Old West Recipes Archives

Chuckwagon: Lazy Cobbler

Lazy CobblerHere is an updated version of an old cowboy dessert Lazy Cobbler, sometimes called dump cake.
Use a 12” Dutch oven. (Serves 12.)

Prepare 15 charcoal briquettes for the bottom and 10 for the top.
2 cans sliced peaches with syrup. (You can also use pineapple.)
1 package of white or yellow cake mix.
1/3 stick of butter.
Ground cinnamon.

Place oven over hot bottom briquettes. Pour contents of peach cans into oven. Spread dry cake mix evenly over peaches. Sprinkle on cinnamon. Cut butter into thin slices and place on top. Put lid on top of oven, add hot briquettes and bake for about 45 minutes or until done.

If you would like to mix the peaches into the cake, do so when the cobbler is about half done, and continue baking until done.

Chuckwagon: Sourdough Cornbread

Sourdough Cornbread

Here is a recipe to use some of the Sourdough starter you made from a previous post. This recipe for sourdough cornbread comes from the Hashknife Outfit of Winslow, Arizona.

1 cup starter.
Enough cornmeal to make a beatable batter
1 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs beaten
¼ cup warm melted butter, or fat
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soda

Mix starter, cornmeal, milk, eggs and stir thoroughly in large bowl. Stir in melted butter, salt and soda. Pour into a 10 inch greased frying pan or Dutch oven, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Chuckwagon: Cowboy Sourdough Starter

Cowboy Sourdough Starter

Sourdough biscuits were a delicacy whether on the trail or at the ranch. Once a cook got a good sourdough starter he cherished it like a baby. On the trail he would store it in a dark, cool place in his chuckwagon. Here is one cooks recipe for a sourdough starter.

2 cups of lukewarm potato water.
2 cups flour.
1 tablespoon sugar.

Make potato water by cutting up 2 medium-sized potatoes into cubes, and boil in cups of water until tender. Remove the potatoes and measure out two cups of the remaining liquid. (The potatoes can be used for the evening meal.) Mix the potato water, flour and sugar into a smooth paste. Set the mixture in a warm place until it doubles its original size.

Cowboy Sourdough starter

Chuckwagon Vocabulary

As with everything the cowboy did, when it came to eating, the cowboy developed his own chuckwagon vocabulary. Sometimes it was a perversion of a commonly used word. Other times it seemed to have no relationship to anything other than what was in a cowboy’s mind.
Here are a few of the terms cowboys used for various aspects of eating:

Airtights: Canned goods. Usually corn, peaches, tomatoes and milk.
Arbuckle’s axle grease: Arbuckle brand of coffee was the one most used on the range. Axle grease referred to the strength of the coffee.
Cow Grease: Butter.
Hen Fruit: Eggs.
Padding Out His Belly: Someone who eats anything, anytime.
Slow Elk: Someone else’s steer slaughtered for food.
Swamp Seed: Rice. A staple on the trail.
Texas Butter: Gravy made from steak grease and flour. If available, milk was used.

chuckwagon vocabulary

Chuckwagon: Baked Indian Pudding

BAKED INDIAN PUDDING

5 cups milk, scalded 4 cupsBaked Indian Pudding
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup dark molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
 4 tbs butter

To scalded milk, add sugar, cornmeal, molasses, spices, salt and butter.  

Cook until thickened.  

Put into greased baking dish.  

Bake at 300 for 3 hours.

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