Hi All - I'm off cooking a holiday turkey for baby Laurie - if you want to catch up with me you can follow me at www.dianaorgain.com - in the meantime I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy this guest post by my friend Inez!
Inez Stannert, owner of the Silver Queen Saloon, Leadville, Colorado, and protagonist of the Silver Rush historical mystery series by Ann Parker
Hello, Stranger, and happy Thanksgiving to you from Cloud City… that is, Leadville, Colorado.
Pardon me? You haven’t heard of Leadville?
Well, that means you must not have been reading the newspapers for the past several years, at least. Why, Leadville and her silver-fortified fortunes have been lauded, scrutinized, and exclaimed over by the fourth estate from coast to coast, throughout the British islesand in the Continent and beyond. Yet, it is sad to say, many still think that since Leadville’s riches lie underground in its mines, and that it perches up at the ten thousand foot elevation in the Rocky Mountains, those of us who live here have no refinement and must, perforce, dine on hardtack, beans, bad coffee, and rotgut when we commence our holiday feasting.
It is not so. Not at all. Allow me to present evidence to the contrary.
For instance, for last Thanksgiving, Mount Massive Hotel served turkey, goose, and duck, while the Grand, the Clarendon and the Windsor hotels all served turkey, as is the custom. All variety of foodstuffs are easily come by—imported and local. Don’t believe me? I suggest you visit Dickey Brothers, one of our local food purveyors, just down the street at 118 Harrison Avenue, in our business district. When you go, look around and you will see there is nothing in meats that does not come in for a share of attention, and you will also find their stock of game and fish very complete and attractive. Nothing looks more impressive than to see twenty or thirty blacktail deer arranged in dignified order at the entrance, with occasionally an antelope, a huge elk or mountain sheep sandwiched in to give it variety. You always find an abundance of feathered game at Dickeys, such as mountain grouse, mallard and teal duck, wild turkey, wild goose, quail, pinnated grouse, etc. They also have a large quantity of poultry of all kinds, and have a large trade in oysters, which they receive from Baltimore and Chicago.
Still not convinced?
Allow me to show you this Christmas bill of fare, as offered by the local Tappan House:
Fresh Oysters Chicken broth
Cutlets of Salmon Trout, crumbled and fried in oil
Thin slices of fresh Mackerel, a la Maitre d’Hotel
In small Patties Raw Crumbled and Fried
Fancy Roast Scalloped
Turkey, with Cranberry Sauce
Chicken with Oyster dressing
Premium Loin of Beef
Saddle of Pig Pork, Apple Sauce
Leg of South-Down Mutton
Loin of Veal, with dressing
Chicken, Sauce a la Bechamel
Dupee Sugar-Cured Ham, Champagne Sauce
Leg of Mutton, Caper Sauce
Buffalo Tongue, Sauce Perigord
Roast Blue-winged Teal Duck, Dish Gravy
Saddle of Venison, with Red Currant Jelly
Roast Rocky Mountain Elk, Apple Sauce
Breast of Prairie Hen, Smothered in Oysters
Haunch of Black-faced Antelope
Quail on Toast
Breast of Spring Chicken, boiled l’Anglaise
Tenderloin of Veal, braised, aux Champignons
Coteletts Les Mutton, Petit Pois
Air Puffs, Lemon Cream Sauce
Poached Eggs, on Anchovy Toast
Loin of Venison, braised, a la Richelieu
Solmis of Giblets, a la Aberdeen
Round shoulders of Mutton, a la Financiere
Port Wine Sauce
Chicken Salad Pate de Fois Gras
Boned Turkey Ames’Sugar-Cured Ham
Mashed Potatoes Hashed Brown Potatoes
Asparagus Mushrooms with Cream
French Peas Sweet Corn
Lima Beans Tomatoes
Celery Cucumber Pickles Pickled Beets
Cold Slaw Horseradish Tomato Catsup
Green Apple Pie Mince Lemon Meringue Pie
English Plum Pudding, Brandy Sauce
Spanish Cream Chocolate Macaroons
Lemon Jelly Port Wine Jelly
Pound Cake Jelly Cream Kisses
Coconut Macaroons Chocolate Macaroons
Lady Fingers Transparent Crescents
Marble Cake Fruit Cake
Candies, Tappan House Production
Maple Cream Slices Cream Fruit Slices
Chocolate Cream Slices Chocolate Bon Bons
Nuts Fruits Raisins Tea and Coffee
Blancmange Assorted Almonds
Krug & Co., quarts L. Roderer, Carte Blanche, pints
Krug & Co., pints Ike Cook’s Imperial, q’ts,
Ay Mousseul D’Hautville, quarts
Ike Cook’s Imperial, pints
Heidsick & Co., quarts, Red Seal, quarts
Heidsick & Co., pints, Red Seal, pints.
Carte Blanche Pleasant Valley Wine Company, pints,
California Port, pints, St. Louis Imperial
American Wine Co., quarts,
Urbana Wine Co’s Imperial, pints,
California Angelica, sweet, pints.
So, you see, we Leadvillites do not hunch over our campfires, shivering in the winter’s piercing cold, reduced to devouring jerky, tinned sardines, and little else. Even as Leadville’s mines yield up their tons of silver and other precious metals, so its residents dine in as fine a manner on the holidays as any soul in San Francisco, New York, or Boston.
And, dear stranger, should you find you are in need of a nightcap or of a glass to raise in thanks to the bounty of the season, may I suggest you visit the Silver Queen Saloon, on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Second Street in our fair city. Ask for me, Mrs. Stannert. I am the proprietress of the Silver Queen, and I shall make certain that you feel at home, whether your preference is bourbon, port, champagne, whiskey or “Old Towse.”
I wish you a holiday season that brings you all you may desire, in health, wealth, and happiness. May you find them all during your visit here to Cloud City: Leadville, Colorado.
Ann Parker is a California-based science/corporate writer by day and an historical mystery writer by night. Her award-winning Silver Rush series, featuring saloon-owner Inez Stannert, is set in 1880s Colorado, primarily in the silver-mining boomtown of Leadville. The latest in her series, MERCURY’S RISE, was released November 1. Publishers Weekly says, “Parker smoothly mixes the personal dramas and the detection in an installment that’s an easy jumping-on point for newcomers.” Library Journal adds, “Parker’s depth of knowledge coupled with an all-too-human cast leaves us eager to see what Inez will do next. Encore!” Learn more about Ann and her books at http://www.annparker.net