Due to love and persistent pleading, I did something I said I wouldn’t do and that was to go to a Chuck Wagon Cook-Off in Lubbock, TX. I hadn’t been in years well, actually since I won it in 1996, and Miss Keller said. ” Ah, come on it will be fun!” So we invited a dear friend of ours from Nashville, Miss Donnette Engebrecht.
They had some t-shirts made that said “two chicks and a chuckwagon,” even had one made for me but I forgot to wear mine, just a slip of my feeble mind, nothing more.
There were 32 wagons present and it was like a family reunion of sorts- got to see old friends like “Pop” otherwise known as Jerry Slaton and some dear friends of mine DB and Boots. So with the love of my life and Donnette , it was better than I thought it might be.
Them two helpers who soon became the two bosses, began to shout out orders and take over camp like a band of renegade Indians, not on the warpath, but nearly.
There are five basic food groups to be turned in and judged: chicken fried steak, beans, potatoes, bread and dessert. I like to work under pressure and need a challenge occasionally. Shannon, who has become a great Dutch Oven Chef ,ran things like an assembly line at General Motors and Miss Donnette took her lead and I found myself surrounded like Custer at the Little Bighorn. I had told them we will do our best as always and hope for the best but don’t get your hopes up. But how could I go wrong with such great help.Iit was good weather and things just sort of fell into place. The karma was good and Shannon said the bread that Donnette made felt really good. We had opted to do a bread pudding with apples and a whiskey sauce for the dessert. Miss Keller made the decisive vote on what should be turned in to judge from each batch… she has a good eye for those things (she didn’t do to bad in picking me.)
So we turned in our dishes and waited for the results. I looked around and then knew that with good help it didn’t matter what happened it was just great to share the experience with my two helpers; even if they were the bosses and I had become the help. To see old friends and make some new ones-I had already won, it was a great day!
I had to entertain at award time and got back right after the announcements had been made. That love of mine met me half way back to the wagon with a big hug and told me we had placed: 1st in meat, 3rd in bread and 3rd in desert and 5th overall out of 32 wagons. I told her that it was all due to good help and good timing.
So maybe what I was dreading in some way was actually a blessing. It let me know with a true love and a great helper from Nashville, anything is possible. So my dear readers if there is an event coming up that you may not really want to participate in, get you some good help and go for it, it might be the best thing happening at the time!
Keep the wood dry and don’t forget to check the bread.