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.
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 Rebels‘s 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!
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.