VICK'S VIEW: Waxahatchie Vacation

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By: Vicki Brown

Nothing says fun like throwing a cow chip.

Do you know what a cow chip is? I didn’t, until I went on a Waxahatchie vacation.

My husband had surgery in the late 70’s, and it was awesome!

We had two insurance companies (both paid off), so we were able to take a great vacation thanks to his appendicitis.

We decided to visit Texas. I had always loved cowboys, so I figured that was a great place to vacation.

The first thing I noticed about Texas was that even though it was 104 degrees in the shade, I didn’t sweat that much; it was deceiving.

After traveling through Dallas, Fort Worth, and seeing someone purchase a pair of ugly lamps for $15,000 each at Neiman Marcus (I was worried I was going to be arrested for just walking in the store in my K-mart flipflops), we moved on. I saw the best rodeo riders of my life in Mesquite (NO ONE does rodeo like Texans), and we continued on our trip through some small towns in search of…anything and everything.

One day, we found ourselves at Waxahatchie, Texas, where there was the annual “Cabrito Cookoff” Festival.

Having no idea what cabrito was, we decided to stop at this festival and eat, since we love all things food.

What an amazing find.

The festival opened with a Dolly Parton look-alike contest. A hairy man came in third, but the winner could have been Dolly’s twin sister. It was great fun.

Next was the hammer throwing contest. I tried it and didn’t place, but I did almost hit a judge.

After that was the watermelon seed spitting contest. I discovered that there are some really gifted seed shooters out there who did Texas proud at 25 feet.

There weren’t too many takers at the anvil throwing contest, since it weighed about 100 pounds.

But at last, I came to a pick-up truck full of round brown discs. An old-timer wearing overalls and a cowboy hat was standing next to it and pointed toward a long mat on the ground marked in feet and inches. A sign nearby said “Cow Chip Throwing” contest.

Well, this looked interesting so I thought I would try it. He handed me the odd shaped pile of dried brown stuff. That’s when my husband cleared his throat and asked me if I knew what a cow chip was. Of course, I said no, so he filled me in.

A cow chip is dried cow manure.

Lovely. I dropped it like a hot potato.

But even that couldn’t stop me from wanting vittles (food-I am using cowboy slang. I’m in Texas mode!). So, we got in the huge buffet line that had dozens of fresh, yellow ears of corn piled on a table, sour dough bread, and mystery meat.

Ah. This was the cabrito.

There were several different tables with meat piled high, each sponsored by a cabrito contestant.

Choosing one line, we got in it, grabbed a plate and loaded up.

Then, sitting family style at one of the dozen picnic tables, we started devouring everything…except the meat.

It was rather unusual. Chewy. Tasted a little wild. Gamey. It took a while to eat it and swallow.

Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer. I really wanted to know what cabrito was.

Turning to the man next to me, I noticed he was Hispanic. I figured he would certainly know what cabrito was.

He did. It was goat. I was eating a goat.

Okay, well I had tasted better things in my life, and proceeded to tell the man that. He laughed and said we were probably eating old goat and that’s why it was so tough.

I decided then and there that I was not a fan of cabrito.

But I am a fan of just traveling around and seeing what’s out there. You never know what unexpected gems you might find.

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