Time For Cowboy Breakfast Again

For those of you looking for new holiday traditions, consider having Thanksgiving breakfast on the North 40.

Ever since my kids were little, on Thanksgiving morning I?ve gotten up early — well not that early — and prepared our annual “Cowboy Breakfast.” What is a Cowboy Breakfast, you ask? First of all, it is a breakfast that cowboys would eat: scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes, fried onions, fried green peppers, fried apple slices, and toast — preferably not whole wheat or some other healthy abomination. The whole thing is gloriously cholesterol-laden, and rich in saturated fat.

A cowboy breakfast has two basic rules: first, manners are forbidden. I started this rule because I was always working on manners with the kids the other 364 days of the year and figured they needed one day a year off.? (?I?ll tell you why it matters how you hold your knife.? When you?re grown up, you might just be invited to the President?s house for dinner.? If you don?t know how to hold your knife you?ll look like a bumpkin.? Do you want to look like a bumpkin in front of the President?)

So the Cowboy Breakfast no manners rule means you can talk with your mouth full, slurp, eat with your fingers, put your elbows on the table, burp, and lick your plate if you want to.? All these are encouraged.? You don’t have to say “please” and “thank you.” You can say, ?Gimme them eggs.?? Everybody can talk at once. You can wipe your mouth on the back of your arm.

The second rule is you must talk in a cowboy voice and utter cowboy-like sayings, for example, (in Texas accent) “Jonny, after we?re done chowin? down here, I want you to get up to the north 40 and fix that fence.? We got dogies (not doggies) runnin? all over tarnation.? Man, these eggs is mighty good if I do say so m’self.? Consarn it!? I just dripped grease all over my new chaps.? Hey woman, kin I git you to clean ?em after yer done fixin? that leak in the barn and skinnin? that buffalo I shot this mornin??? I?d preciatate it a heap.?

This Thanksgiving we?ll do our Cowboy breakfast for probably the 20th year in a row.?? We?ve had cousins and other families join us, and it?s one of our favorite traditions.? The kids don?t do the cowboy voices much these days, but they still want to do the breakfast.

So around 7:30 or 8 Thanksgiving morning, you?ll find me in our kitchen slicing potatoes and firing up several frying pans full of oil.? And I?ll still be talkin? like a cowboy, consarn it, even if nobody else wants to.? Now where?s that woman got to?? I need my socks darned.

This article was originally published November 19, 2008.

photo by anyjazz65

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I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I’ve written a lot of worship songs. I also like to paint.


  1. says

    I think i read the article at a wrong time..I was really hungry and I thought, “Oh let me get my mind off food and read The Blazing Center for the updated post… Darn i did not know it would be on food :)

  2. says

    You should video tape a portion of your breakfast… I would love to see you all in action.

    and why did you pick the one day of the year that everyone pigs out and eats a huge meal in the afternoon to have a huge breakfast…

    you guys need to have a doctor on stand-by on Thanksgiving day!

    have fun… I love to hear all the great traditions.

    • says

      Hi Vicki,

      I don’t think you’d want to see it – it isn’t pretty. Why did I pick that day? I don’t know. I guess I didn’t think I’d get enough grease at the main meal. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

    • says

      Hi Derek. Great post and great topic. My husband and I do live in a rural area and the cotrnuy wave is quite common here. But it does mean one other thing. As we take our walks or ride our bikes in our quiet rural neighborhood, when we extend a wave to the folks speeding through and throwing out their beer cans it also means, this is our land. Slow down and appreciate it.

  3. says

    You didn’t mention coffee in your list, but I just bet there’s a serious amount of cowboy-strength coffee involved in this breakfast too. (As opposed to, say, English breakfast tea.)

    • says

      You are so right, Lisa. In fact, we pour boiling water straight onto grounds in the cup – no filters allowed. Tea is strictly illegal, especially fancy teas like English Breakfast, Tazo, and Chamomile. Unless you stick the teabag straight in your mouth.

  4. says

    loved the post. the “manners” comment makes me chuckle. back when my son had been in Scouts a while, and so felt salty, a new scout’s mom took him aside and asked him aboot “manners” on campouts. My son tried to make her comfortable that adults made no attempt of enforcing manners on campouts. She only gave us a look and walked away.

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