It’s time. Yes, it’s time to venture out and get acquainted with all that our Magic Valley has to offer. Fall weather is generally perfect for exploring. So, let’s hook ‘em up and head ‘em out to the King Ranch Hand Breakfast. The breakfast itself is composed of mouth-watering scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits and gravy. The cooks? Who else but the King Ranch cowboys!
This annual event is always scheduled for the Saturday before Thanksgiving and is held on the grounds of the famous King Ranch, the largest ranch in the United States. Mark your calendars for November 19.
The King Ranch has always been concerned about the welfare and educations of their employees. Henrietta King, the wife of King Ranch founder, formed a small schoolhouse for the children of the workers of the ranch. Later, the King Ranch donated land for the formation of the City of Kingsville and have continued to support local learning institutions. The cowboys of today carry on this tradition of helping others by donating the proceeds of the breakfast to charitable organizations in Kingsville.
Now this event is not just a breakfast, it is an event that presents many different demonstrations of the work done by a cowboy. My favorite event is the cutting horse demonstration.
Here the main responsibility of the cowboy is to indicate to his horse which animal is to be cut from the herd. That animal may need to be branded or medicated. For whatever reason, the cowboy just indicates to his horse which animal is to be separated. Then the horse takes over. Now the cowboy sits tall in the saddle while his horse does all the work. The intelligence and agility of the cutting horse is absolutely amazing.
You may want to watch the preparation of the traditional pan de campo – camp bread – that is cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven over a campfire. It is delicious…try a sample. If you are really daring, why not go home, look up the recipe and try making it yourself (It’s really tasty with some honey).
Cooking in a Dutch oven is a real art – especially when the cook must judge the temperature of the fire. As a former Girl Scout leader, we prepared peach cobbler in a Dutch oven. Careful, don’t let the fire be too hot! It’s very easy to burn the bottom and leave the top raw. But oh, how delicious.
Youngsters who are intrigued by cowboy stories will especially enjoy the extra entertainment. Cowboys will be there to help a youngster brand a piece of wood with the King Ranch Running W Cattle brand. Now that youngster has a keepsake to take home.
This is a great tour for parents and grandparents to share with their offspring. The interactive learning experience is great for all ages. Drive up on your own or join an organized tour to learn even more about the King Ranch and our local history.