Forget Him Not

Wait! We’re not finished yet! What cowboy culture blog series is complete without taking a gander at the man that makes the cowboy? None.

You may think this is a cheat post, but bear with me. Hop on over to my Cowboy Heat page on Pinterest and take a gander at the ever endearing, enticing, enthralling cowboy! I hope it brightens your Tuesday!

Wild West

Well kids, we’ve talked about the cowboy’s horse, art, music and food. What’s left? The land! The Wild West!

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cc – Randy Pertiet

Here is an interesting article written by J. Wisniewski and Kevin Nakamura about five myths of the Wild West.

And here are a few eye-candy pictures of the landscape. Enjoy!

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cc – Phil Constantine

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cc – Frank Kovalchek

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cc – Ron Reiring

Like Me, Friend Me Contest Winner…

After logging 268 entries on the first day of the contest, my smile couldn’t have been wider. It tickled me to giggling bits that you guys responded so eagerly to the challenge. By the time I logged the 876th entry I wondered what the heck I’d gotten myself into with the entry points system. But meeting so many new and fascinating people made it worth the effort.

I hope to entertain you with cultural tidbits of art, food and music from the settings of my stories, along with guest authors, the odd this is what’s going on in my life post, along with other chances to win. Now, drumroll, please!

The winner of the like me, friend me contest chosen by random.org is……Marci K.!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!

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cc – Crystal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustle Up Some Grub

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.

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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.

 

Soda Biscuits

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!

Boot Scootin’ Boogie

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 art. This week, it’s all about the music.

Long before Brooks & Dunn’s heel-toe, do si do, come on, baby, let’s go boot scooting’…boogie, the cowboy made his mark on the musical world. With a freedom never before experienced he broke all the rules, changing a steady four count to five, four, five and however else he pleased. The open west was his amphitheatre. The crickets his accompaniment. The cows and horses his adoring fans.

A harmonica became his go to instrument on the trail for its compact size and soulful bravado. Here is an example of its boastfulness.

The cowboy took the mandolin from Vivaldi’s European concert halls and gave it the earthen twang of the people.

What sings country and gets boots scootin’ like a fiddle?

Do you have a favorite country/western-fied instrument? The guitar, bass, piano or one of the above? As a former guitar picker and violin bower, I’m torn. But the fiddle wins my vote.

Remember to check out the Cowboy Heat Blog Tour and the Like Me Love Me Contest running through April 18th for prizes!

Cowboy Inspired Art

In honor of my 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’s horse. This week, it’s all about the art.

I adore art, especially paintings. Good ones. Bad ones. Even mediocre ones. They all show something special and unique. Art can reveal things about the artist, and, if you look hard enough, you may discover something new about yourself in the hued creation.

So, I share with you a few painting inspired by the loyal, hard-working cowboy.

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We’ll start with this gorgeous painting by Martin Grelle. It captures the iconic hero in a relaxed pose atop his horse, surveying the vast west stretched before him.

Boot Shack

cc – jE norton

What is more artistic than the well fashioned leather of a cowboy’s boot? Not a whole lot. Some are meticulously handcrafted scrolls and arches stitched into cowhide, but they aren’t hung on the wall and admired. Cowboy boots bore the brunt of the man’s sun-up to sun-down work.

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Here is a vibrant twist on the historic Vaquero painted by Jinx Springer.

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And last, but certainly not least is the photograph, Fish Creek, from Adam Jahiel in a series called The Last Cowboy. Each photo is breathtaking in its simplicity and striking composition.

Go ahead. Pick a favorite. I dare you. Or share one of your favorite cowboy inspired works of art.

 

Cowboy Culture

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In honor of my 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.

The cowboy is so much more than a herder of cattle. His roots trace back to Spain and the first European immigrants who settled the new world. Though known today for his loyalty and hard-working spirit, his early expeditions recognize the occasionally savagery of his conquests in the frontier. His persistence and ability to thrive with little but the horse between his strong legs helped make him the backbone of the America West. It’s no wonder Hollywood, literary and popular fiction have centered hundreds of thousands of works on the icon.

Today we’ll look at the animal that made the cowboy’s position in history possible. The horse.

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Scientific name Equus ferus caballus. Measured from the crest of the withers, where the back and neck meet, a horse stands 14.3 hands (hand = 4 inches) or taller of lean muscle and thick bone. Anything shorter is considered a pony. The tallest horse ever recorded was 21.2 and 1/2 hh! That’s seven feet, two and a half inches at the withers. As you can see, they come with a unique set of vocabulary terms. Also, an unbound spirt and grace, though, like the rest of us they have their clumsy moments.

Archeological discoveries show horses were first domesticated around 3500 BC. There are over two hundred unique breeds in the world that vary by gated, color, blood and body type. Historically horses have been used as the primary source of transportation, but in today’s world of motor vehicles they are used for a variety of pleasure sports, work herding  cattle, as well as therapies for people with physical and mental disabilities.

A horse’s stamina and highly trainable nature have made them a tool of war and work, but they are known by horse-lovers for their honest emotions and open hearts. Cheers to the magic of horses who have enriched our lives and made so many things possible!

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