Well it's bulls and blood, It's dust and mud, It's the roar of a Sunday crowd
It's the white in his knuckles, The gold in the buckle he'll win the next go 'round
It's boots and chaps, It's cowboy hats, It's spurs and latigo
It's the ropes and the reins, And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo.
Every January/February off Lancaster and University in Fort Worth, you will find my favorite event of the year. The Fort Worth Stockshow and Rodeo. And yes, this thing really is legendary.
I have gone to the rodeo every single year that I can remember. The rodeo kicks off every year with the annual rodeo parade. When I was reallllly little (before kindergarten), my dad's law office was across from the Chisolm Trail Mural downtown. We would sit in the windows and watch the annual rodeo parade in our flannel shirts and take in the sweet smell of horse manure, and we knew that the rodeo was finally back in town.
|My dad and I watching the rodeo parade 1990|
I usually go to the rodeo with my friends or family. For a couple of years, my friend, JK, and her mom, Mama Sheila, took me and some of our other friends to sit in their box. We would get a day sheet (found in a $3 program!) and each placed bets on who we thought would rope the fastest or get the highest score on the wildest bull. Usually, I just picked the guys with the cool names like "Denver" or the bulls with the meanest names like "Hot Damn" or "Loco."
Last year, my friend, Kate, took a group of us girls who have been friends for 19 years to sit in her dad's box. A few weeks later, Kate sent out a mass text to see if anyone wanted to use the box because it was going to be empty for finals. Um, yes, duh. So I asked my cousin, Chris, and his wife, Tiffany, and their daughter, Kameron, to come. Chris, Tiff, and I were all pretty close in age, but we never really hung out together outside of family stuff. I'm really glad they said they could come, and I had no idea it would be the first and last time for us all three to hang out. We lost Chris last March in a motorcycle accident, and it was a blessing that Kate offered up her seats this night.
Back to 2011:
This year I am completing my provisional year in the Junior League of Fort Worth. Your provisional year is kind of like a pledge year in a sorority. You have to go to your own provisional class meetings each month and also the general membership meetings, complete a few shifts at each Junior League event (Mayfest, rodeo, etc), and work 50 hours at the Junior League resale shop, Double Exposure. I was pretttty excited about the rodeo shifts because, obviously, I love the rodeo. It is the duty of the Junior League ladies to "yell and sell." It goes about like this, "Rodeo programs, $3! Get your programs. Ice cold programs. Special today, only $3 (they're always $3)! How bout them cowboys? Read all about 'em in your rodeo program! Help out your local charities! Put your money towards a good cause! The cheapest souvenir you can buy! Half the price of a beer, and it'll last you allllll night!" I worked 6 shifts- I had it down.
One day, Groupon, a group coupon website which is amazing and everyone should subscribe to, offered half priced tickets to go to the rodeo. Since I'd been yelling and selling, I hadn't seen much of the actual show, so I thought it'd be fun to go. I bought four tickets and was super stoked... then I realized I'd purchased 4 10:00am on a SATURDAY tickets. Oops. Looks like we were just gonna have to make a day of it!
Next door to and outside of the rodeo is the midway. No, not the carnival, the midway. The midway is home to dozens of scary rides, big beers, corn dogs, and FUNNEL CAKES. I have a weird, crazy love for funnel cakes. Actually, for almost all fair food (except corn dogs... I hate corn dogs).
In addition to the midway and the rodeo, there is an entire exhibit hall set up with row after row of clothes, agricultural products, and... food. Score. I am such a sucker, let it be said. I sampled everything and definitely fell for the shtick. The "shtick" went about like this, "Hey pretty lady, salsa- buy 2, get one free. Buy FOUR, get two free... soup mixes? Buy two get one free." After a while, I became a bobble-head, nodding to every offer and passing over my plastic. I think we left the rodeo with 4 salsas, 3 dip mixes, and 4 soups from three different companies. Oh, well, they'll be used eventually.
One salsa I bought, a super spicy green tomatillo salsa, had a recipe for Green Chili Fudge, so I made it this past weekend for the Super Bowl party. It isn't fudge as in chocolate fudge, but it is called that because of its consistency. It was just as amazing when I made it as it was when I was suckered into buying it! I used the green salsa from the rodeo, but you really can use any jar of green salsa- the spicier the better. Green chili fudge is a great chip topper, and can be semi-healthy if you use fat free cheese.
Green Chili Fudge
- 4 c. grated cheese (I used a mixture of 1 c Four Cheese Mexican Blend & 3 c Fat Free Cheddar)
- 1 jar green tomatillo salsa
- 3 eggs
- 1 pan (smaller pans work best, 9 x 9)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Beat eggs together
- Spread 2 c grated cheese in pan
- Combine eggs and 1/2 - 3/4 (you can approximate this) jar of salsa on cheese in pan
- Spread the second 1/2 of cheese (another 2 c) on top
- Bake at 350 for 30 mins
- Slice into squares, serve on tortilla chips
|Green Chili Fudge|
|Brittney and Me 2008|
|Shannon, JK, Jen, Emily, me 2008|
|19 Year Friends: Lillian, Frances, Sam; Kate, Whitney, Chaney, me 2010|
|Tiff, Chris, Kameron, and me 2010|
|Kami and Me 2010|
|Andy, me, MaryEllen, Brittany, Michael 2011|
|Andy, me, Michael, Brittany, MaryEllen, Louis 2011|
|Brittany and me with funnel cake 2011|
|One of the super scary rides Andy and I went on 2011|