Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cutting Butter

What the heck????
This morning I came into the kitchen and found Bob with an assortment of knives all spread out on the counter and they all looked used!  I wondered what the heck he was doing!

I have to go back a bit so you can get the big picture. Coming from Wisconsin and then living on a ranch where we milked cows and sold cream, I only had butter for eating and cooking.  Bob, of course, also was accustomed to eating butter. 

Back in the day, as I was growing up, the dairy farmers of Wisconsin had a powerful lobby in the state house that affected all of us.  A law was in effect that did not allow the sale of yellow margarine!  I am not kidding.  It also put a large tax on the sale of white margarine so it cost more than butter!   Therefore everyone ate butter.  It made for an interesting drive from Chicago to Milwaukee because as you approached the state line there were all these little stands selling yellow margarine for cheap.  If you did buy white "oleo" as we called it, it came in a plastic pouch with a little capsule filled with yellow food coloring.  You dumped the capsule into the pouch and then squished it around with the oleo until it was an even yellow.  You then had to shape it into a square and store it. 

When I was first married we had milk cows.  The milk was separated every morning and night and the cream was shipped on the train once a week to the creamery.  We kept some out to make butter every week too so I had to learn how to do that.  I had an electric churn that churned the cream and then you had to work all the buttermilk out, rinse it, work the water out, and add some salt. Then I formed it into squares, wrapped it and froze what we weren't going to use immediately.  So you see, I was used to blocks of butter and margarine instead of the nice 1/4 pound cubes we get at the store.

Back to Bob and his knives.  We now buy unsalted butter from Sam's in packages of 4 one pound blocks.  We keep the ones we are not using in the freezer until needed.  This morning I saw that he had just taken a new block of butter out of the freezer and was trying to cut it into 4 even cubes like you find in the store.  I normally do this job and know that I must put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds first,
Scoring the butter with the cleaver

then score the block with the cleaver before trying to cut it into 4 even cubes.

A block of frozen butter that I scored.  I normally score on 2 adjoining sides so I can cut it in half, turn it a quarter turn and cut again.

Obviously Bob didn't know any of this so he had all these different knives he had tried, plus the block of butter had lines all over it where he had tried to cut it!

Hmmmmm! Now I am wondering what ever happened to that electric churn,  the butter bowl and butter paddle, which were antiques even when I was using them, and the milk pasteurizer that Pug bought for me because she was worried my kids would get Bangs disease or something.

The butter before and after I cut it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thoughts on Family History and Pug's Potato Pancakes

Darcy checks out an old cabin over in Spring Creek.  I wonder who built it and when.

A few days ago we were at Shoe's Barbershop and Tonsorial Parlor for Bob's haircut.  We were talking to Matt about how his kids were 7th generation of the Manville family in North Park!  Matt mentioned that he was supposed to go up to the school and give a talk on the Manville family and needed to do some research.  Bob started to tell him about how his great grandfather, Grampa Norris ( Bob can't remember his name so we'll have to go up to the cemetary to find it), came to North Park as a trapper in the late 1800's and then homesteaded a ranch on the west side.  that was the beginning of our family history in North Park!

As you can see, we really need to get this all written down (or recorded) as our memories are beginning to fail us!  Matt suggested I write a book but I can't even keep up with my blog!  Danny bought us a little digital recorder that can be connected to a computer and downloaded.  It is a bit complicated to get downloaded, so we have done a little recording but need to figure out again how to get it all sent to Danny.  JJ helped me last winter but now I guess we'll have to have her assistance again when we get to her house!  I really love researching the history of this area and wish I had more time, energy and gasoline to travel around and interview the old timers here in the Park.  I keep thinking about it but can't seem to get around to it!  I know several books have been written about North Park but I really like the idea of talking to and recording the stories face to face with people.

It was kind of interesting that we had this conversation because just that morning I had been thinking about my childhood and some of the crazy, fun things we did.  I even had a short story published about an incident from those days!  Hmmmmm, I wonder where that is.  Sue, you will remember it.  When that guy tried to give us a ride up on the main road.  I guess I'll see if  I can find it and put it up on the blog!  There are so many memories and I do think I need to get them written down somewhere, so I guess this blog will have to be it!

  Lynn wants me to write a book full of family recipes and memories, too.  She was always the writer of the family, so if I start writing some of these maybe she can be a "guest contributor".  Some of my cousins need to kick in with recipe suggestions from Pug and Uncle Ran, too! (Patti, Mike, Bob, Maryanne, hint, hint, hint).  I think we all can identify with Dad's daily "soft boiled eggs"!

Here is a very simple recipe that I have been craving for a long time but never could figure out how to make it the same way as Pug did.  She called it Potato Pancakes but I have finally decided the closest thing to it is Latkes!  Here is a quick and simple recipe that I got from allrecipes.com.  I'm going to call them Pug's Potato Pancakes even though they are called Latkes in the recipe I found.  They taste like Pug's anyway.....

Pug's Potato Pancakes
(Foolproof Potato Latkes )
    By: Basg
on allrecipes.com

  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used Yukon Golds)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (I used maybe half a small onion)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or as needed (for me this was enough--the flour is the part of Pug's recipe that is different than the ones I have tried before.  The less the better, but it does need some)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, or as needed


  1. Place 1/4 of the potatoes, onion, eggs, salt, flour, and baking powder in the work bowl of a food processor; pulse several times until the vegetables are finely chopped. Add the rest of the potatoes, and pulse again until all the potatoes are finely chopped and the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  2. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Scoop up about 1/3 cup of the potato mixture per latke, and place into the hot oil. Fry the patty until brown and crisp on the bottom, flip it, and cook the other side until brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the rest of the potato mixture, replenishing the oil as needed. Serve hot.


  • Pug used a grater and grated the potatoes on the large holes.  Using the food processor is quicker and saves your knuckles from getting barked and it tastes just as good but the texture is a little different.
  • Cook's Note
  • Apple sauce and sour cream are favorite accompaniments with these latkes. Make an interesting tuna salad, cut up some veggies, and you have a full meal.
    We always had them with homemade warm applesauce.  I would spread the applesauce on top of the "pancake" and it was soooo yummy!
Snow is a major feature in North Park history.  This is the "hummingbird tree" in front of our cabin.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Excuses, excuses, excuses!

Nick and Sarah get married in Clovis, NM
 This will be a quick post!  Here are some of my excuses for not posting as often as I want to:

1.  I have a ton of embroidering to do.  150 caps for Harry and I have 3 new designs I'm using that take about an hour each!  (stubborn me, I must use them because they are so cool!), several dozen caps for Matt (over the summer and fall) with 3 hoopings each (stubborn me again), 50 bags for Carla some with custom designs on the back for her staff, a wedding present for Nick,

I love the embossing on this.  I hope they do too!

a lot of Christmas decorations and hopefully a few Halloween ones too before it is too late!  I'm not complaining, just trying to justify.....

2.  Winterizing and cleaning up for our being gone by helping Bob with the vents around the base of the house to keep out the cold air, washing and putting away the hummingbird feeders, winterizing the porch, and doing fall cleaning of the house along with some clutter management!
The last load of 2011 chickens heading to the processing facility! (in the crates--that's Country Chicken Girl and Dan the Man on the 4 wheeler). 
3.Helping with the final chicken processing,

The final 20 ready to be packaged!  Whew!  what a summer!
 helping with one of the last summer farmer's markets, preparing for our trip to Clovis for Nick's wedding and then actually going to the wedding which was a lot of fun and needs to be addressed in a future blog.

4.  Getting the car fixed for winter by taking it up to Casper to get the AC/ heater fixed to the tune of $2000, and putting on snow tires (just under the wire--6 inches of snow the next day).

Here it is--Winter!
5.  Going to Dr. appointments in Denver, and Steamboat ( a 2 1/2 hour drive on terrible roads).

6.  Taking advantage of the wonderful long warm fall this year.  It was great while it lasted but now it is cold and the snow is not going away as fast as I would like it to!

7.  Helping Bob with paperwork that has backed up for the whole summer.

8  Cooking some new and yummy things.  I need to put up some new recipes, I think too, but not today!

9.  Catching up on facebook and email......

10.  Getting in some reading on the Kindle and Ipad.....

11.  making use of the hot tub now that it is cold.

OK, I think that is enough.  I have lots of pictures to share, too, but not today.  It's back to the caps for me!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Poblano Pesto and Albondigas Sopa

A gray, snowy Saturday inspired me to make a nice hot spicy meal.
 Today is a perfect day for staying in, turning up the heat and making some really good soup and a spicy spread.  So that is what I did.

Kathi and I went to the Farmer's Market in Morrill, NE last Tuesday to celebrate the completion of another season of chicken processing.  We bought some Poblano Chilies and picked up a recipe for Pesto.  Kathi had made a huge batch the week before and we had eaten over a pint of it in the few days I was there!  So this morning I got up and whipped up a batch before Bob even got up for breakfast!  I even roasted the peppers on the grill outside as it was snowing!

I mentioned the Albondigas Soup in a previous post and had some requests for it so I am including it in this post to carry out the Mexican theme..  I have a lot of good memories of this soup from my teaching days in West Wendover.  My students liked to make this in class and Griselda, the lunch room cook, would make it sometimes and put it on the salad bar in fall..  It is very delicious.  I never did get a recipe for it because the students would use their mother's or grandmother's recipe and I just never asked Griselda for hers. So I went to allrecipes.com and discovered every family has a different version of this soup!   I kind of knew this because of the rice.  Some families use it in the meatballs and some serve it with the soup and others don't use it at all.  I even saw one recipe on food network for meatballs which used masa in them for filler!  Here's the recipe which I found that seems the closest to what I like.  By the way, Albondigas Sopa means meatball soup.

I just spread my poblano pesto on crackers for a little snack!  Mmmmmm!

 2 poblano peppers
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, rough chop
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. chili powder*
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
Kosher Salt
* I used 1/2 Tbsp ground New Mexico red chili and 1/2 Tbsp cumin because I love these seasonings! 

     Char the peppers on top of a gas burner, on a grill, or under the broiler until all sides are blackened.  Place in a plastic bag for about 15 minutes allowing the steam to help loosen the skins. With your fingers (use plastic gloves) or a spoon scrape and discard the blackened skin  then remove the seeds and core.  Retain some seeds if you desire a spicier pesto.  Coarsely chop the poblanos and place in a mini food processor.  Add Parmesan, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin if used and oil.  Process until well combined, but not totally smooth.  

Makes about 2 cups
The Food Network        Melissa D'Arabian

Kathi used 8 poblanos and a couple Anaheims and maybe even a jalapeno and 4 times the recipe.  She also used cumin in her pesto.  She had 1 qt. plus a pint jar of delicious pesto!  Neither one of us used a mini food processor since I doubled my recipe and it fit into my regular size food processor.  This could be used in a lot of different ways including spreading on sandwiches, spreading  on tortillas, rolling them up and slicing the rolls into pinwheels.  I'm sure you can think of a lot of other ways to use this tasty treat!
The soup simmers on the stove.  It is so colorful and tasty!


Open A Bar 2 ground beef is the star in this soup.  Notice the Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs.  I love them in my meatballs.
 2 lbs. ground beef
1 egg
1/4 Cup bread crumbs.  I used cracker crumbs.
1/2 Cup uncooked white rice
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt**

**I didn't use since I used the salty bullion in the soup

Farmer's market produce and homemade tomato sauce make the soup taste so fresh.
 10 Cups chicken broth.  I used beef bullion cubes(10) and 10 C.  water.
4 carrots sliced
1/2 onion chopped
*4 stalks celery sliced  I didn't have any but used about 2 cups of zucchini cut in big chunks instead
1 ( 10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chili peppers ( such as Rotel)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (7 oz.) can green chilies, drained (oops, I didn't drain but it didn't hurt the soup)
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic pwder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
*3 potatoes peeled and cut in large chunks

*  These were not in this particular recipe but potatoes were in almost all the recipes I saw and at least in Wendover I always had zucchini in big chunks in the ones there.

1. combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, rice, cumin, garlic powder, and salt ( which I didn't use due to the saltiness of the beef boullion) in a large bowl.  Mix well.
2.  Bring broth to a boil over medium heat.
3.  Form beef mixture into 1 inch meatballs, using about 1 1/2 Tbsp. meat for each.
I only used 1 lb. of ground beef and adjusted the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs.  I got 15 meatballs.  I did make a full recipe of the rest of the soup.
  I think you can get about 30 meatballs.  This should equal 3 for each of the 10 people eating the soup.  Turn the heat down under the broth to a simmer and drop the meatballs into the broth.  Simmer the meatballs in the broth for about 20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.
At this altitude I think It could have been 30 minutes but then it cooks for another hour so maybe not!

While the meatballs are cooking you can chop up the vegetables.
And the cilantro.
 4.  Stir in the carrots, onion, celery (zucchini, potatoes),  Rotel, tomato sauce, canned chilies, cilantro, and seasonings. Simmer the soup for 1 hour to cook the vegetables and blend the flavors.

Notes:  If you don't like  cilantro leave it out but I love it with the cilantro in  it!  The reason I used beef broth instead of chicken is because it just makes sense to me that you would use beef broth with beef meat.  Today I had some left over polenta in the refrigerator so I heated  up a few slices, cut them in big chunks and put them in my soup for dinner.  It was yummy!
Makes 10 servings so use a big pot! 

Here's my nice hot, spicy lunch of Albondigas Sopa with crackers and Poblano Pesto.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall is Here!

The gate to our property.......
All that's left of the old red truck.

Here's a companion picture for the one in your guest bedroom, Kathi.

Indian summer is a favorite time for me!  Although summer is still the best season, I savor Indian Summer because it is the last hurrah before winter sets in for a looong time here in North Park.

The Haskins meadow with Delaney Butte in the distance.

The hay is up and the cattle are headed for home.
Funny how on the first day of fall I started craving "fall foods".  I guess I started seeing the leaves changing (very late for North Park this year) and digging out my sweaters and warmer clothes and that spurred on my fall appetite!  I also got on the ball and started some fall cleaning projects!  How weird is that!  Here are some pictures and a few of my "fall foods".

The pond looks like a mirror.

Bright red rose hips.

My Favorite Fall Foods

Chili, of course, is an all time favorite at this time of year!  Cream of squash, cream of cauliflower, tomato basil soups, potato soup, Grampa's stew, a new Mexican style stew I made up with Rotel tomatoes, Albondigos soup, posole, Beans and Rice Haitian, making chili sauce, tomato sauce, Italian sauce (anything to use up tomatoes before first freeze), fried mush (or polenta, a new favorite), cornbread, hoe cakes, potato pancakes, chicken pot pie, fall breads and muffins like apple, pumpkin, cranberry, banana, etc., corned beef hash, and chuck wagon beans.  Also anything zucchini to get them used up ( I found a great new recipe called Italian Zucchini Casserole with pepperoni, cottage and mozzarella cheeses, onions and fresh tomatoes that is really tasty!).  Pickled beets and eggs are a must using fresh beets from the farmers market! Hot apple cider or wassail, hot buttered rum, all kinds of hot chocolate, and, of course, all kinds of bar cookies but especially that all season favorite, Brownies!

  OK that's enough food fantasies for the day!  Now I'm going outside to take some fall pictures.

Our cabin in fall.

Oh the beautiful blue fall sky!
Today was absolutely a perfect day for picture taking and hiking so I was gone for several hours and took tons of pictures!  The peak of the fall colors here will be sometime next week, I think, so I may have to go out again but for today I took a lot of "artsy fartsy" pictures.  Some of them will have more meaning for the family but are still pretty.  I think I will have to do another post of just the fall pictures but here are a few to get started.

Fall is coming to the cabin!

Summer's last hurrah.  Indian Paintbrush is still blooming.


Six Years Ago Today

Yep, that is me back in 2004 less than a year before I had surgery!
Today is my Bandiversary!  Six years ago I was in the Almater Hospital in Mexicali, Mexico with a brand new Lapband in place!  What a life changing decision I had made.  I didn't know then whether it would work or not, whether I would never be able to enjoy broccoli again (as one of my daughters pointed out), or even if this was just another of the many attempts I had made to lose weight and never gain it back again only to be disappointed once again.  Well, I am here to tell everyone that it did work and I am at my goal weight and still holding six years later.  I feel so much better with more energy and not so many aches and pains as I did back then.  I sleep better and do not fantasize about food all the time (well maybe I do sometimes but a few bites of it and I am good to go instead of eating way too much and then craving more!).  I can still wear clothes I got 5 years ago and they still fit although they are pretty worn out by now!  My back and feet don't hurt all the time and I just feel healthier. 

Bob, Dr. Aceves and I six years ago in Mexicali 2 days after my surgery.
I highly recommend weight loss surgery to those who are excessively overweight.  There are several new procedures around plus the old standbys so do your research and find out as much as you can if you are thinking about it.  I probably would have done the vertical sleeve if it had been around back then but I am happy with what I have and it continues to work for me.  I am glad I went to Dr. Aceves in Mexico.  Insurance did not cover lapband surgery back then and I am glad it didn't!  He is the best as is the hospital and it's staff.  I am so grateful to them all for such a special experience and for the successful outcome.  Here's to many more years of a normal lifestyle thanks to my lapband!
Me in June of 2011 drinking my morning coffee.  Yes, I still can eat broccoli and drink coffee!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Milk Dud Popcorn

Milk Dud Popcorn

As promised, here is the great, addictive popcorn recipe that Kim's family loves so much.  I had been hearing about it for several years but always pictured it as popcorn with chunks of Milk Duds in it.  Kim finally had all the ingredients in one place and made some for movie watching one evening while we were in Elko.  WOW!  It was great! So here it is compliments of  Kim Jones.

Milk Dud Popcorn


All you need except for a splash of milk which I didn't have so I used some cream.

2 bags microwave popcorn
1 regular size box of Milk Duds
1-2 Tbsp. milk
Pop the popcorn in your microwave following package directions.  When done pour into a large bowl.  Put Milk Duds in a small bowl and add a little milk.  Melt in the microwave until all melted about 1 minute.  Add a little more milk if needed to make the melted candy pourable.  Pour over the popcorn and toss to coat.  Enjoy this tasty snack on movie night or anytime!  Someone said you could do it with Sugar Babies, too, but I haven't tried it.  

I highly recommend you stock up on Milk Duds and popcorn before trying this.  It is so good you will want to make more especially if you have to share it with others!!!

Bob's healthy lunch for today.

My sticky, chocolatey, caramelly Milk Dud Popcorn "35% less fat" lunch! That's what the Milk Dud box said....

Lightning Strikes!

Carla and Izzy enjoy the view at the end of the Hidden Lakes road.

I found this in my archives as a draft so I don't think I ever posted it.  This happened in July during all our heavy rain storms.  I wrote this as an email to a friend and then decided to use it as a blog so here it is! I didn't take any pictures so this is it.

Awhile ago, we had some weather woes of our own! One Tuesday night, I think, we had a huge electrical storm with some very close lightning strikes.  It reminded me of Milwaukee or the PA mountains and the same thing happened.  I was taking a shower the next morning and all of a sudden there was no water!  It just came in about 10 second spurts and then was off for 20 seconds.  Although the lights never went out during the storm I felt sure we must have been hit by lightning.  I went out to the shop to see how the hot tub was doing and there were all kinds of problems out there.  The garage door was making humming noises and the hot tub was blinking on and off in time to the humming of the door!  Really weird.  Oh, and our phone didn't work either.  The phone guy came the next day and found the trouble about 3000 feet from the house.  The wires were fried!  He got that fixed and Bob called Harry Corkle (his nephew who is a building contractor) to see if he knew what might be our problem in the shop and our pump.  And as you may remember from my blog our road is almost washed out too and our little foot bridge is now completely washed out!  What a mess this weather has made this year!

Harry came to the rescue  this past weekend with big dump trucks of gravel to fix the road and all kinds of electrical stuff to test and repair our wiring.  It took 2 days and much digging up of lines and crawling around in our muddy crawl space to get the job done but in the end he determined that our wiring had been hit 8 places in all!!!  We were down here in Nebraska by the time he and Hughie got done fixing it and called us to tell me they had my hot tub back to heating again!  On the way down here we got to thinking that just maybe we needed to call our insurance man and see if it covered any of our problems!  So Bob called this morning and Yes!  it covered everything, so we are happy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

JJ and Ozzie's Big Surprise

I love this picture of Erin all dressed up getting ready to ride her motorcycle to church!
 A few weeks ago JJ, Ozzie, Erin and Brent headed to Sturgis on their motorcycles for their big adventure.  Unbeknownst to them we were headed west to Elko to give them a big surprise.  We knew we would be at their house for a week before they got home but that did not deter us.  We called Ozzie's mom who lives with them in her own apartment to let her know so we wouldn't scare her to death when we barged in.  She thought it was a great idea so off we went.

JJ's family was really surprised when they got home!  We had a lot of fun even the week before they got home visiting with friends and neighbors.  Since I had lived and worked in the Elko County School District for 11 years I had many friends living in the Elko area.  I figured I could visit with them before everyone showed up.  It worked out well and I even got to do some "crafting" with Tuinita, Ozzie's mom.  Bob got some driving time in with Becci, the neighbor girl he had been helping get her license last winter. 

When JJ, Erin, Brent, and Ozzie plus Micah and his whole family got home we had a fun time figuring out where everyone would sleep.  Micah, Kim and the 3 girls slept out in the "box", Ozzie's camper.  The rest of us fit into their house.  Erin slept in her room in the basement (which is Tuinita's apartment) and I slept in the sewing room down there.  Bob was on the couch in the upstairs living room and Brent had the room we usually sleep in upstairs.  Bob didn't get much sleep up there due to kids, Micah or Kim running in and out most of night!  Of course the little ones were up early as well! Brent even passed through at 4 AM to go bow hunting with friends! Bob and the little girls also fought over the TV.  He was trying to watch the Little League games and they wanted to watch Nickelodeon!  The girls also LOVED my Ipad, Kindle, and computer.  Natalie, the 4 year old, got on the Ipad and found all kinds of apps Carla had on it for preschoolers and was playing them!  Next thing Micah knew she was watching Tangled on my Ipad!  She recognized the Netflix logo and clicked away until she had ordered it and was watching it.  These high tech kids amaze me!  She had never seen an Ipad before.  My electronic stuff was in use the whole time so I didn't get much done with them!

 Kim and I helped JJ get her room ready for school since she couldn't get into it all summer due to asbestos removal.  I think she finally found out she could get it all done and ready in a few days if she had to, so she won't have to waste 2 or 3 weeks every summer at school!  Every fall I kind of miss the excitement of starting school, but getting the room ready and visiting with teachers and staff was plenty enough for me and now I am happy!  I even made it to Tuesday morning coffee with JJ's teacher friends the day before school started in Elko County.  Ain't retirement lovely!

Since I have not been a regular blogger this summer I have a lot of catching up to do.  I am adding some pictures taken during several visits Carla made to the cabin this summer to get the ball rolling!

While we were in Elko Kim made her famous MilkDud Popcorn.  Her family LOVES this stuff and I could not figure out how it all worked.  Finally I ate some and it really is fabulous so I am going to post the recipe in my next blog!

On August 6, 2011 Jim, Carla, Bob and I went for a drive over Buffalo Pass.  The sign said it was open, but we never made it even to the top.  Here's where we turned around!

Just before we left for Elko, Carla and Paul came up for a visit.  This is Carla's big fish she caught out of the pond!

Carla with her bouquet of wildflowers with Rabbit Ears in the background on our alternate route after being "snowed out" of Buffalo Pass.

Friday, July 15, 2011

One of My Favorite Movies

The Man From Snowy River

A few nights ago Bob and I watched one of my favorite movies (a Western!) and I was just as impressed with it as I was when I first saw it in the movie theater in Fort Collins in 1982.

Some of the reasons I like it are first, the gorgeous scenery of those Australian mountains and the camera work that went with them. The scenes with Jessica on that cliff and the storms coming over the mountains are breath taking. I also love the scene where the ranchers are all gathering to go after the brumbies. Their costumes and their authentic looks are how I always have envisioned Australian "cowboys". That guy with the beard and the big curvy pipe is my perfect Australian rancher!
The photography is beautiful in this movie.
Another thing I love about this movie is the music. The piano and French horns, oboes, and just the whole thing is beautiful. I even went to youtube and listened to some of the compositions from the movie on it!   From Fuer Elise to Jessica's Sonata to the background music while viewing the horses and mountains, it really sets the mood.

This is Jessica's sonata with some lovely slides to go with it.

This really is a steep cliff.  Notice that the trees are straight.
My favorite part of the movie and the most famous part is when Tom Burlinson rides that horse off the cliff. The first time I saw this scene I figured it was trick photography but after watching it many times and reading notes on the movie I now know it was actually done! I had heard that Tom had done his own riding for this movie but I found the following quote that really surprised me.

Tom Burlinson had never ridden horses much before making this movie and when he took Denny over the cliff to go after the brumbies that was a one-take shot at full gallop down the cliff face.

Jim and Jessica up on the mountain.  Spectacular scenery!
I am not really a true horse person and never watched many Westerns until recently but this film also has excitement, romance and a good story. The horses are beautiful and so are the Hereford cattle (I had to mention them, hehehe.)
The horse scenes are beautiful!
I have included the chase scene and the "descent" over the cliff below. The camera work of the horses crossing rivers, running down a steep cliff, and running through snow is spectacular!

Now I think I need to go get out our video of "Man From Snowy River" and it's sequel and have an evening of visiting Australia once again!

The final scene of the movie.  The Man From Snowy River.