Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Broccoli Salad and Oh, those Cows

by Mindy Obenhaus

This has been an eventful week here on the ranch. Living in the middle of woods, I have come to expect the unexpected. Every time I look out the window, I never know what I might see.

During the winter months, Cowboy Smokey, the fella who runs cattle on our land, puts out hay for the cows in another pasture, so the herd tends to stay in that area, near their food source. But now that spring is here, cattle are on the move. Imagine waking up, looking out your window and finding this is your backyard. 

Let me tell you, this former suburbanite couldn't have been more excited. I love watching the cows. Observing their behavior and social interactions. Sometimes even the bull takes a turn watching over children. He's the big while fella.
And then there are the calves. 
There's often a group of them together. They play, sleep, groom...and are oh, so curious. Though one of their mama's is never far away.
At least on a normal day. But on that one morning, as the herd disappeared one by one into the woods, there was a lone calf left behind, bawling for his mother.
Except his mama didn't come. Instead, something else had its sites set on the calf. Can you see it in the background?
Here are some better shots.
That nasty coyote wanted that calf for breakfast. Of course, we weren't about to stand for that. So we rushed outside with the dogs barking like crazy while we yelled for that coyote to "git." 

Well, he did "git" and the calf ran the opposite direction. And, after an hour or so of hearing mama cow call her calf and calf answering back as they tried to find one another, they were finally reunited. Though if I'd thought she'd listen, I would have taken that mama aside and told her a thing or two about parenting. Like, keep an eye on your baby. 

And then there was Easter. I made one of my favorite salads. Yet for as much as I love this salad and always ask for it when we're out, I've never made. So Easter was the perfect time for me to make my first broccoli salad and it was very simple.

Chop two heads of broccoli into bite size florets, rinse and put into a large bowl.
Add half a pound of bacon that's been cooked until crisp and chopped, one small red onion, diced, 3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries and 3/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds and toss everything together.
Love those vibrant colors.
Now for the dressing. Whisk together 1 cup mayonnaise (I used light), 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar (1/4 cup was sweet enough for me) and 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (I added a splash more). Pour over broccoli mixture and stir until coated.
We took this when we went to a friend's house for dinner Sunday evening and everyone loved it. Best of all, there was a little leftover, meaning more for me. The combination of flavors--not to mention the bacon--will turn even broccoli haters like my husband into broccoli lovers. 

Ah, but this story doesn't end here. I told you it was an eventful week. I'll share the rest with you tomorrow as I fill in for Cate Nolan. But here's a clue.
Hmm... What could those cowboys possibly be up to?

Now it's your turn. How was your Easter? How do you feel about broccoli? And what are your thoughts on that calf/coyote standoff?

Three-time Carol Award nominee, Mindy Obenhaus, lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com


  1. Funny thing! I almost made this for Easter myself, but I went for a spinach strawberry salad instead. We have a heard of cows near us too, but they aren't as eventful as yours! However my husband thinks it is a good idea to take the dogs to say hi sometimes. Sigh I however do not because our heeler already thinks he is big and bad seeing a single BUFFALO from the car. I can't imagine what he would do if he was up front and personal with a cow! So I make him leave the cows at piece.

    1. Katie, I love strawberry and spinach salad, too. Matter of fact, I was just thinking about it the other day. I need to make that.

      Yeah, our dogs like to chase the cows, too. That's one of the reasons we decided to leave the hurricane fence up in the backyard, to create a barrier between cows and dogs. Though, in the front yard, our little Maddie shimmies under the rail fence and runs right up on the cows. Ever seen a cow jump? It's kinda funny looking.

    2. Mindy I shared your cow jumping comment with Jacob and he got a good laugh! That cow must have been sleeping to jump!

  2. I love this salad...although Katie's spinach salad was good, too! The broccoli salad is going to have to be next.

    And the drama! Right in your own backyard! Yay for the calf rescue...although that poor coyote had to look elsewhere for her/his meal.

    I shudder at the thought of what would have happened if the coyote had been successful!

    And could the cowboys be on a coyote hunt???

    1. Jan, I shudder at the thought of that coyote being successful, too. Mostly because I would have witnessed his success and that is something I don't care to watch.

      Isn't this salad just addicting? I could eat it and nothing else.

      As for those cowboys, you'll have to tune in tomorrow to see what they were up to.

  3. Phew! My heart can stop racing now. You should have posted a disclaimer -- no animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. lol

    Of course you'd add bacon to broccoli and turn it into a salad. It seems bacon isn't shy about boldly going where no bacon has gone before. Now if I'd said I tossed in some crunchy toasted tofu crumble you would all be running for the hills!

    I wait in eager anticipation for the next wilderness story.

    1. Yeah, Kav. I fear some of us would run to the hills. Especially Tex! haha :)

    2. It's funny you should say that, Kav, because I do have a disclaimer on tomorrow's post. Don't worry, there are no snakes.

      As for bacon, it makes everything better. Do they have bacon flavored tofu yet? If not, they should. And you must live in the back of my mind, because I thought of you as I was writing this post. How the bacon would turn you off. Yes, you may substitute your crunch toasted tofu crumbles, however it won't be the same. :P You know I love you, Kav.

      And Missy, I'm open to trying to things. But I do prefer bacon over tofu.

    3. Kav come to the hills and make this salad! I have a husband that would try your tofu crumble. I'll stick with the bacon and set some aside without the raw onion for myself.

  4. I love broccoli salad, but like you, have never made it! I'm glad to have the recipe now safely stored at the cafe for when I feel adventurous. :)

    You've got me curious about the photo!

    1. Missy, chopping the broccoli is what took the longest. Other than that, it's super simple to make.

  5. Try red wine vinegar in place of the white wine vinegar next time you make the broccoli salad. Yum. My go to for a girl's summer lunch is a salad plate with chicken salad, pretzel jello salad and this broccoli salad served with Sister Shubert rolls on the side. I purchase the chicken salad from either Newks or Jason's, and make the other two salads a head of time. Easy and tasty.

    1. Hi, Leigh. Thanks for stopping by. Would you believe red wine vinegar is what I used? I was out of the white, so figured I may as well use that. Don't know how much it affected the taste, but that salad was definitely yummy.

      Thanks for the great menu idea. I have a recipe for pretzel jello salad, but have yet to make it. I bet that salt from the pretzels makes all the difference. And as for those Sister Schubert rolls, they're a go-to for many of us at the Yankee-Belle. They're hard to beat.

  6. I am so in love with your tales of ranch-land!!! These are the best!!!!!!