Arriving at the ranch home of Salina Locke and family in Hungerford, Texas, there is a quiet peacefulness about the property.

With the tractors tucked into the barn for the evening, and the family all at home, one can only imagine the level of effort, energy and expertise each member of the Locke family contributes day to day.

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Cattle roam behind the Lockes on their family ranch, which raises beef for the great state of Texas and beyond.

Inside the home, Salina and the Locke girls—Lauryn, 7, Lyndsey, 5, and Lylee, 3—try to keep the ever-expanding cloud of flour used to prepare tonight’s chicken fried steak from engulfing the entire kitchen. Salina’s recipe for chicken fried steak hasn’t changed since her O-ma made it. It’s equally messy, comforting and delicious.

When Salina is at home and in the kitchen, she doesn’t just cook. “I try to cook BIG,” she says, “so we have enough for another meal when it’s just too busy.”

I try to cook BIG, so we have enough for another meal when it’s just too busy.

Salina Locke

Salina personifies the strong work ethic that has long been ingrained in Texan families. She works 12-hour shifts three days a week at the community hospital.

“I work seven in the morning to seven at night, so obviously I’m not there for suppertime on those days,” Salina says.

The weight of her position can’t be measured in hours given the closeness of this Texan town.

“On a weekly basis I’m either taking care of someone that I’ve known, or a family member of someone that I know. Or I see someone I knew from my childhood.” Salina says. “It’s pretty mentally and physically exhausting.”

While Salina is at the hospital her husband John runs the family ranch, working from before dawn until after dusk.

Like many of today’s working parents, the busy couple leans on both sets of grandparents to help out at the house. They make sure the kids are fed and that homework is done. They also contribute fresh grown vegetables, like tonight’s carrots and broccoli, to the family pantry. The steaks, however, are made from the family’s own beef. It’s pulled from the family freezer which is perpetually stocked with roast, brisket, steak, rib-eye and hamburger meat.

Tonight, Salina shares the kitchen counter space with John, who is baking biscuits made from his grandmother’s recipe, and using her pastry cloth. Occasionally, he takes a peek at his phone to track sales results from an ongoing cattle sale. His father, Coleman, looks on while his daughter Lylee clutches his leg.

The ranch cattle are bred from the same line that the family ranch is famous for, parented by the late, lauded and legendary bull, Manso. Being a sixth generation rancher makes the hard work to preserve the ranch’s heritage and reputation that much greater of a responsibility.

The Locke girls are already stepping up to open gates, check cattle, and lend a hand however else they can. At mealtime, they also contribute a prayer.

“Typically my three-year-old chimes in and likes to do the prayer.” Salina says. “It takes a little while, but she’s thankful for all kinds of fun things. The first time she said a prayer, she said she was thankful for chocolate cake three times. It was hilarious. We were trying to keep a straight face, but it was just priceless.”

Of all that each member of the Locke family brings to the table, from delicious beef to homegrown veggies to fresh baked biscuits, love is the most crucial contribution one can offer.

“To have two full-time working parents, but then still have great kids that are good in school and love each other, and play well with each other—it makes you proud.”

To have two full-time working parents, but then still have great kids… it makes you proud.

Salina Locke

Locke Family Recipe

Chicken Fried Steak

  • 10 Cook Steps
  • 4 Servings
  • 40M Cook Time

Gather Ingredients

The Beginning

Ingredients

3 lb. tenderized round steak

Directions

Cut 3 lb. steak into six slices and tenderize.

1

Ingredients

1.5 cups milk
2 eggs

Directions

Combine together milk and eggs.

2

Ingredients

1.5 cup milk
2 eggs

Directions

Whisk together milk and eggs and set aside.

3

Ingredients

2 cup all purpose white flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Mix together flour, salt and pepper.

4

Ingredients

Flour mixture
Round Steak

Directions

Coat both sides of steak with flour mixture.

5

Ingredients

Egg mixture
Round Steak

Directions

Dip coated meat in egg/milk mixture.

6

Ingredients

Flour mixture
Round Steak

Directions

Again coat both sides of steak with flour mixture.

7

Ingredients

1 cups of olive oil
Coated steak

Directions

Heat olive oil. Drop coated steak into hot oil.

8

Ingredients

Coated Round Steak

Directions

Fry until gold brown on both sides. Approx. 4-5 mins per side.

9

Ingredients

Paper Towel

Directions

Rest steak on paper towel.

10
The End