Of Chuckwagons and Surprises

Well, I’d link to the Chuckwagon Cookoff information on the web, but Roger doesn’t have it up yet. It’s only Tuesday. Things like the Saint’s Roost Museum Chuckwagon Cookoff are one of the joys of small town living. This past Saturday, the local museum brought in 14 authentic ranch chuckwagons to compete in preparing a semi-typical meal. (I say “semi” because there wasn’t always beef on the trail…)

They were authentic in everything but the actual mules for pulling the wagons–but they did have to have harness. The competitors have to cook over mesquite wood fires (at least all the wood laying out at the museum looked like mesquite–some of it might have been cedar–that’s what the ranchers around here want to get rid of) using authentic methods–cast iron skillets and dutch ovens, no aluminium, no spray-on anything–just cowboy cooking.

And then the folks who’ve bought tickets get to come out and have dinner. Fried steak, potatoes, pinto beans, bread and cobbler. (Yes, the chuckwagons had canned peaches, so they could do dessert for the cowboys.) The tickets have the name of a chuckwagon competitor written on the back and you have to go to that chuckwagon to get your food. We ate at the CW wagon–they won a well deserved prize for their meat, but didn’t place in anything else–and I had an awfully good meal, so those other folks must have been Really Good. Yeah, it was carb universe, but I was playing cowboy (snort!) for the weekend.

I also bought me a new pocket knife at the little craft/stuff fair they had before they rang the triangle thingie, so now I can sharpen my weirdly shaped drawing pencils. Don’t quite know how to use them yet, but I can at least get to the insides.

Surprises. I had one today while I was writing. I thought I was writing a love scene, and all of a sudden, the characters took me someplace completely different–someplace I didn’t even think they could get to. Blew my mind. It’s a three-Puffs-tissue (What can I say? I like them better than Kleenex) week so far. Nobody died. Today. But it got really emotional.

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