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Western "fare" In The 1860's

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A ranch house was open and usually had a pot of beans and coffee on the stove. This ranch house served as a meeting hall, hotel, cafe and hospital to all that came by. If, however, you looked "no good" you were asked to sleep in the barn.

In, "No Life For a Lady" by Agnes Morley Cleveland, she said, "communication was a kid on a horse." "A good horse was one that would let you get back on after bucking you off out in the middle of nowhere."

One man made a trip across Texas and said he only got wheat two times. All the rest of the time it was something made from corn.

If you ate the beans on the stove you put more on to soak.

Charles Goodnight got cut up by a hog. They were butchering in the fall and the hog had a dog on each ear and Charles got in front to get a clear shot and the hog jerked free and got him. Since he was in bed when they called up volunteers for the Civil War, he didn't go. He thought the U.S. fighting the U.S. was a poor idea anyway.

After the war Charles took an army surplus wagon, yup they had that stuff way back then, and made a chuck wagon to haul the bedrolls and eating gear. The back folded up and was a table. Up to that time each soldier or cowboy had to haul their own on their saddles. He was the first to take sour dough on the road.

Charles once watched a large group of Indians scatter when a little bitty bunch of Texas Rangers came up with all their pots and pans banging. He said it sounded like an army.

A house on the fronteer was likely to have a log floor (tops knocked off) and a huge fireplace to take a stump or part of a tree section. There were two doors to these old cabins, so you could come in with a team, drop off the log, and go out without having to turn around.

If you think a team wouldn't clear biscuits and flapjacks off the table, your nutter than a fruit cake.

In the Journals of Lewis and Clark - DeVoto, they talk about the piece day resistaunce of the times. Take the hump and loins of a buffalo and roll in flour and salt and pepper after cutting into small pieces. Take the large intestine and turn it inside out and fill with the above and give it a dip and a dangle in the Missouri and coil into a large cast iron pot and cook. Slice and fry in grizzly grease because it would not go sour.

Mexican sheep herders would keep a few goats in the herd also and their trail mix was jerky, corn and peppers all dried. Light weight and when ground up and mixed with water or goats milk, it was chili conrcorie sp. It is thought that the peppers not only livened up the meal but fought off the effects of gyp water and critters in it.

When I was in Old Mexico and would be out all day, I learned to take peanut butter and mix with quaker oats and some suryp and roll into little balls dipped in flour. Eat one of those when you got hungry and you would think you ate a bullet.

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