Ride ‘Em Cowboy

In 1972, before the TPC and before the area really exploded, there was a big dove roost in the washes on the east side of Scottsdale Road south of the airport, not two miles north of its intersection with Shea Road. This wasn’t far from our house so late one Friday afternoon my family and I decided to go out and visit this spot, shoot some doves, then after the sun went down have a “dove fry” in the desert. For this feast we’d fix doves along with green chilies and onions.

We called the Schroder’s, our local friends also from Texas, to come out with us but they had other plans, so loading up everyone in our “luxurious” camper, atop our Dodge Power Wagon, we arrived at our hunting spot just before the doves started pouring in. Brad, my ex wife and I were shooting and Randy and Suzanne were retrieving.

We had a ball and within thirty minutes, by the end of shooting time, we had three limits of mourning dove. We cleaned, breasted and washed off the birds and built our fire. For the fire, we gathered rocks and made a fire pit with them, then broke up the mesquite and soon had a nice fire going, making coals for the cooking. Putting our expanded metal “grill” on the rocks we were ready to “fry”!

We fried the doves and started our green chilies and onions. The recipe follows:

Two sweet onions, medium size,
One small can of chopped green chilies,
One stick of butter, don’t use margarine.
Peel and slice the onions and put them and the butter in a skillet, cover, place on the fire. Stir occasionally and cook the onions until they turn white then add the green chilies. Cook for five more minutes and then serve.

This recipe fed our family. For larger groups keep the ratio of two onions for one small can of green chilies. This dish goes good with steak, chicken, wild game and fish.

By the time we finished eating, it was completely dark and our fire was flickering and almost down to coals, we heard a horse coming up on us. It was Jake Schroder, mounted on a fine steed that he’d borrowed from one of his neighbors. Dismounting and tying his horse to the Power Wagon he inquired, “Got any grub left?” We did and he finished off the food, stretched out on the desert and told us that they had gotten home early and he decided he would ride out to see if we’d done any good with the birds.

We were enjoying the desert when Jake said he had to get the horse back, so he mounted up, turned the horse in two tight circles and in one motion, pulled back on the reins and hit the horse on its rump with his hat and up came the horse’s front legs, the hooves pawing at the air. Laughing we told him, “Jake, that looked like Roy Rogers and Trigger! Ride ‘em cowboy!” And, off he went into the darkness back towards Scottsdale Road.