It Tastes Better Than it Looks

Welcome!! On Fridays we step back to 1850 and look at the changes in Two Pan where folks take a squint-eyed scowl at changing traditions.

Most of us walked the entire Oregon Trail to stake a piece of land in Two Pan. We’d never see our kin on the other side of the country again. (Some of us were excited about that). So when the Woolseys told folks Thanksgiving could be at their spread, we were all over that invite like ducks on a june bug.

Nobody knows the trouble this bread has seen.

Alice Hopkins suggested we have some Fall Contests to make it exciting.  (Her husband was some big sword-rattling Reb in the Civil War and I think she’s still looking for a way for him to be victorious.)

All the men (except my Bricker, of course) snorted, lied how they’d outdo one another, then grabbed their guns, and tromped around to see who could shoot the biggest turkey.  Bricker said if a bird happened to fly into his sluice pan, while he was panning for gold, he’d wring its neck and bring it in. I wasted a lot of words on him because none of the men got a turkey.

Roxie and her Bacon Maple Muffins with added crunch

On Thanksgiving eve, they dug a big pit and started roasting a hindquarter of elk.

If I am to be completely honest, I was mad at myself but taking it out on Bricker.  The women had a baking contest and I felt prideful to enter, as ill equipped as I am.

(My cookstove sits at the base of Smith Mountain where we lightened the oxens’ load because they were so wheezed out they could barely haul the wagon over the top. Bricker hasn’t gone back to  get the stove yet.)

On the day of the feast, Roxie Poley won the blue ribbon for bread. My loaf tasted good, but cooked like it had been tortured in the mud oven.

Alice Hopkins and Violet Spinrad discuss recipes

Roxie’s dishes always have crunch.  We’ve learned not to ask about it. Crickets or chestnuts…it’s all good.

Alice Hopkins got the blue ribbon for her pie. (“An old Southern recipe” she cooed. UGH.)

The judge, Elias Kral, said my pie looked like a tapeworm had crawled on top and died. But in the end, my pie dish was licked clean along with the others.

Never Fear! It's all looks the same when cut and served!

With our bellies full, and the children playing games by the creek, Alice started singing. We all joined in–there being no instruments in the territory.We sang. Told stories. Laughed.

For one afternoon, it was just like being home—it was Thanksgiving.

(Click Here for Roxie’s Bacon-Maple Muffin Recipe.

You can click all over Alice, but you’ll never get her secret recipe.)

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in Humor, Pioneer Friday in Two Pan and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to It Tastes Better Than it Looks

  1. Pingback: Hard Candy Christmas | Before Morning Breaks

  2. Catherine says:

    Hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thank you for visiting me the other day!


  3. A great way to celebrate a memorable holiday. Delicious.I share this day of gratitude with you. May your days be filled with wonderful blessings and a life filled with love , peace and happiness. Happy Thanksgiving my friend.


  4. Elisabeth Miles says:

    Alice has that simple down cold. Nice background, too.


  5. Spectra says:

    There was a nice feeling of nolstalgia here. But that tape worm pie…I dunno. Makes me think the contestants on Survivor should be forced to have cooking contests to win immunity; Grub Muffins, Rat Stews, Fish Eyeball hard candy, Centipede Au Gratin. These dishes could one day become cooking classics, if someone would just take the ingredients seriously!


    • Barb says:

      Uhh….let me get a pen and write these down. You came up with more recipes than I could possibly think up, so I’ll just steal them for use in a future post. I especially love the Fish Eyeball hard candy…but then that’s what tapioca tastes like to me. Thanks for the wierd Iron Chef ideas.


  6. digipicsphotography says:

    You make me chuckle!


  7. Julie says:

    I enjoyed traveling back to 1850 with you. My favorite part was the crickets or chestnuts line! The pictures in costume were an added bonus. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!


    • Barb says:

      Thanks Julie. Mmmmm…you like crickets and chestnuts? They’ll you’ll enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at my house. I’m never sure how it’s going to turn out. Thanks for stopping by.


  8. Bacon and maple syrup = all is right with the world! I’m channeling pancakes this very minute.


  9. roselefebvre says:

    I got a giggle seeing you and Alice all costumed up! And Roxie with her muffins and knit cap–so cute! I am enjoying your blog.


  10. “Roxie’s dishes always have crunch. We’ve learned not to ask about it. Crickets or chestnuts…it’s all good.”
    I nearly spit out my water reading this post…and Georgette’s comment too.

    How scary is it when it tastes as bad as it looks (as in my cooking?)


  11. We don’t have Thanksgiving here and sometimes, just sometimes, I think we are deprived. Then I read about bacon maple cupcakes and shudder. You don’t really combine bacon with maple syrup do you? Please tell me you don’t.


    • Spectra says:

      Ooooh, but bacon and maple are so good together! I found a recipe with a photo of glistening bacon in Gourmet magazine. And made it; a lb. of bacon oven baked with brown sugar and maple syrup. It’s heart-attack food, but crazily delicious!


      • Barb says:

        I love the bacony goodness of bacon. There’s nothing like it…not even mac and cheese (unless you put bacon in the mac & chez). This recipe sounds wonderful. Call me next time. It’s worth a plane flight.


  12. moma escriva says:

    Yummy! I say no more!


  13. Roxie says:

    Two secrets to winning those baking contests. 1. Always add a little bit of love. 2. Don’t have kids. That way you can afford the butter to make it tasty, instead of having to use bacon drippings to grease the pans. You don’t have to stop beating your cake batter halfway through to go pull someone out of the pig pen. You don’t have some curious sprout opening the damper on the stove while your back is turned, so everything burns to a cinder before you know it. You can spend your time and money perfecting your quizeene.


  14. Thanks for “Liking” my post “Cowboys, Bulls and Photographers” on my Photography Unposed Blog!


  15. No matter how it looks, you know there is goodness inside. Bacon maple cupcakes….it doesn’t matter, it all goes to the same place. And no one will know there was a tapewormy thingy on top of the cobbler when they dig in with a spoon and plop it on their plate…with the crust side up. I do like the crust on top.


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