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Calving Cuisine

Written by Jennifer Womack
Keeping good food, or any food at all, on the table during calving season takes a certain level of creativity. It was with that creativity in mind that I declared National Cheese Whiz Week, to coincide each spring with the busiest week of calving.
    I explained my concept to Chris and the boys. “We’ll start on Monday with Cheese Whiz on celery. By Wednesday we’ll be eating Cheese Whiz on bread and an occasional cracker. Let’s face it, by Friday we know we’ll all be eating Cheeze Whiz on Cheese Whiz, on a spoon and straight out of the jar, especially if it’s a super hectic week.”
    The boys were okay with this new idea, a week of Cheese Whiz cuisine. Chris was skeptical, instantly suggesting alternatives. While we typically steer clear of the frozen food section at the grocery store, he said it might be a good idea to make an exception, at least for a while each spring. “How about some of that lasagna you can buy already made and frozen?” he inquired. I thought he might come around to my way of thinking, but it’s this conversation that leaves me wondering if he was somehow behind the next turn of events.
    It’d been quite some time since we’ve ordered anything substantial from the Schwann’s man, but up the driveway he came, his boss along for the ride and a Schwann’s man review. Hearing a knock on the door, I answered. He pulled out his handheld computer, ready to take my order, but looking past him I couldn’t help but ask, “Your truck stuck?”
    “Yep,” he replied. “Second time today.”
    “Think we should deal with that before I order ice cream?” I asked.
    I was secretly hopeful this giant refrigerated device might stay on through calving, providing a different frozen cuisine each evening. Take-out is in short supply in Osage, and Pizza Hut says “no way” regarding deliveries to our neighborhood. I started calculating the distance from the nearest outlet to the truck, and wondering whether or not I could keep this thing froze up into April.
    This Schwann truck’s presence at our house through the spring seemed all the more likely as we assessed the situation. With the back tires halfway covered in mud, there wasn’t much I could offer to help these fellows get back on the road.
    They milled around while we gathered heifers for the evening. Joshua told them a story or two… or three… and introduced them to the dogs. Over the course of the ensuing hours, the boys had plenty of time to inquire about Schwann’s numerous offerings. There was no getting by with a bucket of ice cream as thanks for stopping by today!
    Five hours later a tow truck from Gillette extracted the Schwann’s truck from our yard. My plans for a giant frozen food section in my yard vanished over the hill, but we got our fair share before they left.
    “See you next month!” said the Schwann’s man before departing.
    “Seriously?” I asked. “I kind of figured we’d eaten our last tub of Schwann’s ice cream.”
    “Oh no, we’ll be back. Wasn’t your fault.”
    “Okay, but please call ahead. Maybe I’ll meet you at the county road,” I suggested.
    National Cheese Whiz Week has been temporarily delayed, but not forgotten.
    Jennifer Vineyard Wo-mack is executive director of the Wyoming FFA Foundation and a freelance writer. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 307-351-0730.