Welcome a New Guest to the Junction – Pamela Howell!

HowellChilly, winter nights, a blanket of stars and a crackling campfire conjure up stories of the American West and its quintessential icon — the cowboy — better for me than almost any setting I know. Throw in some great camp cooking over an open flame and it’s possible to almost smell the smoke from the fire as it tinges the night air with a distinctive smell of mesquite or coals. Ah, nothing quite like it.

Growing up in the wide, open spaces of West Texas, I’ve stood around my share of campfires with bubbling pots of venison chili or homemade peach cobbler, but I’ve never been the pot stirrer, always just the pot partaker, so I thought it was interesting to learn that there is an organization devoted to the art of black pot, or Dutch oven, cooking.chuck wagon

The Lone Star Dutch Oven Society (LSDOS) has chapters throughout Texas who work to preserve the historical aspects of black pot cooking, a way of preparing food that dates back several hundred years. LSDOS members provide classes for greenhorns like me who want to learn how to cook in a Dutch oven. Members also participate in historical re-enactment events, recreational expositions and education activities in their communities.

To whet your appetite for cooking the black pot way, the LSDOS offers many recipes on its website at www.lsdos.com. Here’s a tasty sample:

Spicy Black-eyed Pea Soup
Mary & Gale Merriwether
SALTGRASS  CHAPTER of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society

12 inch well-seasoned Dutch Oven                Serves 6 to 8


4        cups Black-eyed peas (dried)

1        cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

4        tablespoons bacon drippings

2        can of Ro-Tel tomatoes (10 oz.)

2        cup beef broth

Salt and pepper, to taste

1        large onion, chopped

Tortilla chips


  1. Rinse and cook black-eyed peas according to package directions.  When tender, drain off most of the water and retain in case you need more liquid for soup broth.
  2. Sauté onion in bacon drippings until soft.  Mash the peas with potato masher and add to onions in the pan.
  3. Add the tomatoes, beef broth and cheese.  Simmer until the cheese has melted.  Salted and pepper to taste.
  4. If needed, add retained water from cooking black-eyed peas to make soup the desired consistency.
  5. Serve hot and garnish with tortilla chips.

Note:  You may substitute 2 small, peeled fresh tomatoes and a minced jalapeno pepper (seeds, stems and ribs removed) for the Ro-Tel tomatoes, if desired.


Until next time, here are a few photos of West Texas which were taken by my husband on a recent day trip around Ft. Stockton. These photos really speak to my heart as a writer and I hope you enjoy them, too.


FtStocktonBOQ DSC_0313










**Giveaway Alert: Pamela will give away one free, autographed, paperback version of her novel A RIDE HOME. One reader’s name will be drawn at random. You can connect with her at www.pamelarobertshowell.com or on her Facebook fan page Pamela Roberts Howell.ARideHome_BookCover

Pamela Howell is an author, teacher, and freelance journalist. She has won numerous state, national and international awards for her writing as well as her marketing leadership skills. A native Texan, she lives in San Antonio with her husband of 26 years where she enjoys writing Christian fiction, scrapbooking, reading and crafting.


Her novel, A RIDE HOME, is set in West Texas and tells the story of college student Kayla Hartley who accepts a ride from a stranger, a handsome cowboy named Mark Lawson, who charms his way into her heart. But, is it the best decision? It’s 800 miles across an unforgiving, barren landscape from San Angelo, Texas, to her hometown in Arizona, and as night falls and the road becomes more desolate, Kayla begins to wonder if she’s made a mistake, a terrible one that might cost her dearly.

A RIDE HOME Book Trailer —


This is Pamela’s first blog on Petticoats & Pistols. We’re happy you joined us, Pamela!



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30 thoughts on “Welcome a New Guest to the Junction – Pamela Howell!”

  1. Welcome here to Petticoats and Pistols Wildflower Junction Pam! And thanks for the interesting tidbit on Dutch Oven cooking. I love to try new recipes! I watched your video and must say that your book looks like a nail-biter…

    • Thank you kindly, Kathryn. Our daughter’s name is Katherine. Love that name! Thanks for your nice comments; I hope that you get a chance to read A RIDE HOME. It’s a quick read.

  2. Hi Pamela! I just now told my husband what we’re going to eat this weekend. Thank you for the recipe. I love Dutch oven cooking. I have a huge one that I use for our Thanksgiving turkey. Roasting in an open Dutch oven makes for a crispy outside and moist inside.

  3. Welcome! I’ve never had black-eyed peas but this sounds like a wonderful recipe. Best part of cooking in the winter is soups and stews!!

  4. I cook most of my soups in my Dutch oven. I will have to try this one.
    The trailer for your books makes me want to read it.
    Glad you stopped by.

  5. Welcome to Wildflower Junction, Pamela! So good to have you spending the weekend with us. This recipe sure has potential…I’m trying to see if I can “chili” it up for our family “Chili Bowl” cook off on Super Bowl Day. I don’t have a Dutch oven although I’ve longed for one ever since we took a wagon train trip around the Tetons. Wow, those chuck cooks worked magic in those ovens! The book sounds amazing…I’m ready to cuddle up with some good suspense.

    • Why thank you, Tanya! I appreciate your kind words. I hope you get a chance to read my book; it’s a story that came to me as I was writing a longer novel. Enjoy!

    • Oh my goodness gracious! That’s not right. Please let me know if you would like a copy for $11.95. Sorry about that!

  6. Here in central Washington there are several dutch oven society chapters. I have observed there presentations but have not tried any of their recipes yet. They always look yummy. Love the pictures.

  7. We enjoy dutch oven cooking. My husband was good at it when we got married and all three of our children became adept at it. Learning from both their dad and their scout troops. My husband worked with our son’s troop teaching them how to do it. I enjoy cooking over a camp fire, but find I can relax and let everyone else take over for me.

    • Hi, Patricia. My husband is an Eagle Scout and has fond memories of his time in scouting. I hope you get a chance to try the black-eyed pea soup recipe. Thanks for reading!

  8. I enjoy cooking. I do not have a lot of experience cooking over an open fireplace. I do use my Dutch oven for soups. I am also a collector of cookbooks books. Is there a cookbook you would recommend?

    Hope to read your book very soon!

  9. First off, the book trailer is mesmerizing. At the top of my TBR now, sounds exciting.

    I enjoy cooking and have always been fascinated at how difficult it must have been to cook over a campfire or while traveling in a wagon train. I have my entire kitchen at my disposal and they had a Dutch oven. Thanks for such an interesting post. I never even thought of an organization for Dutch oven cooking and will be checking it out.

    • Thank you for your kind words about my book trailer, Sally. I hope you get a chance to read my novel. I agree that it must have been difficult to cook in a Dutch oven on the trail. Those cowboys were tough.

  10. Welcome. I am always looking for new authors to read.
    I have been to Ft Stockton and found it to have a stark beauty to it.

    • Why, Joye, if you have been out Ft. Stockton way, then you may appreciate the setting of my novel A RIDE HOME. I love the beauty of West Texas. I am originally from a small town called Miles which is near San Angelo.

  11. My goodness—-what a wonderful sense of smell of the campfire and wood crackling and then a black-eyed pea recipe. It makes me wish I had been camping more. I have read your book and it is an interesting story that kept me from putting it down to see what happened next.
    Great video trailer for your book. Can’t wait for the next!

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