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In Montana, a hike with hot cider break, then a sausage-and-egg brunch.

Big outings for family or friends are holiday traditions for many Westerners. Two groups we joined also take advantage of fine scenery and winter weather, adding outdoor activity to the occasion.

Though casual-seeming, these gatherings require some thoughtful coordination. At both parties we visited, planned potlucks resulted in wonderful meals.

In Southern California, five families meet for beach volleyball and an annual co-op barbecue (see pages 80 and 81). At a Montana ranch, friends congregate in late morning, arriving with breads and pastries to contribute. But before everyone settles down to enjoy Claudette and Bill Pruitt's special egg dish, the group heads out for a brisk hike in the Beartooth Mountains-on cross-country skis, if there's snow. Along the trail, there's a campfire break with coffee or hot cider and a snack.

Back home, breads go into the oven to warm as the egg dish cooks and the Pruitts' homemade venison sausage browns (you can use regular pork links, allowing about 1/4 lb. per serving). To go with the breads, the Pruitts whip butter with a little honey and grated orange peel.

To make Sunshine punch, mix together frozen concentrates of orange, grapefruit, and pineapple juices, and dilute with sparkling water (to mellow, add canned apricot nectar). To make cowboy coffee, stir sweetened chocolate beverage mix to taste into individual mugs of coffee.

Big Sky brunch for 16

Hot Ranch Egg Salad

Pan-browned Venison Sausages

Orange-Honey Butter

Assorted Breads: Brown Bread, Muffins,

Sesame Sticks, Nut Bread,

Sourdough Biscuits

Sunshine Punch Cowboy Coffee

If you don't have a large frying pan, cook

eggs in 2 batches in 8- to 10-inch pans.

Hot Ranch Egg Salad

2 each medium-size green bell

peppers, red bell peppers, and

yellow bell peppers

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 tablespoon each dry thyme leaves

and dry basil leaves

4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

2 medium-size onions, slivered

I can (5 oz.) water chestnuts,

drained and cut in half

24 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

Parsley sprigs (optional)

Salt and pepper

Rinse, stem, and seed peppers; cut them into 3/8-inch-wide strips and set aside.

In a 12- to 14-inch frying pan, combine 2 tablespoons butter, thyme, basil, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Add pepper strips, onion, and water chestnuts. Continue cooking, stirring often, until vegetables are slightly limp, about 20 minutes. Pour mixture onto a large platter; keep warm.

In a bowl, beat eggs with milk. In frying pan, melt remaining butter over medium heat, tilting to coat bottom. Pour egg mixture into pan. Stir and lift cooked part of eggs, allowing uncooked egg to flow underneath, until eggs are softly set, about 20 minutes. Slip eggs from pan onto vegetables. Top with parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 16 servings.The Pruitts, Big Timber Mont.

Per serving: 164 cal.; 10 g protein; 5.6 g carbo.; 11 g fat; 418 mg chol.; 133 mg sodium. nd acrylic paint.

To bond features to the main ball, we experimented with instant glues, epoxies, and white glue. But if youngsters will be the ornament makers, stick to white glue: though it takes longer to dry, it's safer for them to use.

Appending objects to a round ball can be tricky and even frustrating, since tbe glass globe is lightweight and tends to roll around. To hold the ornament gently in place while you work, set it in a small cup or votive candle holder, or stabilize it with a small piece of clay.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Dec 1, 1988
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