From the Junior League of Odessa, Texas, came THE WILD, WILD WEST COOKBOOK—which, although first published in 1991, has gone through a number of printings.

No wonder! This eye-catching cookbook with its bright red cover illustrated with cowboys first caught my attention at the Western Heritage Museum. In the introduction the Junior Leaguers explain “The cowboy…he is bigger than life; a living legend, the restless mascot of the West. He has rustled cattle, tamed mustangs, and settled the plains. He has romanced the hearts of all Americans for over two centuries…”

“The cowboy story began out of necessity, as Christopher Columbus brought over the first small herd of cattle and horses. [The cowboy’s] adventures became entertainment as he pioneered his way through America. Cowboy stories, true and untrue, have been told and retold. Tales that began around a campfire over a hot pot of strong coffee came to life on the silver screen…”

“The cowboy legend,” say the Junior Leaguers of Odessa, “has been celebrated in many ways since it began at the box office. The still life, of a cowboy in motion, can be found on lunch boxes, fabrics, lamp shades, wall paper, etc., Most of these products, antique or not, have been collector’s items…”

“THE WILD WILD WEST COOKBOOK” continues to celebrate the legendary cowboy through food, fun, and art…”

Profits from the sale of THE WILD WILD WEST cookbook further the purpose and projects of the Junior League of Odessa…and who are these people and what do they do? you may ask.

The Junior League of Odessa, Texas, is a group of volunteers who, through the years, have provided assistance with Teen Court, Hospice of Odessa, Abused Children’s Shelter, Ronald McDonald House – and many other worthy causes.

To produce THE WILD WILD WEST COOKBOOK, the cookbook committee gathered over 1100 recipes from West Texas cooks, then categorized and organized the testing of each recipe. After that, they selected the highest rated recipes for the finished product.

What makes THE WILD WILD WEST COOKBOOK different from the many other cookbooks that cross our paths and are worthy of your attention?

For starters, the recipes are fantastic! From the Lone Star Fondue (certain to be served at my next party) to the Tenderfoot Queso…check out the recipe for Fried Stuffed Jalapenos (this is a new one for me) – and Prairie Dog Food (no, I won’t tell you what’s in it but you will surely want to make it for your pups) – this entire cookbook is cleverly com piled, with easy-to-read print and format. I absolutely love the nifty names for recipes…someone obviously gave some serious consideration to the importance of titles—whether Little Buckaroo Snacks or Texas Trash, Jack Rabbit Potatoes (no, it doesn’t contain jack rabbit) – or Bandit Peas.

I am especially charmed with the Soups and Salads section (those of you who know me know how much I love to discover and cook new soup recipes). There is a Chuck Wagon Soup recipe, a Tortilla Soup recipe, Mexican Stew, Chili Soup, Green Chilies, Rice and Cheddar Soup…which, along with others, are sure to become family favorites. And always remember – you can never be too rich or too thin…or have too many good soup recipes!

Usually the best buys for pre-owned cookbooks are listed on but much to my surprise, today the best buy for THE WILD WILD WEST COOKBOOK cookbook can be found on with pre-owned books starting at 99c.

–Review by Sandra Lee Smith


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