Many moons ago, long before Hubby and Kiddo were a part of my life, I spent a year working at a Veterinarian Supply Company. I’m not talking about your neighborhood Vet who cares for dogs and cats; I’m talking about large animal vets – cattle and horses. Running with the big boys.
A great deal of the products we carried were sold directly to the ranchers themselves. Theirs is an entirely different world than most of us ever have the privilege to know. These are people cut from the fabric of the Pioneering Spirit and the Old Frontier. Most of the salesmen that worked out of our office knew that if they had something going with a client on the weekend that was fun or interesting; to let me know so that I could tag along. I especially enjoyed anything that involved saddling up and riding out on the open range.
I remember a particular Saturday morning, when one of our salesmen thought I might enjoy a barn raising. Yep, you read it right – a good, old-fashion barn raising. It was amazing. The foundation for the barn was already poured and set. Lumber had been delivered to the site along with galvanized steel panels for the roof. Buckets of nails and ladders and tools were at the ready. All that was needed was a crew of neighbors to make the barn a reality.
We arrived at the site just as the first thin strands of golden sunlight appeared on the eastern horizon. The ground was damp with dew. There was a crisp quite to the morning, but only for a moment. And then they came, a line of farm trucks rattling down the gravel road. Men, women and children climbed out of their vehicles, and began to set up tables, chairs and camp stoves. Pots of coffee were beginning to brew. The men gathered together, looking over the site, and the plans and began to form a “plan of attack” if you will. The women unloaded boxes of food, huge skillets and in no time at all had set up a kitchen to feed this ever-growing crew.
By the time the sun was setting, the frame of the barn was complete and erected (keep it clean people) and the exterior walls were in place. All that remained unfinished of the barn was the roof. It was beautiful to stand inside the nearly completed barn and look up at the star-filled night sky.
The men hung a few lights from overhead beams so that those of us gathered at the end of the day weren’t out there in darkness. The barn raising became a party. There was Country Western Music, plenty of dancing and good folk just having a good time after a long, hard honest day’s work. These were neighbors, bound together by a common livelihood – ranching and farming. I felt as though I had been magically transported to a different time – a simple time.
To be honest, I don’t remember in detail just what was served – there were scrambled eggs, lots of salsa, potatoes, tortillas and piping hot cups of strong coffee. I remember the ladies made sandwiches and there were cooler of drinks in the afternoon. The evening meal was grilled chicken with corn on the cob after the work was done. Some of the ladies had baked fruit pies – apple, peach and blackberry if I recall. This was more than 30 years ago. I don’t know if neighbors still get together to raise a barn by day and a little hell by night, but I’d like to think so.
Here’s to a hardy breakfast and an honest day’s work!
Chorizo & Egg Tacos
6 ounces chorizo sausage
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup salsa, thick and chunky
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
Crumble the sausage into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly brown. Set aside.
Heat one skillet over medium heat, and heat another skillet over high heat. The skillet over high heat is for warming tortillas. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Spray the medium heat skillet with some cooking spray, and pour in the eggs. Cook and stir until almost firm. Add the sausage, and continue cooking and stirring until firm.
Meanwhile, warm tortillas for about 45 seconds per side in the other skillet, so they are hot and crispy on the edges, but still pliable.
Sprinkle a little shredded cheese onto each tortilla while it is still hot. Top with some of the scrambled egg and sausage, then add hot pepper sauce, salsa and tomatoes to your liking. Sprinkle with additional cheese.