• September 3, 2014

Chuck wagon cook-off heats up

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, April 7, 2012 12:00 pm

By Audrey Spencer

Killeen Daily Herald

LAMPASAS - In a shady corner of Campbell Park, chuck wagons straight from the 1800s readied camp Friday to serve authentic cattle trail grub at high noon today.

"They surprise us with the food," said Jim Clark with the Mesquite Flatts wagon. "You have to try to plan for each one. Most competitions are pretty generalized."

Teams will draw to see whether they have to prepare pork, goat or a cut of beef, and supplement the meal with beans, biscuits and cobbler dishes prepared as if they were on a cattle drive - over an open flame or hot coals.

Though the cooks are talented and competition is friendly, how a team does depends on the judges, said Dale Grubelnik, who is competing at the Lampasas event for the first time.

"It's the luck of the draw and who's judging," he said. "If you know who's judging, you can cook accordingly."

Grubelnik's wagon is a replica of a military escort wagon with steel-lined wheels.

Authenticity is important to the chuck wagon teams, because half of their score in the overall competition is judged on the historical accuracy of their wagons.

All wagons include necessities from the trail, such as water barrels and basic food supplies, including flour and coffee.

Many wagons set up at Campbell Park also include tools used on the trails - such as whiskey used to treat snake bites, hygiene items and 1800s straight razors.

"People have their tools, authentic forks and tin plates, and a lot of them have more authentic things you had to have on the trail, like bedrolls and harnesses for your team," said Regina Verde, with the Hawk's Nest Cattle Company wagon.

The event is ideal for families and anyone interested in old western cowboy culture.

"How often do you get to see a chuck wagon?" asked Sandra Julian, event coordinator.

Live music from Doug Moreland and the Flying Armadillos, cowboy poetry and a performance by a blue heeler mix named Mojo - billed as "the world's smallest barrel racer"- also are scheduled to bring some entertainment to the event, said Julian.

"It's an absolute step back in time. The people are more than welcome to accommodate you on any question, and they welcome you to come to the camp."

Contact Audrey Spencer at aspencer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.