Monday, January 11, 2016

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Home cookin’

by Julie Carter

Common cowboy cooking is widely acclaimed to be the very best, spiciest, most original and filling of all cuisines of the world. At least that's what the cowboys will tell you.

For the rest of us mere mortals, skepticism is a healthy recommendation.

However, in the spirit of fun, I want to share with you a couple of cowboy recipes provided by a cowboy who wishes to remain anonymous. I’m thinking he means at least until the statute of limitations runs out.

Speed in preparation is the first priority for this confirmed bachelor. Second on the list of importance would be a meal that can be shared with his trusty cow dog, who also helps him cook.

This cowboy and his dog had been on a steady diet of burritos made of Spam, Velveeta and mayo.

His preferred delicacy had always been “pig-lip baloney”, but lately he has not been able to find the delicacy anywhere this side of the Mississippi. He has been heartbroken about that.

Learning by experience, he recommended using the genuine Velveeta because in his vast experience with cheeses, the cheap substitutes would not work.

After roping practice, he and his compadre were comparing notes from the long-ago time when his buddy had also been a bachelor. Chili and eggs were the preferred masterpiece, but both agreed that only Wolf Brand Chili would qualify for the main ingredient. The number of eggs to be added was dictated by the number currently in the icebox.

Optional ingredients would include ranch-style beans, pork and beans, potatoes if any were cooked, onions, the occasional stray sock or whatever else got in the way. It was especially critical that the chili be put in an iron skillet, thoroughly cooked down to the burrito-fold stage before adding the eggs. This would result in a scrambled look. If added too soon, the eggs would vanish.

Several likely pointers of this nature were passed on.

The next evening the cowboy reported that both he and the dog gave this meal a five-star rating. Encouraged that his buddy appreciated his culinary achievements, the compadre imparted his recipe for fried deer meat, instant mashed potatoes and gravy thick enough to make everything stick together. It was understood that it, also, would all be wrapped in a flour tortilla.

As the roping practice progressed, the cooking lessons kept pace, and then the subject of milk came up. The cowboy had tried powdered milk with no luck. The dog was pretty picky, and so was he. Once again, he was adamant it was necessary to buy the good brand and even a better idea to mix it according to the directions. That depended on the available time.

On those days when it was a good idea to start out with actual food for breakfast instead of an adult beverage, milk was an essential. The compadre was a planner and a logical, organized man. Willingly, he shared his secret time-saving breakfast method with the cowboy.

It was necessary that perhaps some female had left behind a collection of small plastic storage dishes for this efficiency. Then one could put a measured portion of Grape-Nuts, powdered milk and sugar in each of the containers, seal them and stack. Then the only additional ingredient would be water.

The major drawbacks to this gourmet meal were it was not one to eat while driving, and the dog didn't like Grape-Nuts. However, it was noted by compadre’s wife that he had somehow quickly overcome his bachelorhood eating habits and adapted quite nicely to her cooking.

Although on stressful days, he still preferred Wolf Brand chili and eggs.

Julie, who suggests sticking to canned peaches, can be reached for comment at

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