Kit Morgan has a WINNER!
Janine, you get your choice of any of my e-books! Contact me at email@example.com. Woohoo!
There have been a lot of letters and diaries from the pioneers telling how coffee got them through. A trader, Josiah Gregg, (he made a whooping eight treks to the West in the 1830’s) couldn’t get over the pioneers’ love of coffee. Gregg described the settlers love of coffee as insatiable and upon the Prairies incredible. To the pioneers, it was an indispensable beverage. Pioneers drank it at every meal.
Cavalry Lt. William H.C. Whiting wrote that coffee was indispensable to the frontiersman. “Give him coffee and tobacco, and he will endure any privation, suffer any hardship.” Julia Brier, one of the first people to cross Death Valley, said, “Our coffee was a wonderful help and had that given out, I know we should have died.”
Cowboys, however, were the undisputed kings of coffee drinkers in the West. They liked it strong, scalding hot, and barefooted (black). Thus the term cowboy coffee. They called weak coffee names like “dehorned bellywash” or “brown gargle.” Cooks in ranch kitchens didn’t dump the grounds from the pot after the coffee was made, and instead added fresh grounds to the pot until it was too full to hold more. The cowboy’s love of strong coffee gives us those images in movies, television, and books of a pot of coffee steaming over an open fire or sitting on a bed of hot coals. During a cattle drive of about ten to twelve men, the cook used a 3-5 gallon pot, usually made of tinned iron and blackened by smoke. A cook didn’t slide on the coffee rations on coffee because its what kept the cowboys going day after day. A cook could use up to 175 pounds of coffee beans each month.
And is it any wonder? A cowboy drank coffee with every meal, just like the pioneers and between meals besides. They’d work in shifts of four hours and drank it before and after those shifts. In rotten weather when it was hard to sleep, coffee saved the day. A cowboy could be in the saddle for hours on end driving cattle through a storm. You can bet they were looking forward to their coffee whenever they could get it in such weather.
So the next time you’re sipping coffee, think of the hard-working cowboy and his steaming cup. He raises his cup to you with a nod of his head, then takes a sip. Now I wonder how many of you are going to imagine that the next time you have a cup and raise your own in return. But the real question is, what would you say to him? I’ll pick a random person from the comments to receive an e-book of mine of their choice to go with their coffee!