American Indian Corn Cakes

cornbread1horseheader11.jpgGood Morning!

Well, I’m a little late this morning — doing taxes all day yesterday — hopefully you’ll forgive me and understand that my mind has been a little pre-occupied. 

This is really a Pueblo recipe.  Here goes:

Start with 2 large handfuls of masa organic cornmeal  (to make masa cornmeal, take some dried corn, put it through the grinder — or buy organic cornmeal — and soak for 7 hours with pickling lime water.  To make the water, pour about an inch of pickling lime in a 2 quart jar and add water — shake and let sit for a few hours.  After 7 hours, dry the cornmeal in either the sun or if you have dehydrator, dry in the dehydrator.  If no dehydehydrator and you are in a cool or humid environment — dry in the lowest setting of your oven until all the liquid is gone.)

Native Americans always traditionally soaked their corn in wood ash or lime (the mineral, not the fruit) — but the pickling lime has the same effect as wood ash.

To the 2 large handfuls of cornmeal add 4 eggs, lightly beaten.

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Lard or butter or coconut oil.

Mix this all together with enough water to form a stiff batter.  Then simply shape into cakes aboaut a half inch thick.  Fry in hot fat and let rest on a paper towel.

These are delicious, by the way and good for you.  The soaking of the oorn changes the amino acid balance of the corn and makes it into a fully balanced protein.  Native Americans were pretty smart.adam-beach.jpg

And hansome!

And here’s another recipe that I thought you might like:

This is from the cookbook Cooking With Spirit, North American INDIAN Food and Fact by Darcy Williamson and Lisa Railsback.

green-bean-casserole-11“Pueblo Greens and Beans

Small picese of chopped mutton fat

1 lb. tumbleweed

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups cooked pinto beans

Cook mutton fat until crips.  Add greens, onion, garlic, water and salt.  Cook until greens are wilted and add beans.  Heat through.”

I would add to this recipe to be sure to soak those beans overnight, being very careful to drain all the water before you use them.  All seeds, nuts, grains and beans contain anti-nutrients — called phytates.  These anti-nutrients block your body’s enzymes from working properly.  They are a protective mechanism of all seed, nuts, grains and beans.  Think of it — cows have 3 stomachs — these help to digest these grains.  But we only have one stomach — so the soaking of them overnight — and even fermenting then (using salt and/or whey) for 24 hours, makes them digestible for us (it starts the digestive process).  I’ve noticed that doing this with all beans avoids gas.  🙂

Have a terrific day!

Pioneer Corn Bread

elizname2smallThis recipe is at least 120 years old.  It came from a cookbook of pioneer recipes put out by the church ladies in my hometown.  I’ll confess I haven’t tried it.  If you do, I’d love to know how it comes out.  Not sure about how to sour the buttermilk… 

1 cup (scant) white flourcornbread

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup corn meal

1 beaten egg

3 Tablespoons melted shortening

1 cup sour buttermilk

3/4 teaspoon soda


 Sift together flour, sugar and baking powder.  Put in pan with corn meal.  Mix well and add egg, shortening and buttermilk, to which the soda has been added to make it foam.  Mix well and pour into greased muffin tins or 9 inch square pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until it tests done.  Serve with molasses and butter.

Pam Crooks’s COWBOY STEW!

I’ve made this recipe so many times while the girls were growing up, I can just about type it out for you from memory.   It’s great comfort food for a cold day.  Just put it in the crockpot and let it slow-cook all afternoon!


4 medium potatoes, slicedpotatoes-carrots-onions

4 large carrots, sliced

1 green pepper, cut in strips

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced in rings

Arrange in crockpot in layers, beginning with potatoes.   Salt and pepper each layer.

Pour one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce on top.   Then combine:

1 lb. hamburger

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 slice bread, crumbled

Salt and pepper

Mix well.  Press into a circle over vegetables to form a cover.  Pour another 8 oz. can of tomato sauce on top.  Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. oregano leaves.

May also be baked in 350 degree oven for one hour or until vegetables are tender.

Texas Hash! A Bylin Family Favorite

Vicki LogoHello everyone!  This is one of my husband’s favorite meals.  It’s one of mine, too. 

 You won’t find an easier stovetop recipe, and it can be as spicy as you want.  It also keeps well in the fridge, so you can make enough for leftovers.


1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion

1 green pepper

2-3 stalks of celery

1-2 tsps chili powder

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 cup cooked rice

A tad bit of salt if you’d like


Start the rice. (I can’t tell you how times I’ve forgotten to cook the rice!)   Next dice the  onion, green pepper and celery.  Saute in a large frying pan in 1 tablespoon oil.  Cook until the veggies are just a tad bit soft.  Add the ground beef.  Cook until browned.  Drain the grease. Add the chili powder and stewed tomatoes.  Cook for about five minutes.  Add the cooked rice. Add salt to taste.

Options: Some people sprinkle it with grated cheddar cheese. It’s good, but we like it plain.  If you like your food spicy, add more chili powder. My  stepdad (a Texan!) likes his T-Hash burning hot! Texas Hash also makes a good burrito filling.

That’s it!  Enjoy!

Roasted Lone Star Pecans by Patricia Potter


pecans1         I love cooking and I usually cook to taste, so recipes are difficult to share.  A touch of this and a touch of that is my usual explanation when asked for quantities. I test along the way and add a spice here, more salt there.  In this I take after my grandmother who never measured anything in her life.

       But here goes my best effort.

       One of my favorite recipes is for roasted butter pecans.  I make tons of them during the holiday season and give something around 15 tins to editors, friends and family.  I generally make a huge dent of the Lions Club annual pecan sale. They love me.

          I also take them to every family party.  I think I would be barred without them.  And every year I take several pounds to RWA National which makes my room very popular.

          The recipe is ridiculously simple for the subsequent rewards, but it does take some time and attention. And since Texas is a great source of pecans, I’m delighted to include the recipe in the Fillies’ collection. texas-flag

           Ingredients: pound and a half of pecans.   One and a half stick of salted butter.   Salt.  

           I usually roast about a pound and a half of pecans in a shallow cake-size baking pan.   You don’t want more than that in any one pan because you want to coat them all with layers of butter and salt.     Did I tell you they are fattening?    Frightfully fattening?   And addictive?

            But I digress and here’s the recipe.

            Turn oven on to no more than 200 degrees.  Place pecans in the baking pan along with a three quarters of a stick of butter.    Once butter is melted, move the pecans around until coated in butter.   Add salt.   Make sure every pecan is butter and lightly salted.    Bake for forty minutes in 200 degree oven, then add the rest of the stick of butter, tossing the pecans until once more coated.   Salt lightly again.   Bake at very low temperature for another thirty minutes or forty minutes.    Add just a little more butter and salt, reduce heat to warm and let sit for thirty more minutes.

pecan-stamp          By adding butter in stages, it seeps into the pecans and bakes inside.    

           Taste frequently.  (Alas, keep a larger sized pair of jeans or slacks handy.)

          When finished, dry pecans on paper towels.

          Patience and continuous stirring is the secret here.  I usually take two hours per batch.  If you use a higher oven temperature, they will burn. 

          Enjoy and be prepared to be invited to parties more often.








One of the hazards of writing historicals (at least for me) is my love of research books. I found The Original White House Cookbook 1887 Editiwhitehouse-cookbookon a few years ago on a list of clearance books. In it you can learn how to fix a tear in a lady’s silk gown, dye cloth, make Rose Water or Bay Rum, even fade freckles. 

The recipes are the typethat would have been made in homes everywhere, including by settlers out west.

This Winter Vegetable Soup is made with ingredients that would be found in the root cellar of most frontier homes. Turnips, carrots, onions and celery were common vegetables grown in kitchen gardens throughout the west. Thethe-leek-welsh-guards-cap-badge leeks? They may not be as common, but I’ve found evidence they can be grown in Texas – plant them in late summer and they can be harvested fresh in the winter/early spring.

As an aside, the leek is a symbol of Wales. It’s even worn as a cap badge by the Welsh Guards. The vegetable would certainly have been brought over in the 1830s by Welsh immigrants to Texas.


The directions are exactly as they appear in the cook book.



Scrape and slice three turnips and three carrots, and peel three onions, and fry all with a little butter until a light yellow; add a bunch of celery and three or four leeks cut in pieces; stir and fry all the ingredients for six minutes; when fried, add one clove of garlic, two stalks of parsley, two cloves, salt, pepper and a little grated nutmeg; cover with three quarts of water and simmer for three hours, taking off the scum carefully.  Strain and use.  Croutons, vermicelli, Italian pastes, or rice may be added.


I hope you enjoy the soup!

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

campfireHello Darlings,

The Fillies again have a real treat in store for you. Next week we’re veering away from the norm. Can’t let you get too comfortable here at the Junction. Reckon you’ve heard that saying that variety is the spice of life?

Well, it durn sure is! Just ask me. Hee-hee!

But back to talking about food. Starting Monday we’re going to post old western recipes that have been passed down. Each day a larrapin’ recipe in a category from appetizers to desserts will be at your beck and call. Come Friday put them all together and you’ll have a complete meal or my name’s not Felicia Filly. 

Don’t that whet your appetite?

It should. The Fillies have done all the work.  All you have to do is visit us each day and copy the recipes. Then get out your pots and pans and cook ’em up!

Your family will be thanking you.

Come on by. We’ve got the coffee on!

Kathleen Y’Barbo~Dick Dowling: How an Irish Saloon Owner Saved Texas from the Yankees


I love a good historical, and any story with an unlikely hero is bound to find its way onto my keeper shelf. When I discovered Gone With the Wind, I found both, as well as a love for Civil War era tales. Imagine my surprise when I found out one of the most surprising tales of the era took place almost within walking distance of where I was born in Jefferson County, Texas.

Picture it: Five thousand Union sailors in a flotilla of seventeen vessels against 44 Confederate artillerymen at the command of an Irish saloon owner. Sounds like the making of a sound defeat or a Hollywood action movie, doesn’t it?

In truth, it is the story of a band of soldiers called the Davis Guards, or Company F of the First Texas Heavy Artillery Regiment stationed at tiny Fort Griffin on the mouth of the Sabine River. Their stunning victory is one that Confederate President Jefferson Davis called “one of the most significant military victories in world history.”

dickdowling1Richard “Dick” Dowling started life in County Galway, Ireland. After immigrating to New Orleans then losing his family to yellow fever, Dowling settled in Houston in the mid-1850s, where he established a chain of saloons. The most successful of these, the Bank of Bacchus, was situated on Courthouse Square in downtown Houston and was, according to several sources, the first business in the city to boast gas lighting.

At the outset of the war, Dowling enlisted and eventually found himself assigned to the remote outpost of Fort Griffin (near the city of Sabine Pass, Texas). To pass the time – which moved quite slowly in the mosquito-ridden lowlands – Dowling drilled his men on artillery exercises. These lazy-day activities came in handy on September 8, 1863 when a flotilla of seventeen Union vessels appeared on the horizon. While the four-dozen men scrambled to their well-rehearsed positions, the brown waters where the Sabine River poured into the Gulf of Mexico filled with enemy ships. The first two crafts were quickly disabled by the Davis Guard sharpshooters, blocking the channel and effectively keeping the other fifteen ships out of the river.

At the end of the battle, 350 prisoners had been taken and the enemy had retreated leaving significant amount of supplies, weapons and ammunition behind. Lt. Dowling and his men were heroes, hailed by President Davis and commemorated with medals melted down from Mexican silver.

Interesting fact: two streets in downtown Houston are named for Dowling. The first is obviously Dowling Street. The second is Tuam, named for the city of his birth. And ironically, the Yankees couldn’t best him but the yellow fever that took his family back in New Orleans did. Dowling died in 1867 of the disease, just a few scant years after his stunning victory. Not the ending I would have written, but still quite a story!

So, what sort of history can you find within walking distance of your birthplace?


Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a copy of The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper.

 Kathleen’s Website


Follow the Red Brick Road by Charlene Sands

dsc01018I’m a lover of American history and I don’t apologize for thinking we live in the most wonderful country in the world!  Even as a child, I was fascinated by our founding fathers and what they had accomplished. Fascinated by the drive and determination of a people who wanted freedom from oppression.  Fascinated in the brilliance of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights for our countrymen.   Recently, and along with dear friends who were also celebrating a big anniversary, we traveled to Boston to board a cruise ship, but we planned enough time to see the sights first and there were many!

The Freedom Trail is the red brick road you follow, a walking tour that takes you from one historic site to another all throughout the city.  It’s so neat to see this pattern of bricks in all the sidewalks on the trail.  

I must admit, all of the places I’ve traveled so far, Boston is my favorite city. We stayed in a lovely hotel on the Charles River, just a few steps from the Naval Ship yard and visited the U.S.S. Constitution museum.  It’s one of the first stops on the Freedom Trail  We learned about the ship they call, “Old Ironsides”  because the sides of the ship were made of  live oak, found only on the East coast and is known for its hard surface.  When fired upon, the cannonballs literally bounced off, giving the impression of being made of iron.   The USS Constitution is 33 and 0, never having lost a battle.  It’s the oldest floating battleship in the world, having been commissioned by George Washington in 1797.

I didn’t know that if it’s on a ship it’s called a gun and if it’s on the ground, it’s called a cannon.  We were duly corrected, when we asked about the “cannons.”   Young boys had the danerous  job of delivering the gun powder to the 12 men needed to set off one gun. Those boys were called “gun monkeys.”   


We visited Paul Revere’s house, a small home of two stories, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside.  The house is amazingly preserved and was said to have had over 200 residents, as it became a boardinghouse at one time.    I got goose bumps when I walked inside, imagining him being there with his family.  It was said he was good-looking man who had 2 wives and 16 children in his lifetime.    He was an bellmaker and one of his bells sits on his property now.   A bit of trivia:  The Samuel Adams beer, depicts a man who we believe is Sam Adams, but is, in fact, Paul Revere.   Dear Samuedsc00997l Adams, apparently wasn’t pleasing to the eye.dsc01009



 The Old North Church is on the Freedom Trail – the oldest church in Boston constructed in 1723 and it has the tallest steeple in the city.  It was here that Robert Newman signaled the approach of the British with the alert with lanterns, “One if by land, two if by sea.” 


The Old State Meeting House was the Puritan House of Worship built in 1729, the site of the Boston Tea Party in 1773 with Samuel Adams leading the charge, dumping 3 shiploads of tea into the Boston Harbor. 


Trinity Church in Copley Square built in 1723 burned in the Great Boston Fire in 1872 and was rebuilt by 1877.   I peered inside this church and it was stunning, the artwork, stained glass and amazing architecture was something I wished we had time to explore.  Directly across the street is the John Hancock Tower, constructed in the early 2000’s and many complained that the tall insurance tower would ruin the beauty of the church, so it was constructed with reflective glass.   Look at the neat reflection of the church in those windows. 


What would a trip to Boston be without  a visit to the Cheers Bar where everybody knows your name?   Built in 1895 and across the street from Boston Commons and the Public Gardens, we entered this underground bar, just to say we did!!   (my hubby Don, and dear friends from grammar school, Mary and Richard)


And of course, being huge baseball fans, we had to tour Fenway Park!  (note: not on the Freedom Trail, but lots of history there too)scan0023






Have you visited Boston or any city on the east coast that has sparked your interest in our history?   Do you love to learn about our nation’s beginnings as much as I do?  Do you get goose bumps (like I do) when you stand on the very places that made history?  If you could travel to any place in America to learn more about our history, where would that be? 

Texan’s Wedding-Night Wager is on sale now – #2 on Borders/Waldenbooks bestseller list for series romance.  I hope you get a chance to read it.