Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Historical Photos & Images

I've been working on finding photos for the book. Here are some historical photos for your enjoyment. These photos are all from Utah State History, archived online. They have a great searchable database that you can browse.

A buffalo hunting scene. Peregrine Sessions chased buffalo in this manner in 1847, and brought 1,800 lbs of meat back to the camp.

Fruit grown in Toquerville, famous as a wine making region in the 1860s. I just love that dusty coating of yeast.

Interior of a bakery in Helper, Utah. The large wooden box on the right is for proofing dough. The oven is the hole in the wall behind the baker.

A wheat field, harvested in shocks by hand.

A bakery in the boom town of Corinne, Utah, about 1869, out of a tent. And a book store behind it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All In...

I was looking for historical photos online and stumbled onto the blog for the Mount Pleasant Pioneer Relic Hall. I think I've mentioned this blog before here. It's like peeking through the scrapbook of your mother's cousin: interesting in unexpected ways. At any rate, the following recipe was posted there.

At the bottom is a note indicating the recipe came from "Wilhemina Henrietta Morrison Eriksen." With the recipe titled, "Finnan Haddie with Tomatoes (Fish)" and the attributed author having the Scandinavian last name of Eriksen, and the recipe coming from the heavily Danish area of Sanpete Valley in Utah, I thought this would likely be a Danish recipe.

Isn't it curious that nobody ever seems to collect the provenance for these things? It would seem to me that these things are important. When did Wilhemina come to Utah? Or was she born here? Was she a 20th century pioneer? Where were her parents from? How old is this recipe?

It turns out that both of her parents, William Morrison and Margaret Cruikshank, were from Scotland. They came to the Sanpete Valley in the 1850s and Wilhemina was born in 1859. Finnan haddie is a traditional Scottish dish made with smoked haddock. Here Wilhemina adapts the recipe for used with salted dried fish, similar to the salt cod that Brigham Young's wife might have used to make codfish gravy. Apparently, immigrants continued to insist on maintaining their maritime foodways even while living a thousand miles from an ocean.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Big News!

Yeah yeah, its been a while. I haven't had anything to blog about as I haven't had any new research. For the past few months the manuscript has been going through a series of revisions and reviews, but recently (last week) the manuscript was accepted for publication by University of Utah Press. Yay! So now we're back to work getting it ready for typesetting etc.

Among other things, the editor tells me that I need to come up with some photos. Some of these will be historical, such as this image of early commercial fishing on Utah Lake...

They say they would also like some modern full color photos of some (or many) of the recipes in the book, all made up and ready to serve. Like this photo of bread from a past blog entry...

The trouble is, I've never been big on photos and I haven't taken a lot of photos as I've been cooking. I have a couple here and there, but not as many as the editor is talking about. So here's an idea... what if any interested parties wanted to volunteer? I could send you a recipe, you make it and photograph it, and send me back lovely print-ready high resolution images? Most of the recipes that will be in the book have not been published here before. So you'd get a sneak peek at them before anyone sees the book for sale. Tempting, no? Send me an email ("contact us") and I'll send you a recipe to try.

Isn't it nice to have friends?