This past weekend we had our branding and much to my disappointment, I didn’t get to spend any time up at the branding corral. I had so much to tend to in the kitchen, the only time I was up there (it’s within walking distance from our house) was to bring coffee and cinnamon rolls to the crew after the cows and calves were sorted and before the branding stove got fired up.
According to what little information I got out of my husband, the work got done, the cows got moved onto their new pasture, and all the cows and calves eventually paired up. I guess Plan A didn’t work (and we should be surprised by this?) It sounded like getting the herd to the new pasture was a bit of a fiasco at first, because all the cows ran off when they first got there (maybe because they were excited to see grass to eat?) but by evening, the herd had settled down.
My son and his buddies got plenty of calf-wrestling in, all the calves got taken care of, and all of the Rocky Mountain Oysters that were seasoned and cooked on the branding stove got eaten and washed down with Budweiser. We had great weather and no wind, so everyone could eat outside and I felt we were blessed with a great day.
I was so busy making sure I got all the food prepping, cooking, mixing, and last-minute salad-making done in time to feed everyone that I didn’t even pick up my camera or take it with me and take pictures at the corral even though it was my intention. At the time, I thought I was too busy, but now I regret not stopping for 10 minutes to photograph the different aspects of our important day. Next year, I vow to make the time just for taking pictures like I have in the past. I did, however, take time the day before to photograph the popular Peanut Butter Pie I made that has become a branding day tradition.
As part of my branding day menu planning, I deliberately pick a couple of dessert recipes that I can make ahead because I like the insurance of knowing I have some things made in advance that I don’t have to stress over the night before our big day. I always try to plan for those unexpected setbacks because I’ve been bit by them before. Tripping the breakers because I have too many things plugged in, forgetting to do something obvious, not warming things up soon enough, you get the picture.
Several years ago I found a super easy, no-bake pie recipe. It’s like a cheesecake but less work and oh-so-good. Peanut Butter Pie quickly became my son’s favorite dessert, and once some of the neighbors sampled it, it became their favorite also. There’s lots of teasing about none left for Myles. Now I have to make it every branding because the guys look for it and more people want to taste what all the hubbub is about with this Peanut Butter Pie everybody fights over.
The day after branding, my son asked if there was any of his pie left. In the past, he always looked forward to having another piece the next day. Unfortunately, his Peanut Butter Pie was the first dessert to get cleaned up. He informed me I need to make two Peanut Butter Pies next year.
Here’s the recipe:
Myles’ Peanut Butter Pie
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
- ¾ c. powdered sugar
- ½ c. peanut butter
- 6 T. milk
- ¼ c. chocolate chips
- ¼ c. peanut butter chips
- 1 large tub Coolwhip
- 1 9” pre-made graham cracker crust (or you can make your own using ground graham crackers and melted butter, mixed and pressed into a pie pan)
- ½ c. chopped salted peanuts (optional)
(Chopped M&M’s are good too but the dye tends to melt if not frozen right away)
- Chocolate syrup to drizzle on top
I didn’t have any peanut butter chips or chopped salted peanuts this time; just chocolate chips, and several guys noticed.
Mix the first 4 ingredients until smooth.
Fold in the Coolwhip until well blended.
Add the chips.
Spread into graham cracker crust. Top with another ¼ c. each of chocolate and peanut butter chips and the chopped peanuts if you choose to add them. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Freeze until ready to serve.