Wood-fired, horse-drawn fun
Two of the historical activities and events in the west obviously involved food and transportation... much like today. However, those tasks were not nearly as simple as we often find them now. Most meal preparation was either over/on open fires or fireplaces, or using wood cookstoves. Transportation of course involved either your own feet - or the feet of a horse or ox (except of course for the occasional - and nearly luxurious - boat ride). When not horseback, wagons, buggies, surreys and other various contraptions were hooked behind horses or oxen and pulled. One of the less common "vehicles" were sleighs.
For one whole winter, we were fortunate enough to experience both of these contraptions nearly daily. Jeff as sleigh driver and I as the cook for a prime rib dinner prepared on a massive wood cookstove and then served in a log cabin under kerosene lanterns.
In my next segment, I'll review some of the old cookstoves and how they worked, but here we'll take a look at the activity of the sleigh ride dinner and it's many parts.
So, what did the sleigh ride entail? A LOT of work, mostly. But, pretty fun too. Here's a "short" overview of how a typical day progressed.
First, I nearly always arrived at 12:30 to start preparing the meal for as many 58 guests. We serve a full prime rib dinner, and I do ALL of it. I prep the Primes, mix up the dough, start soup, all hopefully by 2pm. The next 2 hours are spent making potatoes, dessert and mushrooms. At 4pm I start "finishing" everything, moving to clean /serving pans. At 4:45, load everything into back of gator. Drive up the hill to cabin.
At the cabin, I first check the big wood cookstove & restock with wood.