Tales from the Tread: Taste the History of Routt County
If you go
What: Tread of Pioneers Museum’s “A Taste of History” Events
When: noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 19, Feb. 16 and March 16
Where: Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St.
Cost: Free, but donations are appreciated
More information: treadofpioneers.org
“… The most treasured things passed down from generation to generation are the family recipes.”
― Robert St. John
Take a culinary journey through the past with the Tread of Pioneers Museum in the tasty three-part series, “A Taste of History.” We invite you to savor the history and family traditions that are held in family recipes and cooking methods from Routt County. Recipes are an integral part of our heritage as they demonstrate a historical perspective of home life, local agriculture, and family ties and connections between generations.
Now in its third year, each event features food-savvy speakers from longtime local families in the county, cooking implements from the past, and well as dishes from historic Routt County recipes, offering people a real taste of our local history.
Many of the historic recipes used for the events come from the Fair Family Favorites cookbook, a compilation of hundreds of historic Routt County recipes from the past 100 years. The cookbook, which honors the 100th anniversary of the Routt County Fair, was created by a group of women with lineage in Routt County dating back decades. The women contributed recipes from their own families and scoured the county for others.
In the cookbook’s introduction, contributor Nancy Mucklow wrote, “The recipes gathered here come from generations of Routt County ranchers, farmers, homemakers, city folk, culinary geniuses, chefs, master food preservers and young tykes adventurous enough to make an entry for the Fair… These pages include recipes that pioneers brought with them from home and memories of rows of luscious cakes and clear jars of home canned pickles.”
Mucklow is also the co-organizer of “A Taste of History” events. Through the events, she and the museum are able to honor the recipes, heritage, traditions, and families featured in the Fair Family Favorites cookbook. Mucklow and other volunteers cook all of the food for the “A Taste of History” events.
- Jan. 19: “Sourdough and Its Multiple Uses”
Join Mucklow, Linda Long and others who will discuss the history of sourdough, why it was important, how to make a starter, and the many starters that have been in Routt County for decades. Featured recipes and tastings for the audience: Sourdough Biscuits and Sourdough Bread from the Fair Family Favorites cookbook, and vegetable beef soup.
“I think sourdough is an important part of history because many families still have their sourdough starter,” said Mucklow. “It was a key way to keep folks fed on their long journeys west and in all sorts of weather. And it was part of the food culture for generations. We are now experiencing a ‘renaissance’ as there is an increased interest by younger generations in ‘homestead arts’ and the ways our ancestors fed themselves and kept healthy.”
- Feb. 16: “Cast Iron/Dutch Oven Cooking”
Mucklow and friends will discuss the origins of Dutch oven cooking, ways to cook in Dutch ovens, different types of cast iron pots and Dutch ovens, and how these are used to make various recipes. Featured recipes and tastings for the audience: Mucklow family recipes for Egg Strata, stew and dessert.
- March 16: “Cobblers, Crisps, Buckles, Crumbles & Kringles”
This sweet event will also include a historic apron fashion show. Featured speakers will wear their favorite apron and talk about it and how their mothers and grandmothers wore various aprons for different occasions. Historical aprons from the museum’s collection will also be displayed. The speakers will also talk about desserts involving crusts and cakes — cobblers, crisps, buckles, crumbles, and kringles — their differences and various uses. Featured recipes and tastings for the audience: Elaine Gay’s Sarvisberry Cobbler, Mucklow’s Buckle, and a surprise kringle. Local Steamboat coffee will also be served.
Candice Bannister is the executive director of the Tread of Pioneers Museum.
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