Small Town Chick

Small Town - Big Life

Category: Food

Cowboy-Approved Barbecue Brisket

My Grandma - Mary Lee Frier

My Grandma – Mary Lee Frier


My grandma, Mary Lee Frier, was a rancher’s wife, an excellent homemaker who could play and piano and sing, and she was an out-of-this-world cook! Living over 20 miles from town out on the ranch, they didn’t eat fancy food, but the “meat and potatoes”-type meals she prepared were soooo good. I remember helping her bring in the groceries after she had been to town, and let me tell you – there was a ton of grocery bags!! When you lived out on a ranch like she did, you had to stock up! There are so many good things she made that it is hard to decide what to include on this site, but what I remember being family favorites were her Angel Biscuits, Barbecue Brisket, Pistachio Salad, and her famous Egg Custard. Everything she made was good, but those are the dishes that really stand-out in my memories.

Young Mary Lee

Mary Lee Frier in the 1940’s

I’m going to post all of the above-mentioned recipes, but I’ll start with her beef brisket and her own barbecue sauce. This recipe is cowboy-approved and rated 5 stars by all the friends and family who were lucky enough to be invited to a branding or delivery.  I know there are bottled marinades out there that are very good, but this is true home cooking at its finest! It calls for a little planning ahead, but it’s worth every delicious, juicy, saucy bite! Try this way of cooking brisket, and you will not be disappointed.

Mary Lee’s Barbecue Brisket

1 brisket (trimmed of excess fat – you need to leave a little for flavor)

3 Tbs Liquid Smoke

1/2 tsp  garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion salt

1/2 tsp celery salt

Worcestershire Sauce

Directions:  Sprinkle brisket with Liquid Smoke followed by the above dry seasonings and rub into meat. Wrap in foil and put in refrigerator overnight.





The next day, unwrap the brisket, sprinkle with pepper and 3-4 Tbs Worcestershire sauce. Put brisket in large pan and cover with foil. Bake for 5 hours at 275 degrees.


While the brisket is cooking, prepare the barbecue sauce.

Mary Lee’s Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 cups water

1 medium onion chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp celery salt

Directions:  Mix ingredients in saucepan; bring to a boil and continue to boil for 15 minutes.100_6348


Remove cooked brisket from oven, let it rest a few minutes, and slice (this is when it is very handy to have an electric knife). Pour sauce over sliced brisket; cover and bake for 1 hour more.


The sauce thickens-up after being baked-on the brisket.


This is a tried-and-true, no-fail way to cook tender, tasty, and juicy brisket.

Friers Housewarming

Mary Lee & Odis Frier at their housewarming party – 1940’s

Aunt Em’s Baked Meatballs

Aunt Em I would like to introduce you to my great-aunt Em (Emily Bingham). She was the youngest of my Grandad Frier’s siblings and she raised her own family on a ranch between Hobbs and Carlsbad, New Mexico.  My mother tells me that Aunt Em could really ride a horse, and she was known for being a tough kid! One time my Grandad (Odis) was digging a hole with a post-hole digger and Em was playing in the dirt. She reached in for some dirt as he was coming down with the digger, and cut her middle finger completely off! One other time, she fell out of the buggy on the way to school, and the buggy ran over her and knocked her teeth out. She was one tough little lady.  She was also a good cook, and this is one of our favorite recipes from Aunt Em. These meatballs are easy and very filling. Add a side of Aunt Em’s Hot Cheesy Hominy (recipe coming soon) and you have a meal.

Aunt Em Young

My Grandad Frier (Odis – far left) with his siblings – Thelma (Aunt Sis), Buster, and Aunt Em

Baked Meatballs

2 cups cornbread – crumbled (I made mine a couple days before and let it dry out a little – like you would for Thanksgiving dressing)

1 – 10 oz enchilada  sauce (I used 2 cans – I like lots of sauce)

1/2 tsp salt

1-1/2 lbs hamburger meat

1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup graded cheddar cheese (at least! I used more)

Directions:  Combine cornbread and 1/2 can of the enchilada sauce and 1/2 can of the tomato sauce & salt

Add hamburger meat and mix well; shape into balls and brown in a skillet

Place browned meatballs into baking dish & pour remaining enchilada & tomato sauce over meatballs and cover with cheese.

Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees


My Mom has Never Been to Buffalo


This is my mom, Amelda

My mom has never been to Buffalo (mainly because she won’t fly, but that’s another story for another time), so why should you want to try her Buffalo Chicken Wings? Well, two reasons.  One, they are baked not fried so they are better for you, and two, they are delicious! And easy. I guess that’s three reasons, but that’s beside the point. These are super easy to make; you can make them as hot or mild as you like; and you can still feel good about a non-fried chicken dish (although there is the butter . . .) These are super tangy and good!


My mom’s handwritten recipe from the Family Cook Book


24-36 chicken wings – cut apart (my grocery store already had them cut and sold as “wingettes”)

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup tabasco sauce (or less to taste)

3 Tbs vinegar

2 pkgs Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (1 to make the dressing as directed on package as a dip)


Directions:  heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix melted butter, tobasco and vinegar in a bowl.

Dip chicken  in butter mixture and place in a baking dish (I also poured all the butter mixture left in the bowl over the chicken).


Sprinkle 1 pkg of dry dressing mix over wings.


Bake 30-45 minutes or until browned as desired. Sprinkle with paprika.


Serve with the prepared ranch dressing.

Teresa’s Coconut Cream Pie

Lisa Pie

Lisa Medlin’s Coconut Cream Pie Made from this Recipe



Coconut Cream Pie has always been one of my favorites, but after visiting my brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Teresa, and tasting her coconut cream pie I knew I had found my absolute favorite recipe for it! My dad had a slice that accounted for about 1/3 of the whole pie! Teresa was sweet enough to share her recipe with me. She got it from an old Sunset Magazine. The recipe she e-mailed me was a scan of a much-used, faded and splotched magazine page from long ago. Those are the best recipes – the ones with the stained and dirty pages. I’ve made the pie from this recipe many times and it always comes out great. I especially love the meringue recipe. I make my meringue with this recipe for all of my pies that call for meringue. For this pie, I think the secret is the coconut-lined pie crust with the creamy filling layer topped with the fluffy, yet firm, meringue. Give this recipe a try – it’s a keeper!

1   9-inch single-crust pie

1   cup sweetened flaked dried coconut

1   cup  and 1/3 cup sugar

¼   cup plus 1 ½  tsp cornstarch

2-1/4   cup whole milk

3   large eggs (separated)*

1   tsp vanilla

¼   tsp cream of tarter

1/8   tsp salt


  1. With a fork, prick bottom and sides of the unbaked pastry in pan at about 1-inch intervals. Bake in a 375-degree oven until golden brown – about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
  2. Scatter coconut over bottom of pastry.
  3. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, mix 1 cup of sugar, ¼ cup cornstarch, milk, and egg yolks until well blended. Stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens (10 to 15 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over coconut in crust.
  4. In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
  5. In a deep bowl, with a mixer on high speed (use whisk attachment if available), beat egg whites *(I usually add an extra egg white to make more meringue), cream of tartar and salt until very foamy. Add sugar-starch mixture 1 tablespoon every 30 seconds and continue to beat until meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.
  6. Spoon meringue onto hot pie filling. With a spatula, spread meringue evenly to rim of pie shell.
  7. Bake in a 325-degree oven until meringue is lightly brown (15 to 20 minutes)
  8. Let pie cool on a rack about 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve, or invert a large bowl over the pie (it shouldn’t touch the meringue) and chill up to 1 day.
My Brother and Sister-in-Law heating things up in the kitchen!

My Brother and Sister-in-Law heating things up in the kitchen!

Thanks for the great recipe Teresa!

© 2020 Small Town Chick

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑