Our first Kiker family trip outside Texas was to a small, out-of-the-way place we never heard of named Cuchara, Colorado.
Mom read about Cuchara in the San Antonio Express-News and it sounded perfect: A working dude ranch with cabins to rent. Mountains as far as the eyes could see. Nature in every direction. And no city stoplights to slow the adrenaline rush. We were hooked!
A few weeks of planning and a 800+ mile drive later we arrived at Yellow Pine Ranch.
After a few days enjoying the freshest air, hiking, horseback riding and experiencing true nature (like the hummingbird that sat on my finger), we knew we desperately needed more of what Dad dubbed “God’s Country.”
Mom and Dad ultimately wound up building a timeshare cabin nestled alongside the Cuchara River, magically tucked underneath blankets of beautiful quaking aspen trees. They couldn’t have afforded to build our little slice of Heaven on Earth without the help of their good friends from Waco, Margie and Herb, who were co-owners and co-inspirers for the cabin retreat.
This ice box dessert hails from Margie’s kitchen. It impressed Mom enough to find its way into Mom’s green index card holder.
Dad died in the cabin on the very first Christmas the two families were to converge and enjoy the newly-built cabin ~ it was suddenly the worst of times that were strangely connected to the best of days. Deep, deep down I know there were no regrets building our little cabin in the woods since it was proof that dreams really can come true.
Hats Off To Great Friends
1 ⅓ cup | milk
4 tablespoons | cornstarch
1 cup | sugar
dash | salt
2 | cage free eggs, separated
⅓ cup | moist coconut
6 ounces | frozen orange juice, canned
2 dozen | ladyfingers, split
½ pint | whipped cream
ii. what to do
1. Combine milk, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a double broiler. Cook until thick. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
2. Add egg yolks that have been beaten slightly. Cook 2 minutes more.
4. In the bottom of a 9″ x 9″ pan, put a layer of ladyfingers that have been split. Spread the orange custard and more ladyfingers on top, in layers.
5. Chill 24 hours.
Sous Chef Note: I was happily surprised to see that over 30 years later, the Yellow Pine Ranch is not only still in existence, it has expanded. Check ’em out online. Better yet, stay there in person.