Heritage, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 1987 Page: 31
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As with life on the range, you make do
with what you have.
For cowboy cuisine the rules to remember
are taste, smell, and appearance.
Momma's Sunday Fried Chicken
3-4 lb. cut up fryer (the smaller the pieces the better)
22 c. flour
/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1 t. salt to start (add more according to your taste)
/4 t. pepper to start (add more according to your taste)
1 /2 c. milk
Soak fryer in salt water for at least /2 hour. Mix flour,
cornmeal, salt, and pepper. In separte bowl mix milk and
egg. Dip chicken in milk mixture until well soaked and
then dip in flour mixture until well coated. Drop into hot
vegetable oil deep enough to cover half or more of chicken
pieces. Brown on one side to golden brown before turning.
When golden brown on both sides, remove and drain. Don't
cook too fast-usually a medium high heat-and don't let
the cowgirl or cowboy in the room distract you from watching
your chicken so it gets just the right shade of brown, fit
for a king and not a burnt offering to the gods!
This chicken will make you lick your fingers twice and
scrape the dish for more crispies!
Aunt George's Sweet Potatoes
(Her name wasn't really George, we just called her that.)
Now I want to tell you that sweet potatoes used to be one
of my family favorites, along with macaroni and cheese. We
had sweet spuds fixed just about any way you could think of,
but this was the way one of my late aunts used to fix 'em and
they sure are danged good this way!
3 c. mashed, cooked sweet potatoes
3 T. butter (don't use margarine unless you have to)
/2 t. salt
/4 t. paprika (looks nice and gives a little flavor)
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites, beaten stiff
/2 c. diced pineapple (use a little bit of the juice-not
Mix potatoes, butter, salt, paprika, and yolks. Beat two
minutes. Fold in beaten egg whites and pineapple. Spread
in buttered baking dish-you don't have to be real neat.
Bake in moderate oven for 15 minutes. Serve 'em right
from the baking dish.
5 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. vegetable shortening
Mix together until you have a crumbly mixture.
1 t. soda
3 T. sugar (may mix with dissolving yeast to help it grow
3 t. baking powder
2 c. buttermilk
1 yeast cake dissolved in 1/2 c. water
Add rest of dry ingredients to crumbly mixture. Add
buttermilk and dissolved yeast. Work together with a large
spoon until all flour is moistened. Cover bowl and put in
When ready to use, take out as much as is needed, roll on
floured board to /2-inch thickness and cut. Bake at 400
degrees on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan about 12
minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about five dozen
light, flaky biscuits. Pan should be lightly greased.
This dough will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
It also makes very good doughnuts, topping for a main dish,
or you can let it rise as rolls.
Texas Pecan Cake
I1/4 c. butter
1 2 c. sugar
4 unbeaten eggs
3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
1 c. milk
2 c. chopped pecans
Toast nuts in 14 cup butter in 350-degree oven for 20-25
minutes-stirring often. Cream butter (1 cup) and sugar
until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Sift together flour,
salt, and baking powder, then add alternately with milk.
Stir in vanilla and 1 /3 cups pecans. Bake in three 8-inch
layer pans which are greased and floured-in 350-degree
oven for 25-30 minutes. Cool, then frost (No, I didn't forget
the rest of the nuts, and I didn't eat them. Read on.)
Cream /2 cup margarine and /2 cup vegetable shortening.
Add 1 pound powdered sugar and /2 teaspoon vanilla.
Add milk a tablespoon at a time until you have a smooth
creamy mixture. Add remaining pecans. Spread between
each layer and on top of Texas Pecan Cake.
Richard Pearce-Moses is coordinator of the Historic Photography
Project of the Texas Historical Foundation.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 1987, periodical, Summer 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45437/m1/31/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.