Saddle Up Saloon; Recipe Rustlin’

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

May 31, 2020

Saddle Up Saloon

“Kid! Kid? Where ya at?”

“Back here in the kitchen, Pal!”

“Didn’t ‘spect to find ya here. Don’t think I’ve ever known ya ta spend much time in a kitchen, Kid.”

“Shorty’s sech a fine hand at the chuck wagon on the Ranch, but we’re in charge here, Pal. We cain’t be countin’ on her ta do the cookin’ fer the saloon too. Look, I’m workin’ on menus. I got two fer the vegie-tarians.”

“Two? Why?”

“Well one of ‘em’s with bacon an’ one’s without bacon. Guess some of ’em go that way.”

“Thet’s real inclusive of ya, Kid. Hmmf. Was LeGume heppin’ ya with yer menus? Ya got these sides a brussel sprouts an’ broccoli salad… an’ they’s an awful lot a beans.”

“Fact is Pal, I don’t know how ta make much more’n whut’s there; baked beans, chili, eggplant an’ bean ragout.”



“Bless you. Kid, ya need more an’ this on yer menu. There must be somethin’ else ya kin make. Asides, it’s too hot fer yer hot dishes. Let’s go out ta the bar an’ jot down some ideas. Oh. Speakin a hot dishes, who is thet behind the bar?”

“Dunno, Pal. Uh, hello? Who are you an’ whut are ya doin’ behind the bar?”

“Name’s Kitty. They call me Lit Kit.”

“Are ya? Lit thet is?”

“No, I mix drinks fer others. The “Lit” is short for literature. I’m Lit Kit the Libation Slingin’ Librarian!”

“For real?”

“Actually, yes, more real than most of what goes on around this place. Here, try this. ‘Salad in a Jar’, practically a health drink.”

“Oh, thet is right healthy! Kid, put thet on the menu in the salad section.”


            Lit Kit’s Salad In a Jar

                        Muddled lime, mint, splash of St. Germaine

                        Top with 3-count of cucumber vodka

                        Add some cucumber slices and shake well

                        Top with tonic (Fever Tree recommended)

                        Garnish with a cucumber wheel


“That is tasty! Whut else ya got, Kittil?”

“Easy, there, Kid, ya got my name bass ackwards. If ya think ya can handle it, I’ll set ya up with my Kitty’s Kettled Caliente.”


Tequila infused with pineapple, lime, jalapeno and habanero

                        (I do that myself in my tequila kettle)

Mix that infused tequila with a splash of agave and a splash of fresh

                        lime juice; shake well


“Well thet seems healthy too! Hey, ya wanna work the bar full time?”

“Pal, what about Ernie?”

“Kid, Ernie ain’t been real reliable. One time he disappeared with Frankie; ‘nuther time Danni Gordon drunk ‘im unner the table; he’s bottled some fine corn liquor, but ol’ Ernie’s a lot better at emptyin’ jars ‘an he is at fillin’ ‘em. Druther have him on this side a the bar.”

“You won’t be sorry, Kid. I know the restaurant business. And I can recommend some good books, even YA.”

“Ya? Okay then, yer hired.”

“Pal’s right about yer menu, Kid. What else ya got?”

“Well, that salad in a jar reminded me of somethin’ I useta git complimented on. Cain’t quite recall, ‘cause I do ever’thin’ from memory, but I’m fergitful. Somethin’ like:


                        diced cucumber

                        twice as much diced mango                       

                        Third as much dried cranberries 

                        (did I put red onion in????)

                        lots of chopped fresh cilantro

                        mix that up with a bit of olive oil and hot pepper jelly

                        a dash(es) of hot pepper 


“It’s kinda like whut I mix with watermelon, white grapes an’ strawberries, but I cain’t ‘member if I put cucumber in that or not. Could, I s’pose.”

“Kid, thinkin’ you’ve had enough a Lit Kit’s health drinks. Jeez, we’re gonna have ta grow some cucumbers, sounds like.”

“Pal, on my way here I saw signs fer Carrot Ranch. Is that a place we could get local beef?”

“’Fraid not Lit Kit. There’s a lot ta chew on there, but they don’t actually deal in cattle. Not like thet anyway.”

“Fresh produce then?”

“Lit Kit, the Ranch’s a good place but yer only gonna find carrots ‘an story tellin’ over there. But we sure ‘preciate ya wanna support local growers. ‘An yer right, Kid’s menu needs some additions. Tell ya whut, mebbe folks’ll hep out, leave recipes fer us in the comments section. It’ll be a “closed call” like when Shorty ran her Ranch Recipes post.”

“Speaking of closed calls Pal, when’s last call? When do I start closing the bar here at the Saddle Up?”

“Never. We’re open 24/7!”

“So folks have all week ta leave recipes in the comments. Salads, drinks, or anything they like.”


“Yep. The recipes here in the post seem summery ‘an refreshin’. Ya’ll kin take thet as a prompt fer some special summertime fav’rite dish. Mebbe somethin’ fer the grill? Anythin’ goes, jist leave yer recipe in the comments. We’ll put it on the menu here at the Saddle up Saloon. Jist remember, ya don’t have ta drive cattle, but we hope ya drive safe.”



Lit Kit the Libation Slingin’ Librarian is the recently extricated western persona of a real live person from an eastern drinking village with a fishing problem. As a long time educator and school librarian, Kitty affords her manicures and well coifed hair by working a second job as a magical mixologist whose specialty drinks are usually infused with love, but sometimes just habanero and sometimes both, depending on how her day job went that day. With bars and restaurants in her village closed, this is an opportunity for the Saddle Up to take advantage of Kitty’s newly developed distancing skills and to hire her as a remote bartender. Even though the hours are endless and there’s absolutely no pay, it’s what Kitty has trained for and she is virtually lucky to work in the saloon. She saved Kid’s bacon!


If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact D. Avery at .

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  1. Charli Mills

    Howdy Lit Kit! I’m hankering to know what a tequila kettle is ’cause I like the idea of habanero infusing. Nice addition to the Saloon, crew. Figured, I add to the salads with something Pepe would like.

    Ranch Style 3-Bean Salad

    1 can of pinto beans
    1 can of black beans
    1 can of green beans
    1/2 c. diced red onion
    1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
    4 cloves minced garlic
    2 medium limes, juiced
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
    1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt

    Rinse and drain the three cans of beans. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and let it rest in a glass container in the fridge overnight so the flavors meld.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Hey there, Boss. I fired a little early as I’m dreading the WP editor change over. Once again, another new normal. Ugh.
      The Librarian has a lidded glass decanter, like an oversized mason jar with a spigot that a handle of tequila gets poured into and then fruit and peppers.
      I love three bean salad! Inspired now to make it.

      • Jules

        (psst… I’m not sure when that ‘change over is gonna strike’ – I went to my normal routine to the dashboard an’ I can still operate like I always dun. Which is to copy and paste outta my own docs into the ‘new post’ and that’s what I’m gonna keep doin’ – it’s already 7 am here in this territory and I ain’t seen New Ed yet. And I hope not to…it ain’t like I don’t like change, but I’m of the school of – Iffin’ it ain’t broke – DON’T fix it.)

      • Charli Mills

        “Classic Editor is an official WordPress plugin, and will be fully supported and maintained until at least 2022, or as long as is necessary.”

        Don’t dread. Until I make changes to the barns next year, lol!

        Oh, boy, oh boy! Something new and fun to play with — infused tequila!

        Enjoy the 3 bean salad. A classic with southwest flavors.

  2. robbiesinspiration

    A fun post, Miss D. Have a great new week.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Why, thank you, Robbie. You have a great week too. I hope you and yours are doing okay.

  3. Daniel Kemp

    They sound good to me

  4. Daniel Kemp

    Reblogged this on Daniel Kemp and commented:
    How about a bit of ‘cooking’ while you’re at home?

  5. H.R.R. Gorman

    Interesting new bartender! Hope she knows where that cream soda pull is!

    I’m going to contribute an easy version of a Southern summer must-have to the recipes:

    Banana Pudding
    Ingredients: 2 boxes vanilla instant pudding
    4 cups milk
    1 cup sour cream
    1 9 oz. container cool whip
    Vanilla Wafers
    Preheat: No cooking necessary
    Instructions: Make pudding; fold in sour cream and cool whip. Layer with bananas and wafers. Chill. Best if you let it sit in the fridge overnight.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thank you for this classic! I’ve had it, never made it. Now I might! Of course I don’t have one of those ingredients in the house. I wonder would the store have them all. I think people were hoarding cool whip and vanilla wafers.

      • H.R.R. Gorman

        Haha – well, it’s there for when the goods come back! I hadn’t been paying attention to those fateful items, but I should make a banana pudding again.

        Also, you can do it with strawberries preserved in sugar if you don’t like bananas.

    • Charli Mills

      Mmm, banana pudding! I haven’t had this in ages!

      • H.R.R. Gorman

        Now you can have it again! I can vouch for this recipe, as I’ve made it dozens of times.

      • Charli Mills

        I feel a banana pudding finals weekend coming on!

  6. Jules

    I’m not that good with not doctoring other recipes… I’ll tell ya though that you can add cut green grapes in half and a little bit of wine (white?) when ya cook up those brugglie sprouts. SIL cooks ’em that-a-way and they taste just fine.

    Might be back with sumthin’ else once I figure what that sumthin’ else is. 🙂

  7. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Today’s lunch:
    1. retrieve kitchen scissors from the dishwasher
    2. carry into garden along with a bowl
    3. snip assorted edible greenery (rocket, mizuma, tree spinach)
    4. wash (because it didn’t get the hosepipe last night) and spin dry
    5. mix with mashed avocado (minus the bad bit that goes on the compost), olive oil, wine vinegar
    6. add one tasteless tomato (mine won’t be ready for a couple of months)
    7. drizzle a slice of homemade bread (yay, I now have wholemeal flour!) with more olive oil
    8. take out to the patio
    9. guzzle in 99 bites

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That’s the best way! Catch that salad fresh! Well as fresh as can be. There is nothing like those real tomatoes too, the ones you’ll have later.
      Thanks for sharing!

    • Charli Mills

      That’s a fine lunch! Ha, ha — 99 bites!

    • TanGental

      Ha, i have an image of you chasing reluctant greens around your veg garden like a vegan Sweeney Todd…

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        Almost! The lettuces I planted aren’t quite ready yet so I’m mostly gathering self seeders. Hope all’s well in your garden.

      • TanGental

        It’s been grand if too dry to be as good as all the sweat deserves. Still it’s lovely to have the excuse to be out there.

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        We have rain this morning!!! Very light but the ground’s so hard it needs a gentle touch to start with. Probably too late to save our orchids unfortunately, and now I’ll need to monitor my lettuces for slugs.

      • TanGental

        Constant vigilance.

  8. TanGental

    I tried a lemon and cardamom pudding yesterday. I used 4 cardamom pods but i think i should have used more for the sort of flavour i like. Boil a pint of milk with ground cardamom. Cool. Mix zest 2 lemons with 100 gms sugar and whisk in to milk. Add 3 egg yolks and whisk. Ditto 30 gms cornflour. Thicken over medium heat. Add lemon juice from the lemons. Use half if you want more cardamon and less lemon in the pud. Sieve and chill. Eat cold with yoghurt or ice cream.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      This sounds quite tasty but wondering if you are lost. The contrast prompt is on another page. This recipe seems much more work than Anne’s. Where you boil and whisk, she retrieves and snips. That’s how I should like to make pudding; just retrieve some of yours that’s been made for me.
      Do you deliver?
      Thanks for stepping out of the kitchen and coming by the saloon to share your recipe, Geoff.

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        Thanks, you said it for me. Too much trouble despite the interesting contrast – and custard and its derivatives is one of the few things I don’t like. Could probably stretch to cardamom coffee.

    • Charli Mills

      Lemon and cardamon! Oh, nice!

      • TanGental

        Indeed delicious

  9. susansleggs

    Somehow in the contradictions bacon and brussels sprouts ended up in the same sentence. I don’t call those contradictions, that’s a recipe.

    Clean and cut a goodly amount of Brussel sprouts into quarters, set aside.
    Fry at least six pieces of bacon reserving fat, cool then break into pieces.
    Sautee the sprouts and a cut-up onion in the fat. When done to your likeness, add in the bacon pieces, then drizzle everything with a couple of tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Cover and steam for a minute or two, and serve.

    This dish is a favorite of ours.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Yep. “at least six pieces….”

      I use maple syrup and cayanne pepper too, sometimes add sweet potato and apple. Can roast the whole mess too.
      I do like brussels sprouts so will have to try Jule’s take on them.
      Thanks for coming by!

  10. Bonnie Sheila Ray

    The Naughty Nurse – A sure cure

    1 1/4 oz. Elderflower liqueur
    1/2 oz. gin (Aviation)
    3/4 oz. lemon juice
    3/4 oz. simple syrup
    Top with sparkling white wine, like champagne

  11. Norah

    It’s nice to pop by the saloon for some refreshment. A few smiles and a little kindness does a lot to brighten one’s day (even mine!) Thank you.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      So glad you popped by! If one day gets brightened here, well, mission accomplished. Smiles and kindness- that’s a good recipe. Thanks Norah!

      • Norah

        Thank you, D. and the gang.


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