly think it’s a gift to be a rancher. Here is Stone pushing up the heifers….he did a great job too!

Stone is fortunate enough to have a few cows to call his own. His most gentle cow is #76. She was obviously someone’s bottle calf at one point. This isn’t commonplace what I’m about to show you!

She’s a great cow….and she’s young so we hope to have many more fun-filled years at the caking pickup with her! Next up in the “gentle” category is Stone’s soon-to-be-milk cow, Meet Martha!

She is a “milk cow-in-training”. She hangs out with our heifers in the calving lot and is one step closer to learning the ropes around here. Milk cows are essential on a ranch. We use them primarily for a good milk source for any bum calves we have along the way. Stone recently found out about milking cows….he’s all fired up about milking Martha. That won’t take place until next year as Martha has to wait until this spring/summer to meet a handsome boyfriend. Stone is pretty proud of Martha….can’t you tell?!

Martha has a lot to learn in the next year….primarily…..how to wear a halter and how to lead. She really needs to be as gentle as a kitten by next spring….we are hoping that she is as quiet and nice as she is now come next March!

 

Our first step with her today is to get her accustomed to her new halter. Shane is putting it on her here.

 

We will keep a close watch on it as time goes on….inevitably she will grow and her halter will need to be adjusted to grow with her. She really is a nice Holstein heifer. She even got a new pick ear tag that said “Martha” on it with Stone’s brand on the back of it.

 

She doesn’t seem to mind her new halter at all! Stone gives her some pets to reassure her that all is okay.

 

Animals and children really are gifts from God. We are blessed to have them both in our lives. My son is at the center of everything we do. We are truly blessed to be parents and we know it…..we are thankful always. Teaching our son the value of animals in our livelihood and how to care from him is truly a bonus in what we do for a living. I took a selfie today…..not something I do all the time, but I couldn’t resist. I had the best cowhand by my side today…..who cares about the dirt on our faces…..it’s pure happiness in our hearts doing what we love to do!

 

We had a great day working heifers…..great weather and each others company….what more can you ask for?!

 

As I mentioned yesterday I have never made pizza from scratch…..GASP!!! Haha…..I think it’s rather funny and odd that I’ve never done it before…..I don’t know why…..just never have. I guess I should reword that….I have made homemade pizza before, but I let my bread maker do all the work for me. Talk about a nightmare kneading that dough…..ugh! By the time the second one came around I grabbed for my Kitchen Aid mixer and let it do all the work. I still can’t feel my left hand…..I have an old injury in my left wrist that really flares up when I have to do certain strenuous things….kneading dough is one of them….so……I’m all about modern conveniences when it comes to that. Forget about doing it old school!

 

Anyway, I started with this:

I used the recipe for the pizza crust on the back. I won’t go into all the details of that. It was relatively easy once I got the hang of it……I have to be honest here….Thankfully there were three packets because I ruined the first batch. UGH!!! I’m not afraid to admit that I’m far from perfect…..I have occasional accidents in the kitchen….and this was one of them. Check this out:

 

Doesn’t that look yummy?! Haha…..it was hard, dry, and gross….it went in the garbage. The next batch I made…..I slowed down and added half as much flour…..what a huge improvement. I tend to do things too fast some of the time…..guess I won’t do that again when making pizza dough!

 

My second batch….I used my mixer like I mentioned. Both of these batches turned out perfectly. Mama Mia….I love pizza!

 

I used my two pizza stones from Pampered Chef….I love them both and I’ve used them a ton as you can tell from the looks of this one.

 

I sprinkled them both with corn meal to give a little slip under the dough.

 

I spread out the dough (does that sound like the right term?) and then used my fingers to push in little holes all over the place. I was told this helps prevent air bubbles in the crust as it is baking.

 

Next I put on the pizza sauce.

 

Then on went the cheese!

 

About this time, my little boy asked what I was doing. He got so excited about putting the pepperonis on……I love his excitement at this age!

 

He did a great job! Now it’s ready for the oven:

 

I baked both pizzas (one at a time) in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes each. They were both perfect! I swear I could each pizza daily and it wouldn’t phase me…..as long as someone else can knead the dough for me….I’m good!

 

Do any of you make your own pizza? I’m totally inspired now. My mom and I absolutely love the Tuscan Roma pizza at Pizza Ranch. It has a base of alfredo sauce and is topped with spinach and tomatoes….Yummo!!! I’m going to try some exotic mixtures like that next time I do this…..like in a few days…..I wasn’t kidding when I said I love pizza…..Stone agrees with me….pizza once a day would be heavenly! ~Cheyenne

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