In honor of the new release, Cowboy Heat, an anthology featuring stories from 14 other authors with fierce cowboys and the women strong enough to tame them taking the lead, we’ll walk in the boots of a cowboy for the next few Tuesdays and explore interesting facets of his life in the blog series, Cowboy Culture.
Last week, we talked about the cowboy inspired music. This week, it’s all about the food. So, get out your aprons! We’re cooking up a storm!
Man, I forgot the chuckwagon. Okay, I’ve got it hooked up. Before we set off on this adventure, there are a few terms you need to know.
Wreck Pan = Sink
Squirrel Can = Compost Jar
Cook = Biscuit Shooter
Hen Fruit = Eggs
Swamp Seeds = Rice
Cow Grease = Butter
Texas Butter = Brown Gravy
Mountain Oysters = Calf Testicles (Go ahead and take a moment to either laugh or cry.)
Boy in Bag
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts (black walnuts are fine)
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup chopped suet
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup chopped dried fruit of any kind.
Chop suet into small pieces no pieces being larger than a bean.
Combine with raisins, nuts, brown sugar, and chopped dried fruit.
Then mix flour, spices, and salt with baking powder.
Add gradually to fruit mixture with milk, beating well.
Put in flour sack or tie in large square of cloth. Put in kettle of boiling water and boil 3 hours, always keeping enough boiling water, and put on cloth to drain.
After about ½ hour, untie cloth and turn pudding onto dish. Let chill.
Slice and serve with hard sauce.
This pudding will keep well and is similar to plum pudding.
This can be made in camp with molasses instead of brown sugar. Or can be made with white sugar instead of either brown sugar or molasses.
This was a great favorite with chuck wagon cooks.
Take 1lb flour, and mix it with enough milk to make a stiff dough;
dissolve 1tsp carbonate of soda in a little milk;
add to dough with a teaspoon of salt.
Work it well together and roll out thin;
cut into round biscuits, and bake them in a moderate oven.
The yolk of an egg is sometimes added.
Texas Butter or Brown Gravy
The following is a farm recipe for gravy from the late 1880’s. This gravy may be made in larger quantities, then kept in a stone jar and used as wanted.
Take 2 pounds of beef, and two small slices of lean bacon. Cut the meat into small pieces. Put into a stew-pan a piece of butter the size of an egg, and set over the fire.
Cut two large onions in thin slices. Put them in the butter and fry a light brown, then add the meat. Season with whole peppers. Salt to taste. Add three cloves, and pour over one cupful of water.
Let it boil fifteen or twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add two quarts of water, and simmer very gently for two hours. Strain, and when cold, remove all the fat. To thicken this gravy, put in a stew pan a lump of butter a little larger than an egg, add two teaspoonfuls of flour, and stir until a light brown. When cold, add it to the strained gravy, and boil up quickly. Serve very hot with the meats.
-Until next meal!