Apr 23, 2021
In this show the Marshal and the Madam discuss the foods eaten in towns and on the cattle trails across the frontier. Marshall also treats you to his usual colorful stories, while Sherry shares her culinary historian knowledge.
They also discuss some food oddities and share some fun stories about little know dishes like the Hangtown Fry and Son of a Gun Stew.
The show's Lagniappe (something extra):
Railroad patrons knew they could depend on Fred Harvey's houses to be consistently good not matter where they were. While they were always greeted by Harvey girls and freshly brewed coffee, the menus varied from location to location. Harvey did this so travelers wouldn’t have to eat identical meals from station to station. Even though the menus varied, the standards did not. Harvey created SOPs (standard operating procedures) as well as recipe books to ensure all that. One of the first signature dishes was Mountain Trout au Bleu at the Montezuma Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1882. The Harvey chains were known for their freshly brewed coffee, tasty thin orange pancakes, and other delicious dishes created by his chefs. Here’s a recipe for Cream of Wisconsin Cheddar Soup that was served at their St. Louis Union Station (and later at Kansas City Union Station) in the late 1800s. It eventually became Harry Truman’s favorite!
Cream of Wisconsin Cheese Soup
12 saltine crackers
6 cups beef broth
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup light cream, warmed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon white pepper
Place the crackers into a 300° and toast for about 10 minutes.
Place two cups of the beef broth in a large saucepan and warm over medium heat. Add the cheese, stirring constantly as it melts. Add the remaining beef broth and simmer until smooth.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, make a roux by melting the butter and then adding the flour. Also, heat the cream over low heat in a small saucepan. When blended and smooth, add to first mixture. Continue stirring as you slowly add the cream, Worcestershire sauce, and white pepper. Stir constantly at simmer for fifteen minutes. Serve with toasted crackers.
Recipe and other historical details courtesy of author Stephen Fried, Appetite for America, New York, Bantam Books, 2010.
To learn more about Sherry and her books, visit her website.
To learn more about Marshal and his work, visit his website.