Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Book note: The Oregon Trail Cookbook, edited by Leslie J. Whipple

My husband handed me a copy of The Oregon Trail Cookbook as a gift yesterday. Oh, my, I finally had to block out time in the kitchen and make something today. I started with Snickerdoodles, a type of cookie. They came out pretty good, if I do say so myself. Even more fun, when my husband came through and tasted one he exclaimed that his grandma used to make cookies just like that. Sometimes a gal gets lucky. :)

From the back cover copy:

The Oregon Trail Cookbook offers a wealth of information on the various food traditions of the Oregon Country, with a special emphasis on the contributions of the Oregon Trail pioneers who brought their rich heritage as they emigrated from all over the world to seek the "Promised Land" of Oregon. Along with an abundance of pioneer stories and recipes, prominent Northwest chefs have contributed contemporary recipes celebrating the local bounty and the 150-year anniversary of the "Great Migration" over the Oregon Trail.

Organized into food categories both familiar (breads) and unfamiliar (game), using ingredients both commonplace (cornmeal) and exotic (bear renderings and cracklings), the recipes of The Oregon Trail Cookbook will delight the palate and fascinate the mind.

The key to this book, and the real joy of it, is participation. In response to a nationwide call for recipes, descendants of pioneers have sent in their cherished family favorites, along with wonderful family legends and anecdotes of pioneer life...

A plus: many of the recipes appear to be well-suited to frugal households. I am thinking of trying the Poorman's Pecan Pie, for instance. The ingredients are brown sugar, oatmeal, corn syrup, margarine and eggs, in a pie shell. No pecans. (On the other hand, I can't imagine what would persuade me to try Fried Pig's Feet. Just isn't gonna happen short of a prolonged siege, folks. Ugh.)

The book was published in 1992, by Maverick, of Bend, Oregon.

A note: Several of the used copies for sale online have "Thunder Over the Ochoco, Pts. 1 & 2" as part of the title. This must be a database error. Certainly it's not correct.

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