Favorite Recipes for Eastern Sierra Nevada Fare
Initially, I was hoping to post many recipes from the Gold Rush Era under this topic, especially with an eye toward recipes that would be fun for kids (of all ages) to learn to make at home. What I discovered was that during the California Gold Rush, food and many other commodities quickly became scarce and expensive, and that starvation, malnutrition, and scurvy were very common. Staple ingredients were relatively few, and featured prominently were coffee, corn meal, wheat flour, salt, lard, beans, and bacon (and not the nice, fresh, "Farmer John" packages of bacon we know today!). These materials make for a pretty limited menu Corn meal and flour mush made with sour milk will certainly keep body and soul together, but I don't think I could talk any of my grand kids into sampling the dish.
I'm still hopeful that others will help me to "crows-source" some appealing, authentic, and historic dishes. And I'm personally interested in learning about and sampling some of the traditional foods of indigenous people of the region. I haven't included recipes for these because I'm simply too unlearned about these foods, and also because both obtaining the ingredients and properly handling and preparing them is knowledge I lack. Things I've read about, and would like to try include pine nuts (I've heard about something referred to as a "Paiute Popsicle" that sounds especially interesting), cattail sprouts, native seeds, roots, and nuts, berries wild game, and also some edible grubs, insects, and especially the legendary kutsavi (brine fly larvae), which was a highly prized ingredient in rich soups and broths.
If you have an "authentic" recipe, please share it in the discussion below, and also please share what you know of its history, and how you came by the recipe. And if you don't have a "historic" recipe, please share some of the recipes your family likes to prepare while you are visiting the Eastern Sierra!