The preservation of western cultural and the American Cowboy. Sharing the history of the early trail drives, the Chuck Wagon and those who pioneered untamed land. The content is for educational and entertainment purposes. Cowboys and Chuck Wagon Cooking reviews cooking techniques, products and western gear which today is part of western life style. We hope you will enjoy your visit and look forward to comments, recipes and shared heritage. Thank you for your visit. Hope you follow us along the trail of news, stories and the Cowboy way.
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Little Cooks at the Cowboy Gathering

Photo courtesy Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering
Cowboys and Chuckwagons rolled into the Forth Worth Stockyards for the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival. This marks the 22nd Anniversary Celebration held in the national historic district. 
Voted "Best Gathering and Best Family Event" by American Cowboy Magazine, the gathering featured a trail ride from Fort Richardson as cowboys and chuckwagons parade to the stock yards of Fort Worth under direction of wagon boss Mike Stein.  Once at the stock yards, the chuckwagons set up camp as other events kick off like the exciting ranch rodeo.  Additional events included Horsemanship clinics, Trapping show, Cowboy poetry,  Cowboy Music, Ranch Cutting Horse Association Rodeo Finals with Jardine's Chuckwagon Camp and Competition.  
What makes this celebration of the West so family oriented is they also hold competitions for the youth who will be our future generation of cowboys and cowgirls. Competition included Youth Poetry contest, Youth Fiddle contest and Youth Chuckwagon Cook-off.   
Among the many adult champion chuckwagon cooks, the youth came out and perform remarkably well.  Renown chuckwagon cook  Shirley Richardson, from Bryson, Texas was chairperson for the youth chuckwagon competition.  "In youth competition, the kids cook meatloaf for meat, and a dessert from an assign fruit," states Shirley. 
Shirley has been chuckwagon cooking for decades and like most camp cooks, shares a knowledge which has influence the generations to come.  Lynzy Alaniz, is Shirley's great grand daughter who quickly took a liking towards baking.   Lynzy's mother, Becky Alaniz stated "She has competed in the youth group competition at the Red Steagall event for the last three years.  She is a hands own learner. The very first time she was told she would be able to cook like her great grandma, Lynzy became very excited.  We are so fortunate having this opportunity for her to compete in with the youth chuck wagon cook-off."
Lynzy often bakes cookies with her grandmother Christa, called 'Nanna,' by her grand children which is Shirley's daughter after school before being picked up by her mom after work.  All of Shirley's grandchildren and great grandchildren have learn to cook at very young age and each enjoy great grandma's Chuckwagon.  

"Lynzy had a little chuck-box that she kept all her cookware in and while some children pretend cooking, Lynzy is learning the art of true cowboy cooking using her favorite cookware, cast iron skillets and dutch oven's.  This year, she had outgrown her original chuck-box and Poppa, Lynzy's grandpa stepped in and built her a new one, which Lynzy used during the Red Steagall event," states Shirley.    
Continuing, Shirley indicate, "The small chuck box has wheels on it so it can easily be moved. When in position, Lynzy merely attaches the legs and secures the box in place. It's not hard to buy gifts for her either as I just add to her cooking collection." 
Lynzy Alaniz competes at the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering
This year at age 10, Lynzy made the traditional meatloaf as an entry and the dessert was a Peach Kolache which received third place in the competition.  Her first year, at age 8, she won 4th place with her meatloaf and entered Peach bread Pudding for her dessert. At age 9, Lynzy won second place with her meatloaf and tied with her entry of Peach Pudding.  Youth competitions are a great deal of fun. It not only helps build good character in today's children who participate in these events, but inspires the youth who will be the keepers of the spirit of the west alive. Win or lose, Lynzy has her own stories to tell about her events, recipes and cooking techniques. It's easy for any  parent or grandparent to be ready to brag about such spirited children.  
This year, the youth competition had 22 kids performing their culinary skills. First place in the meat category was awarded to 14 year old J.T. Laramore, 2nd place award to 9 year old Aden Choate and 3rd place awarded to 10 year old Marci Wisdom.  The dessert first place award went to 13 year old Finis Smith, 2nd place received by 8 year old Jaci Lawson and Lynzy Alaniz at 10 years old, receiving the third place award. 
Jaci Lawson is third generation of chuckwagon cooking being Shirley Richardson's grand daughter while Lynyz Alaniz, is forth generation as Shirley's great grand daughter. A heritage of ranch cooking from the chuckwagon preserved and handed down through the family. 
Jaci Lawson awarded second place with her Peach up side down Cake
However, cooking great staples of wholesome food is not just for the young kids to enjoy.  Restored operating wagons dating as early as the 1880's also got deeply into the competition.  Each wagon is judge on wagon appearance, set up and each chuckwagon is like a mobile museum gateway into history.  You can almost imagine being on a trail drive that operate in the late 1860's during the cattle drive boom when you view the cooks handling giant size dutch ovens as they compete for the bragging rights of who makes the best cobble 
Judging in the meat category, Hester 2H wagon won first place,  Henry Jennings taking second followed by the Rafter JB Wagon in third place.
Beans: 1st Place Tie – Rafter JB Wagon and Moreland Chuck Wagon; 3rd Place - Out Yonder
Bread: 1st C Bar C Wagon, 2nd Breakaway Wagon, 3rd Hester 2H Wagon
Dessert: 1st Rafter JB Wagon, 2nd Flint Creek, 3rd Sulphur Draw 
Best Overall:  1st Hester 2H Wagon,  2nd Henry Jennings
The chuck wagon is the state vehicle. Photo: AP Photo/Fort Worth Star-Telegra

Congratulations to all the youth, Young or older who competed as they keep the spirit of the cowboy and western heritage alive. Click here for more information on the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering   and schedule events going on at the Fort Worth Stockyards

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, not only is she a great cook she has her own sized chuckwagon! Wonderful!