What to Know
Friday, Jan. 26
If you've ever been called to a meal at a chuck wagon, you might have listened first for that unmistakable peal of the metal triangle, that quintessential clang-clang-clang sound that can easily reach those on horseback a hill or two away.
But unless we're out on a ranch, we're probably not being summoned to supper at an on-wheels, biscuits-and-stew serve-'em-up. Life in the city, and far from the range, means our experiences of eating alongside a kitchen on wheels probably involves our favorite food truck, the one that parks outside our office building at lunchtime.
Be not blue, however, that you've never had this out-in-the-wide-open experience. The Autry Museum of the American West is ready to clang-clang-clang the ol' metal triangle, with the intention of hosting a food-focused night all about chuck wagons.
On the menu? Let's trot on over to the "Classic Trail" staples first, real stick-to-your-ribs type fare like porky pinto beans and overland trout-style bacon. For a Pacific Rim twist, there's charred jalapeño cornbread, and sourdough biscuits, too, complete with green curry butter and honey.
And to make a night devoted to the vittles of the Old West even sweeter, think dessert, and think boozy peach rice pudding or bourbon-brown butter cake.
Historical presentations will also give diners the back story on chuck wagons, so make time to hear from the knowledgeable experts calling upon the eat-and-learn event.
The cost, if you aren't a member of The Autry? It's $65.
The chuck wagon night is part of the museum's ongoing Flavor series, which is about food, yes, but also the deeper context of what a particular food style, or cooking method, or cuisine-related topic, meant within the larger looking-back picture.
No spurs or saddles are required on your part, just a good appetite and a curiosity about old-school chuck-wagon-y bites, and modern spins on the concept, too. Plus how the sustenance-server changed the course of history, one ladle of stew at a time.