July 30, 2021

Giant (1956): A Cowboy Day Cook-Along


My DVD copy of the sweeping classic, Giant, has been watched many times over the years.

Cowboy Day!
Visions of…
cattle on the dusty open range,
hefty sagebrush blowing across a western town’s empty main street,
guys and gals dressed in classic cowboy gear, including that iconic
Stetson (cowboy hat), while riding on beautiful horses,
and chuck wagon food prepared on a blazing open fire,
flood my brain.
Speaking of brains…well, we will get to that in a minute!

Thanks to Greg of Recipes for Rebelss annual Cowboy Day Cook-along, we are taken back to a time when cattle was king.  (Speaking of “king”, I am anxious to try out the
“King Ranch Chicken” recipe in his post, here. ) His creativity is a joy to behold and his enthusiasm for the subject, contagious!

Screen Shot 2021-07-29 at 6.28.57 PM

Giant: Fun Fact For Ya!

It is my pleasure to participate in this annual “chow down rodeo” for the third time,
and I must say, this year’s theme is my favorite, so far: the epic Texas drama, Giant!
As big as Texas, this cinematic masterpiece follows Jordan and Leslie Bededict
(Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor) through 25-years on their 595,000 acre ranch.

Here are a couple of fun facts about this film…

James Dean’s character in Giant inspired the part of J.R. Ewing (as in “Who shot J.R.?)
in the tv series Dallas.

This was James Dean’s final movie before his fatal auto accident.

Leonard Nimoy (Spock of “Live Long and Prosper” from Star Trek, ) , Errol Flynn, and John Wayne, among many others, were considered for the role of Jordan Benedict Jr.

The set design for the living room of the Benedict’s house was used again for the entry hall in The Sound of Music. The color and decor was changed when it was built the second time for The Sound of Music.

The large painting “Venting Cattle on the Frisco System” by Frank Lewis Van Ness,
that hung in the mansion in Giant, now hangs at The Menger Hotel lobby in San Antonio.

Some say that this movie was a major influence on tv soap operas.

For more fun facts about Giant, go here.


In the early part of Giant there is a big cookout at the Benedict ranch to introduce new bride, Leslie, to her neighbors.  One of the dishes served up is the ever-popular
Barbacoa de Cabeza (slow-cooked cow’s head).  Upon seeing it, Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor) faints!

(Read about cooking up this dish on this Recipe4Rebels’ blog post, here,
and how he had to purchase three cow’s heads!  :o))

Reading this piece reminded me of a time many years ago, yes, it was in Texas, when I was shopping at our local grocery store.  Digging around the very deep, and cold, meat section, I emitted a loud involuntary scream!  While rummaging around the array of carnivorous offerings, I had inadvertently stumbled upon the clear-wrapped head of a hog, staring straight up at me! :o)

Cookin’ Like a Texan

This year’s Cowboy Day Cook-Along challenge, with its Texas theme, made me think of my oft-baked recipe for Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies, or, as they are better known around my house, George Bush Cookies.  I found this recipe many years ago, upon purchasing Presidential Cookies, by Bev Young, while visiting the Jefferson Memorial in
Washington D.C.  When I first purchased this treasure trove of presidential cookie recipes, I read it from cover to cover, enjoying food/recipes AND history in one book!

I originally found the recipe for George Bush Cookies in this cookbook.

I share with you this recipe. (I have added my small changes in the recipe below.)
This recipe makes a lot of large cookies, and mixing regular amount is too much for my mighty mixer’s bowl to hold, so I have learned to make a half batch. 
The half-batch measurements are in parenthesis above of the regular measurements in the recipe, below.

Mixing up a batch of George Bush Cookies

I use a large cookie scoop for these yummy morsels.

The Recipe

Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies
(Also, known as George Bush Cookies)




 Cooking with Gammy

Greg not only put together another fun Cowboy Day Cook-Along, but he even was kind enough to send me a “kid recipe” that he ran across for chocolate cowboy hats!
Thank you, Greg!  Making these with my grand children was a rootin tootin good time!
And they liked that these yummies looked like Woody’s cowboy hat from Toy Story!


into melted chocolate was a pretty messy task,
although a delicious one!
A mini Reeces Peanut Butter Cup placed onto the still soft chocolate,
along with a Sour Straw completed the look.
After a few minutes in the cool corral/fridge, they were ready to chow down.


Click on These Related Blog Posts


A Bonanza of a Recipe, June 2019, here .
A Brief Visit to Iowa, September 2015, here
Recipes4recipe , July 2021, here
Thank you for reading I’m Annette!

May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!



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A 1951 Cowboy coloring book


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2 Responses to Giant

  1. greg says:

    This posting was practically poetic Annette! Loved it! The story about the pig head really made me laugh! Your cookies look yummy and the chocolate cowboy hats are adorable! What a fun read (as always)! Loved your turn of phrase “chow down rodeo,” might just have to borrow that for next year! Also loved all the GIANT trivia (I have to admit, there were a couple of those I didn’t know)… Loved the posting Annette!


    • oltimetv says:

      High praise from the mastermind of the classic “Cowboy Day Cook-along”! Thank you! Very much appreciated!
      Do you give tutorials on how to create your wonderful mini-videos? Love them!
      Feel free to use my phrase “chow down rodeo” next year! :o).
      BTW My second child’s middle name is Jordan, and I first heard that name many years ago on….you guessed it, “Giant”!
      Thank you, again, for the enthusiastic comment!


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