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Appetizers | June 14, 2010

Cowboy Salsa

Cowboy Salsa
Last week, we spent 4 days with 380 kids (age 14-18) and adults (acting as Ma’s and Pa’s and support crew) on the plains just outside of Evanston Wy-O. Dressed in pioneer garb- bonnets, hats, long skirts, aprons, pantaloons, suspenders, cowboy hats, etc. No cell phones, computers, ipods or electronic games. Kids pulling handcarts in the rain, wind and sun. We loved – cookouts, singing around campfires, sleeping in tents and the aroma in the lovely green port a potties.
All willing participants. Why? If you are from our part of the country, you are familiar with this seemingly odd ritual, which occurs about once every 4 years. If you aren’t from here, here’s a quickie version of why we do this:
When early Latter-day Saints longed to gather in the West from 1847 to 1860, handcarts
were a means of helping them on their journey. Today, youth and adults seek to grasp the
spirit of faith, courage and determination these pioneers represented. Youth and leaders dress in pioneer clothing, divide into trek families of 8-12 people and pull handcarts on and off dirt roads for about 20-25 miles. Some pull handcarts over the original pioneer trail; others pull handcarts on land in their areas. No matter where they are, all who participate open themselves to having their hearts touched by the pioneers’ sacrifices and testimonies of the Savior.
A pic of Joseph (my great great Grandpa) and Caroline Thompson Black (GG Gran), and their little family 🙂 Joseph is the son of William and Jane Black. Joseph walked all the way from Nauvoo, IL to the Salt Lake Valley as a young boy in 1849.
Anywho. Amazing experience. My love and connection to my Great-Great-Great Grandmother Jane Johnston Black, and her husband William Black were re-affirmed, as I walked and thought of the sacrifices they made when they crossed the plains in the same area. Faith? Leaving their worldly possessions and extended family in Ireland, England and later Illinois to trek West. I’ve never had to exercise faith to that degree. Three nights of camping and I’m ready to be home in bed.

I’m going on and on about trekking, and almost forgot about the food. We did have some awesome food on the trail. Here are a few pics. I’m pretty sure the pioneers ate what we ate. Ahhhm. sure they did.
My cute friend Mary Jane brought ingredients to make ice cream on the trail.
This boy was the lucky recipient of the dasher.
Laurie’s Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
Barbecued Chicken

Cowboy Salsa


  • 1 pkg zesty Italian dressing mix as directed: 1/4 c vinegar, 3 T water, 1/2 c oil
  • 3 ears of corn cooked, cooled and cut of the cob
  • or
  • 1 can white corn drained
  • 1 can black-eyed peas drained*
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 c green onions chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 limes juiced


  1. Mix Italian dressing as directed on package in a large bowl using a wire whisk. Add all other ingredients and stir gently until combined. Cover and refrigerate. Best made the day before, flavor increases over time.

Recipe Notes

Really yummy with fresh corn, in season now.

– I was unable to find canned black eyed peas so I soaked and cooked dried black eyed peas, according to directions on back of package. Use about 2 cups (after cooking). You need to start this step the day before. I’m sure canned black beans (rinsed and drained) would be a good sub.

9 thoughts on “Cowboy Salsa

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  1. I LOVE your recipe blog and have enjoyed SO many of them ever since Melinda told me about you. You are an amazing cook! But now I love it even more – you and my sweet husband are related. All of your ancestors that you mention are his. His great-grandfather is Peter T. Black and grandfather Averno T. Black. What a small world. I have meant to bring your my version of cinnamon rolls ever since that post and will really have to do it now. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I LOVE, LOVE your recipe blog! And I must add also that I have ancestors who made that trek under much harsher circumstances and I feel much the same, so much gratitude for their faith and sacrifice that blesses my life today! My youngest 2 daughters will be trekking at the end of July also, I am excited for their opportunity to increase their own faith and testimony.

  3. I wish all the youth in our neighborhood could feel your excitement and passion for the trek experience! There are so many who have decided not to go this year and as a youth I thought it was such a life changing experience! AND I HAD TO CATCH A live turkey to eat!
    love your blog! So great! My little girl asked to strawberry bread the other day when I was making blueberry muffins. She wanted strawberry tinker bread instead! 🙂

  4. Hey, I've been a "ma" on a similar trek and your post brought back a lot of memories! What fun. And this cowboy salsa looks delicious!

  5. Great blog! I too am a descendent of Wm and Jane through their son George. Just hearing about the difficulties they faced puts all life into perspective, doesn't it! I am a small part of the writing of a comprehensive and well-researched book about Wm and Jane, spearheaded by Wendel Walton (another cousin) We are looking for information about descendents who might want to know when the book will be available. You can contact me at [email protected]. If Wendel doesn't have the picture you posted of Joseph and his family, I'm sure he would like a copy, if you would be so kind. Thanks, Evelyn Black Scott