Charlene Raddon has a terrific guest post for today. First, let me tell you about her generous giveaway of a copy of TENDER TOUCH and a $10 Amazon gift card. Don't forget to leave your email with your comment if you want to be entered in the drawing.
Second, let me announce the winner of the free download of HIGH STAKES BRIDE from my weekend post. The winner is Denise Z. Congratulations, Denise. I'll be emailing you about your prize. AND WATCH FOR MY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE END OF THIS POST!
Now, here's Charlene's excellent post.
|Cooking on the Oregon Trail|
Staples needed per person:
200 pounds of bread stuff (flour and crackers)
100 pounds of bacon (see note below)
12 pounds of coffee
12 pounds of sugar
Additional staples per family:
From 1 to 5 pounds tea
From 10 to 50 pounds rice
From 1/2 to 2 bushels beans
From 1/2 to 2 bushels dried fruit
From 1/2 to 5 pounds saleratus
From 5 to 50 pounds
Whiskey or brandy
Cheese, dried pumpkins, onions and a small portion of corn meal
Cooking utensils: cast iron skillet or spider, Dutch oven, reflector oven, coffee pot or tea kettle, tin plates, cups, and utensils, matches, crocks, canteens, and buckets or water bags for liquids.
Other basics: a rifle, pistols, powder, lead, and shot for hunting game, and for self-defense. Candles (less expensive and lighter than oil). Several pounds of soap. Two to three sets of practical, sturdy, and warm clothing of wool and linen and a small sewing kit for repairs, shovel, ax or hatchet, tools to repair wagon equipment, bedding and tents.
1,600-1,800 pounds of the supplies were food, leaving little space for anything else. Furniture, books, and treasured belongings, were too often discarded along the way. Many accounts of the journey tell of the trail being littered with the cast offs of previous wagon trains. Prices and availability of goods varied from year to year, but a minimum of $600 to $800 was needed to assemble a basic outfit of wagon, oxen, and supplies.
Note: the bacon the pioneers carried was not in plastic covered one pound packages or sliced, but "salt pork," a heavily salted, fatty side or back portion of pork, un-smoked, and preserved in a barrel of brine. Pieces were taken out, the needed amount of meat cut off and the rest replaced. The piece to be used often needed to be soaked to dissipate the saltiness before being sliced for frying or cut into chunks for soups or stews.
Butter churns were sometimes attached to the side or underneath of the wagon. By day's end, with the jolting and swaying of the wagon, there would be butter to be had for the next stop.
1 cup cornmeal
4 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon lard or butter
1 teaspoon salt
dried currents (raisins) optional
Put currents into water and bring to a boil. Sprinkle cornmeal into the boiling water stirring constantly, adding butter and salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, then portion into bowls. Can be topped with milk, butter, sugar or molasses.
Prepare 4 cups of beans by rinsing and placing in large pot, covering with water and letting stand overnight for at least 12 hours. Drain, then place in pot with 1/2 lb. ham hock or 1/2 lb. bacon, covering with fresh water to simmer on low fire for 3 hours. At start of 4th hour add these ingredients: 1/4 cup dark molasses, 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. cayenne, 1/2 tsp. ground pepper. Optional ingredients to add if you have them, and according to taste: 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp. mustard, can chopped tomatoes. Stir and let simmer an additional hour, then serve. If additional liquid is needed, use the water beans soaked in.
Take 1 lb. of flour, and mix it with milk enough to make a stiff dough; dissolve in a little milk 1 tsp. carbonate of soda; add this to the paste with a teaspoon of salt. Work it well together and roll it out thin; cut into round biscuits, and bake them in a moderate oven. The yolk of an egg is sometimes added. (Sarah J. Jale, Mrs. Hales New Cookbook 1857)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Blend molasses and milk. Add in butter, baking soda, salt and mix well - butter will be chunky. Add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Add raisins of you like. Pour this thick dough into a buttered deep bread pan, spreading evenly. Put pan on top of pebbles in a large kettle of slow-boiling, shallow water. Liquid should only go half way up the sides of the pan. Cover and steam for 1 1/4 hours. Serve sliced, as is, or drizzled with syrup.
Mix 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar into a 12 oz. glass of water. Stir in 2 Tablespoons of sugar or to taste, and Drink Up!
Cut off leaves of plants that have not blossomed yet, pick over carefully, wash in several waters, put into boiling water, boil one hour, drain well, add salted boiling water, and boil two hours; when done, turn into a colander and drain, season with butter and more salt if needed. Or boil with piece of salt port, omitting butter.
Mix flour and water into thick batter, add raisins, and boil in small canvas bag. Sweeten with syrup or sorghum before eating if preferred.
Gravy and sourdough were the food staples of the pioneers. Nearly all meals could be prepared using a bake oven, and gravy was made to complement the main dish. Gravy served as added nutrition, but mostly it served as a filler when other food was not available. Sourdough was so precious to the pioneer cook, she often slept with her sourdough starter so the yeast action would not be killed by the cold.
Eye ailments—Put a few drops of castor oil in eyes.
Eyewash—Gun powder dissolved in water.
Fever—Boil two roots of wild ginger in a cup of water; strain and drink.
Hiccups—Hiccup can usually be stopped very quickly by taking a teaspoonful of granulated sugar and vinegar. If it does not give relief, repeat the dose.
Infection—For drawing out infection on burns, use raw grated potatoes.
Scrapes and abrasions—Smear rabbit fat over raw areas.
Bee stings—Put mud or red clay on area.
And here's the a blurb from Charlene's story about travel on the Oregon Trail:
They had lost everything that mattered . . .
Three nightmarish years of marriage has shattered Brianna Wight's sheltered world. Leading her husband to believe she's been murdered, she flees to St. Louis . . . harboring terrible secrets that could be the death of her.
The tragic loss of his Indian wife left Columbus Nigh a wanderer; necessity made him a wilderness guide. But now he finds himself drawn to the enigmatic woman who's hired him to lead her westward. Her gentle strength stirs his lonely heart . . . her tender beauty arouses his deepest passions.
Would they find love again on a western journey?
But the perils of the Oregon Trail pale beside the murderous wrath of the man who tracks them across the harsh frontier. Briana knows the only way to save herself and Columbus is to risk their tender love. Only then can she free herself from the horrors of the past -- and embrace a rapturous future . . .
Here's an excerpt from TENDER TOUCH:
You can find TENDER TOUCH here:
Charlene Raddon began her fiction career in the third grade when she got up and told her class that a little sister she didn't have died of a black widow bite. Many years later, a particularly vivid dream drove her to drag out a portable typewriter and go to work on her first novel. In 1990 her second completed book, TENDER TOUCH, brought her a first place win in a writing contest and the following year became a Golden Heart Finalist. She has five romance novels set in the American West, published by Kensington, one, THE SCENT OF ROSES, under the pseudonym Rachel Summers. Her books have placed or won other contests and one, FOREVER MINE, received a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award nomination. Charlene has always loved the Old West and her novels reflect that emotion in their depth and vividness.
When Charlene isn't writing, she loves to travel, do genealogy, digital scrapbooking, and dyes eggs in the Ukrainian style. And she enjoys camping and fishing with her husband in the Utah wilderness.
You can learn more about Charlene here:
Charlene's website http://www.charleneraddon.com/
Remember to leave your email with your comment if you want to be entered in the drawing for a copy of TENDER TOUCH and the $10 Amazon gift card!
Now that you've read Charlene's post, please go to her blogsite where I have a guest post, http://charleneraddon.blogspot.com I have a giveaway there also.
And if you sign up for my newsletter at the link about midway on the sidebar, I will include you in a special drawing for a Kindle Fire on December 15th, in plenty of time to give as a gift or load up with your own holiday reading.
Thanks for stopping by!