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What's Cookin'?


In the Legends so far, quite a few expert frontier cooks have served up some delightful and hearty dishes, including stews, cakes, oatmeal, biscuits, cookies, pancakes and steaks.


In the Bright River ranching community, Amy Keaton's cooking is renown. In Cheyenne, Pat McNamara's beef stew is a firm favorite, and at Nan Morris' boarding house, dishes even come as fancy as chicken fricasse aux champignons.


Whatever the dish, at the Tank & Ferry test kitchen we are gradually testing the home-cooked favorites and keeping it simple, plus a few other surprises. Why not try out these pioneer favorites below for yourself. Prune cake and Osgood pie are among our favorites. Step by step tips and pics may be available on Blackbird Pie.

Prune Cake


Cream 1 cup of sugar and ¾ cup of butter. 

Add 3 eggs and cream the mixture again. 

Add 4 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 cup of

chopped and cooked prunes, and 4 tablespoons

of prune juice.

Sift the following dry ingredients and add

to the above mixture:

1 tsp soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

¼ tsp nutmeg

2 cups flour

½ cup chopped nuts

Bake in moderate oven for 45 minutes.


Venison Stew


4 – 5 pounds of venison

2 medium onions, sliced

½ lemon, sliced thinly

Bay leaf

6 whole cloves

10 peppercorns

1 ½ teaspoons thyme

½ cup of dry red wine

2 cups of water

Cube and trim meat. Roll in seasoned flour. Brown. Add the rest of the ingredients with ½ teaspoon of sugar. Bake covered in Dutch oven, slow oven 300° F/150° C for 2 hours. Remove from oven and let stand for 3 hours.

GRAVY: Remove meat from pan. Add 1⁄4 pound of butter. Thicken with sour cream and flour. Add water. If gravy is sour, add sugar. Strain. Add meat and bake until heated through.


Osgood Pie


1 cup pecans

1 cup raisins, cooked

1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup grape juice

5 eggs, lightly beaten

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp cinnamon

½ teaspoon allspice

Add a dash of red food coloring if you wish.

Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 400° F/200° C at start, then lower

oven to 375° F/190° C, until center of pie is firm.




2 eggs, creamed

1 cup sugar

1 cup sour milk

2 ½ teaspoons melted lard

½ teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups flour, 2 cups at a time to make a soft dough

Once ingredients are combined, roll out soft dough on lightly floured surface.

Cut with doughnut cutter. Cook in hot lard.

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