Don’t Even Talk to a Cookie Until He’s Made You Coffee

Posted on April 14, 2021 by Seth "from Marketing" Spillman in

We talked to Chuck Wagon expert, Lynn Shackleford about a staple of the West: Coffee.

They say that it’s not real cowboy coffee if you can’t float a horseshoe in it. We skipped that test due to food preparation guidelines, but the coffee looked pretty stout.

Here are some cool coffee fun facts. But as Michael Grauer, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture and Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art always says, “Cowboy coffee is only served warm or hot. Never cool.

Lynn started cooking on an open fire at 11 years old in the Boy Scouts and has been doing Chuck Wagons for around 10 years. Chuck Wagons were the first food truck.

A pot of coffee was always brewing on the fire. A mug of coffee would often be a full meal for a cowboy.

The most prevalent kind of cowboy coffee was made by Arbuckles who sold it in one-pound bags of already-roasted beans. Hence, the coffee grinder was standard chuckwagon equipment. Arbuckles’ was used so widely on trail drives and on ranches, that cowboys didn’t know there other kinds, so they’d ask “Cookie” for a cup of Arbuckles’. Much like all hats were “Stetsons” and all blue jeans were “Levi’s.”

After grinding the beans and boiling the grounds, eggshells were often added to settle the grounds. We don’t have a photo of tossing eggshells into coffee because…well, we want you to still like coffee.

Don’t miss Lynn’s Chuck Wagon and many more at our Annual Chuck Wagon Festival May 29 – 30th at the Museum. Join us for this two-day, fun-filled family weekend showcasing Chuck Wagon and Native food samples, artisan demonstrations, live music, Western re-enactors, and more. Learn all about the Festival here.

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