On the morning before Cowboy Day #1, half asleep I said to Mr Rathbone: “What mode of transport are you using to get to my place tomorrow?” after a tiny pause he said: “Horse, of course!” After we stopped laughing he said, “Or I might take the stage”.


I basically wanted to know if he would be passing Budgens where I had spotted some Hershey’s syrup. This is a rare thing to see in the UK, and so he kindly made a little detour and got me some.  I was planning ahead for Cowboy Day #2, firstly because I am greedy, and secondly because as Pam Houston once put it “cowboys are my weakness”, so I had TWO Cowboy Days.


Brought to you by Greg Swenson of Recipes For Rebels, there follows an account of our Cowboy Day Cookalongs with recipes from the brilliant Recipes for Rebels cookbook.  Heehaw!  My computer seems to want to change Yeehaw to Heehaw… So Heehaw and Yeehaw!

Cowboy Day #1 involved cowboy hats, Heather and Nathan and 3 types of chilli.  We were celebrating 10 years of Silver Screen Suppers with a blind testing of 2 x versions of Johnny Cash’s Chilli, plus a good slug of Chill Wills’.


American readers, please forgive me for spelling chili with two ls throughout, it’s a British thing…


Much champers was drunk on that occasion, and Chill Wills was at a disadvantage being pitted against Johnny Cash, because Johnny’s chilli is darned good and super tasty.  Verdict on Chill Wills’ chilli?  Nathan (seen here on the left in redneck mode) proclaimed that it was “a bit like spaghetti bolognese without the spaghetti”.  


Chill Wills was quite vocal about his chilli “Listen, don’t put any onions or tomatoes in there,” he told food writer Johna Blinn.  So it is a very meaty chili indeed… 

Chill Will's Chili

Cowboy Day #2 co-incided with a monthly tradition of the “lazy Sunday.” Me and Mr R pencil in one of these each month into our calendars, and this effectively means, not going anywhere, not seeing anyone, basically lounging around the place eating and drinking all day.  You don’t do this?  I highly recommend it.  Relaxing… mmmmmmmmmmmm…..


It was the day after the Hedda Hopper Cocktails, and there was plenty of washing up to do, so a day of pottering around with a big pot of chilli on the go was a perfect way to chill (geddit?).  We had planned to gussy up in our cowboy outfits but as it was a SWELTERING HOT DAY (capitalisation to signify that this is a rare thing in London) it didn’t happen.  I had my kaftan on all day.  Mr R was strolling around bare chested, looking a bit like this…

james dean

So for a cowboy day for 2 lazy cowpokes, we made Monte Hale’s Hale and Hearty Chili, and Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson’s “Giant” Martinis.  

giant martini

The Martinis ROCKED!


Mr R said the following after sniffing the martini: “Smells like Nesquick.”


Then after taking a sip: “it’s like an alcoholic dessert”, and after drinking the whole thing: “that was about 10 times nicer than I thought it would be”.  The Giant Martini was definitely a hit!


I now have a  LOT of Kahlua and chocolate syrup to find a use for!  I feel some ICE-CREAM coming on!

We repaired to the front room for our self indulgent afternoon in the home cinema watching Giant.  To my horror this happened when I opened the case:


No disc one, only disc two (the extras).  Oh NUTS!  We looked in all the obvious places to no avail.  No movie.  We improvised.  We watched the first episode of Alias Smith and Jones:


and the Giant dvd extras, which was fun.  Loved Jane Withers talking about James Dean’s pink shirt…


We ate huge bowlfuls of Monte Hale’s Hale and Hearty Chili, which we both agreed was very good indeed.  I used some of the Mexene chilli powder left over from the Johnny Cash chilli:


it was accompanied by some of Vincent Price’s legendary Mexican Creamed Corn which I retrieved from the frozen archives (this freezes very well):


and served with chopped onions and cheese as recommended by Monte…

Monte Hale

So on the hottest day of the year so far in the UK, we had a fine old Cowboy Sunday!  As my flat door was open all day and night, we had a visitor, and he looked like he really wanted some chili – sorry Ringo!  All for us!


Thanks Greg, for organising such a fun cook-along.  Can we do it all again next year?! James would have loved it…


Monthly movie star menus direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!