West Texas Fair & Rodeo 2013

West Texas Fair & Rodeo 2013

Harold’s Barbeque is being served at the Fair. I probably heard that 4 times before Floyd called and asked for images. Wandering along the food lane, it was easy to spot the booth serving Harold’s. It was the one with the line all the way across the lane and bent sideways. At prime eating time, they were the only booth with more than 3 or 4 people in line. The booth sponsors a girl’s softball team and this year they should not have to worry about funding. And, as always, it was delicious!Next was my daughter’s request to go check out how she and my sister did in the Prickly Pear Jelly competition. Delightful surprise was the Blue Ribbon on their jar of deep red/purple jelly. Several people asked me how they got that color and the answer is the color depends on the time of year the fruit is picked. Elaine broke her leg the end of July and Sarah went out to Eskota to care for her and my mother. The jelly was produced from a bag of frozen juice from the last picking with Sarah doing the measuring and stirring while Elaine told her the ingredients and what needed done when. For those interested – This is the recipe for the West Texas Fair and Rodeo 1st place prickly pear jelly, entered by Sarah and Elaine Starkey.To make prickly pear jelly, harvest prickly pear fruit, sometimes called the tuna, when they are a deep purple, and come off the pad Prickly Pear Jelly entries. Photo by Joe Starkeyeasily. It is best to use long tongs. Cut the ends off the fruit, and cut them in two lengthwise. Put them in your slow cooker, cover with water, and cook for6-8 hours. Some people burn the spines off, but I do not. The long cook takes care of the spines. After they are cooked, skin and de-seed the fruits and juice them. Add that juice back to the water you cooked the pears in and then strain the juice through cheesecloth.For Jelly:5 cups juice6 Tablespoons lemon juice1 package of pectin7 cups of sugar.Heat juice and lemon, then slowly add pectin while stirring constantly,and bring to roiling boil. Add sugar all at once, then stir constantlywhile bringing to another roiling boil. Boil for once minute, then pourinto prepared jars and process for 10 minutes in a water bath.Next stop was the photography competition. I always enjoy the images but keep thinking there has to a better way to display and protect the images. I met Luisa Grace, an amazing 2 year old that was also enjoying the images. She was pointing at an image of a giraffe and saying the name pretty clearly. She pointed at my shirt and said “dog” and I told her it was a wolf. She looked a little doubtful and again said “dog”. Wonderful is the certainty of youth.Last stop for the fair was the midway. The lights and screams werewtfr20135Lights of the Midway. Photo by Joe Starkey amazing as always. It just seems that if you line up for the parachute drop and watch 3 other groups scream on the way down, you would expect the world to drop out from under you and ride it peacefully down. Nope – not once in over 30 minutes of watching.Rodeo is always the same and every rider in every event is different. I got a chance to talk to this year’s Rodeo Queen Kristen Johnson. As always, it was humbling for people to say “I Queen Kristen Johnson. Photo by Joe Starkeyremember you – you’re Sarah’s Dad.” She attended Wylie and Hardin Simmons with daughter Sarah and was used to seeing me at the football games and other events. She is also on the HSU 6 White Horses team. She hopes to represent West Texas at the Granddaddy of Them All – Cheyenne Frontier Days next summer. Judging by how she went into the crowds here with friendly smiles and a most willing autograph and pictures, we will have a lot of people in Wyoming thinking good thoughts of West Texas.8 Second Ride Done – I want OFF. Photo by Joe Starkey