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Know the West

Home on the Range: A Culinary History of the AmericanWest


To Catch Wild Ducks,
Geese or Birds Alive
Soak wheat in strong alcohol.
Scatter where they are in the habit of feeding.
Take them while they are drunk.
* Early recipe book titled Cookbook
private collection, ca. 1880

Coon Cake

Take what flour you have, mix with water, shorten with coon oil and fry in coon fat.

Army Coffee for One Hundred

Take five pounds of roasted coffee, grind and mix with six eggs; make small muslin sacks, and in each place a pint of coffee, leaving room for it to swell; put five gallons boiling water in a large coffee urn or boiler having a faucet at the bottom; put in part of the sacks and boil two hours; five or ten minutes before serving raise the lid and add one or two more sacks, and if you continue serving several times add fresh sacks at regular intervals.

* Mrs. C.S. Ogden

Grandmother's Harvest Drink

One quart of water Tablespoon sifted ginger

Three heaping tablespoons sugar Half-pint vinegar

* Anonymous Early Recipe

Washday Rice

Pick over 1 pint of rice, and wash it in cold water. Add 1 teaspoonful salt and 3 quarts of boiling water. Boil exactly 17 minutes. Drain off all water into a clean crock. Set the rice where it stays very hot, but will not burn, to steam with cover off for 15 minutes. Time it exactly. The water that was drained off is good to stiffen muslins. The rice makes a hearty meal on a busy washday. It is good with gravy; or with sugar and cream and butter.

* Anonymous Early Recipe cited by author Edna A. Mintonye

Walnut Catsup

Take forty black walnuts that you can stick a pin through; mash and put them in a gallon of vinegar, boil it down to three quarts and strain it. Then add a few cloves of garlic or onion, with any kind of spice you like, and salt. When cool, bottle it. Have good corks.

* Housekeeping in Old Virginia, 1879

Text and photographs from Home on the Range, A Culinary History of the American West, by Cathy Luchetti, Villard Books, New York. 1993. Paper $25. 238 pages.