Cowboy Vegetarian Cookbook
Baxter Black, DVM
When beef gets short, a lot of cowboys are forced to do without. The cook must come up with meatless meals. The following recipes are from the Cowboy Vegetarian Cookbook.
TENNIS SHOE TONGUE
Select an old one. The price is better and it may have picked up some natural flavor depending on where it has been worn. Boiling is suggested but it may also be fried to a crisp and served on a bed of marinated sweat shirt. Garnish with pickled shoe string.
SEED CORN CAP PIZZA
Carefully clean with a fish scaling knife. Remove all metal buttons, rivets and any plastic tabs. Flatten the cap by soaking in linseed oil then placing it underneath a door mat that gets heavy use. Once pliable cover it with lots of cheese and ketchup. Dry kibbles or dust motes may be sprinkled as a topping for variety.
MEADOW HAY SALAD
Choose a bale toward the middle of the stack. Break the bale being careful to remove any plastic twine. Take a flake and winnow it over the garage floor. Then chop the stems with a heavy blunt utensil like a bucket or hoe. For dressing, pound a kumquat sized piece of 17% protein block on a flat surface and add vinegar. Croutons chipped from corn cobs or diced styrofoam may be tossed in. Feed whatever is left to the cows.
FAN BELT FAJITAS
The most succulent fan belt can be found on old farm equipment molding in your boneyard. It should be sliced into bite-sized chunks. Tenderize before cooking by soaking in fingernail polish remover. Fry in lard along with half a hatful of three-quarter-inch black plastic hose and shredded playing cards. Serve with beer and jalapeños. It tastes a lot like abalone.
Ever wondered what to do with those old reins, quirts or saddle tree bark? This recipe has been tried and tested from ancient Mongolians right up through Donner Pass. Place the strips of rawhide in a pot and boil for as many weeks as the firewood holds out. What you add to the stew depends on what’s available: i.e. pine cones, hoof trimmings, iron pyrite or old hat brims. It’s filling but don’t expect much more.
Ever eat a saddle? Some parts are edible. Dig a hole big enough to bury a small mule. Burn elm, cottonwood and old tires to get a bed of coals. Wrap the saddle in a plastic tarp (blue), place it on the coals and cover with dirt. Cook for hours on end. Dig up and serve with baked faucet washers. Feeds up to two truckloads of hungry cowboys.
That should give you an idea of what you can do when you run out of beef at the ranch. There are many other Cowboy Vegetarian recipes like Latigo Jerky, Gunstock Paté and Smokin’ Joe’s Copenhagen Torte, but this should get you started. ❖