The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 157
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hide hammock-the "cooney" or "possum belly"-for fuel for the
The cook had to be up before daylight to start breakfast. Then
he had to drive the chuck wagon ahead of the herd and have
another meal ready at noon. In the afternoon he followed a
similar routine. By the time he had washed and put away the last
pots and "eatin' irons," long after dark, there was not much time
left for sleep. He had to keep the harness in repair, and sometimes
he served as doctor for men and horses. His job often made him
cantankerous, but the cowhands did not mind that as long as he
served good food.
At their outdoor meals, Adams notes, the men often ate without
bothering to take off their hats. Usually they helped themselves
to food and coffee. With legs crossed, they sat on the prairie and
ate their fill. When finished, they dropped their tin pates, cups,
and cutlery in the dishpan or tub-the "wreck pan." They
ordinarily were so hungry that almost any food tasted good. But
if they did not like the fare, they seldom dared to complain
within earshot of the cook.
Mr. Adams goes into much detail on cow-camp food and how
it was prepared. He also brings in many folk expressions and
some salty anecdotes. First-rate drawings by Nick Eggenhofer are
in keeping with the informal text. The book is more than a
memorial to the cowboy cook of trail-driving days; it makes
entertaining reading for all who are interested in the lore of the
cow country in the frontier era.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/179/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.