There’s more to this cookbook than meets the eye–or taste buds. Besides delectable recipes, the recipes in this book provide a unique and accurate reflection of the country’s social and economic history. That concoction may sound unusual, but author, rancher’s wife, and cook Gail Jenner’s ability to translate cookery into history is delicious.
Jenner has combined vintage recipes from family, from the nation’s forefathers and from ranch hands with stories about early cooks and early cookbooks. Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies also contains chapters on Dutch oven and outdoor cooking, along with the recipes of cakes and tortes, cookies and brownies, hot cakes, waffles, and doughnuts, and of course pies, cobblers, fritters, and Brown Betty.
Some of the recipes for biscuits included in the book are sour cream biscuits, baking powder biscuits, and potato biscuits. There’s a scrumptious recipe for steamed Boston brown bread that calls for a recycled vegetable can to be used as a steamed-pudding mold. The pie section offers a recipe for pie dough that calls for “a dash of cider vinegar.” The recipe for deep dish apple pie is made complete with a brief history of apples in America.
The lovely colored photos of the food in various stages of preparedness and the antique pictures of popular pioneer cooks add to the overall flavor of Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies.
Reviewed by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor, and a New York Times Bestselling author who writes about women of the Old West.