Sunday, May 07, 2006

Barbary Coast Kitchen III

For the third installment of our "eating local, historically" month, Cranky whipped up a skilletful of Hangtown Fry.
Hangtown is the old Forty-Niners' name for what is now Placerville (less than 100 miles from here, which is amusing, but beside the point). The story goes that a miner got lucky during the Gold Rush and decided to splurge on dinner. He asked the waiter what were the most expensive items on the menu. Eggs and oysters, as it turned out. (And I suspect the oysters were canned and trucked in from back east.) "OK, make me something with those," said the miner.
Another version has the waiter adding bacon to the list of expensive comestibles, and you'll see recipes for Hangtown Fry topped with crumbled bacon.
We added a little chopped spinach to the eggs before they went into the pan, just because it sounded pretty (and nutritious).
It was good.
But it was not expensive.
Almost forgot to take a picture.

Sources: Oysters from Tomales Bay, CA, purchased at Whole Foods. Spinach and spring onion from Star Route Farms, Marin County, CA. Eggs from Triple T Ranch, Santa Rosa, CA. Bacon from Black Sheep Farm, Occidental, CA. Oysters were dusted with whole-wheat flour from Full Belly Farm, Guinda, CA, and fried in bacon fat.


Greg said...

I just figured out the fire wall my daughter installed has kept me from commenting by withholding the word verification. Good job on your eat local challenge. I don't have determination to follow the program.

cookiecrumb said...

Thanks, Greg. It's not hard in Marin, but you do need to create a program and stick with it. I suspect a whole lot of your diet is local already, just from shopping at the farmers market, etc.
I'm writing up a post for on the fact that it takes more than locale to succeed; it also takes time (and as you said, determination).

Kevin said...


The oysters may well have been fresh -- and shipped from New York. They were shipped all over the country when rail service appeared.

Dagny said...

Once more I am drooling. Maybe I shouldn't have skipped breakfast.

kudzu said...

C'mon, you Locavores! Surely those were Pacific oysters eaten by the Forty Niners. Native Americans left piles of shells up and down the coast. Just ask the guys at Hog Island or the Johnson folks on Tomales Bay.

cookiecrumb said...

Dagny skipped breakfast?? Call the paramedics! :D
Oh, right, Kevin, they had ice... Probably so.
Kudzu: I doubt Marin oysters were making their way to Placerville. Indians availed themselves of them, surely, but it probably wasn't a bidness yet for the rest of California. However, SF Bay oysters: Possibly. They're gone now, alas.