Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-No Ranch 5-7-12 | TheFencePost.com

Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-No Ranch 5-7-12

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, I soundly believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day especially for farm and ranch families. Agreed? You just gotta’ have that ole tummy full and ready to face a long day sometimes of uncertainty.

As a widower sometimes it’s a little hard to want to put together a big breakfast because you have to fix it and then clean up afterwards. This morning I had biscuits, gravy, sausage and coffee. Believe it or not it was easy to prepare! No longer do I use the bacon grease and flower and milk to make my gravy. Nope, sure don’t. Listen up girls. I know you already know this, but you may not. They now have powdered mixes for gravy. That’s right, just add water or milk or both and heat and stir.

Get this … I found CANNED gravy last week. I ain’t makin’ this up. Swanson makes a sausage and gravy already to pour out and heat. Now it has an acquired taste. At first I thought it tasted like dog food!

However with the recent political discussions about traveling dogs and eating dogs, my assumption is not out of line. Breakfast was easy this morning. Put the prepared biscuits in the oven, heat up the canned gravy, and put a couple of already cooked Jimmy Dean sausages in the microwave and Ka Pow! Breakfast and a pretty darn good one at that.

Now there was that one time when I had the breakfast that wasn’t. Yep, it happened this way. I was working for the historic LX Ranch north of Amarillo, Texas back when I was starting my cowboy career. We were going to go with the Coldwater Cattle Company as they were adjoining neighbors and needed some help gathering, sorting cows and branding calves. Both these ranches were big outfits and covered lots of country. The cow boss had told us not to eat as we would have breakfast with the Coldwater crew when we got there. I got up at 3 a.m., fed my hoss, drank a quick cup of coffee, loaded my pony and headed for the headquarters where I would meet up with the rest of our ranch crew and we would head to the Coldwater Cattle Company. We needed to be there by 4 a.m., so we would have time for breakfast and get to the gathering pasture by the time the sun was coming up.

We were traveling across that ole sandy ranch road when we had a blow out on the trailer. We unloaded four horses and changed the tire and got to the Coldwaters’ just as they were finishing breakfast. Frank was our cow boss and he didn’t want to keep their crew from heading to the pasture on time so he declined their offer to wait while we gulped down a quick breakfast. My heart sank as I looked at the biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs with sausage and bacon and what appeared to be homemade jams. I was so hungry I could have eaten the tablecloth with what crumbs were on it. I felt even worse when the Coldwater cow boss said, “You guys better eat something ’cause we may not get to eat lunch until afternoon!”

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“No, No, we’re fine,” said Frank, “lets go get them cows gathered.”

“Way to go Frank,” I muttered to myself as I reached and grabbed a biscuit to put in my pocket as we headed for the door. It’s funny how you never ever forget those little things that have happened to you when you are desperate. Well, I’m desperate for this wind to quit blowing and I really could use some rain, really!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c y’all, all y’all.