Dinner In Yellowstone: 1908 – 1930


The elite underpinnings of Yellowstone National Park are worth revisiting, if only for the nostalgic value and the lessons that can be learned.

Most visitors to Yellowstone in the early days expected that the best of contemporary civilization would be available – even in the wilderness. They demanded comforts and amenities commensurate with their station in life. The Railroads and concessionaires did their best to comply. They catered to the “upper crust” and the remunerations were commensurate with the amenities.

If you were wealthy enough to be at Lake Hotel in 1908 you would be able to enjoy the following dinner, (original spellings retained.)


Tomatoe Bouillon Sago
Potage a’la Maryland


Dressed Lettuce, Sweet Gherkins,
Corn relish


Baked Lake Trout a’la bordeleise,
pomme Louise


Boiled Brisket of Beef, Fresh Horseradish Sauce
Boufalon Potatoes,
Lamb kidneys saute a’la Rachel,
Chocolate Cream Fritters,
Almond Sauce


Roast Prime Ribs of Beef au Jus
Roast Leg of Pork with Apple Sauce


Mashed Potatoes, Boiled New Potatoes
Carrotes a’la Vichy, French Green Peas


Spanish Salade


Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie Sago, Pudding Cream Sauce,
Apricot Sherbert, Assorted Cakes
Imperiant Turkish Figs


Eastern Cheese, Toasted Biscuits
Coffee, Cocoa, Tea, Milk

By 1930 elegance was rampant, and the dinner at Old Faithful Was a full seven courses: and a string quartet thrown in for good measure, (preceded by dinner music from the “crow’s nest.”)

Dinner was announced by the ringing of a bell in the lobby, and of course guests were expected to ‘dress.

No ‘walk-ins,’ no ‘general public,’ no decisions, no complaints, no waiting; just a perfectly planned and executed experience. (Original spellings retained.)

Cream of Tomato, Salt Wafers
Consomme in Tasse, Melba Toast

Sweet Pickles, Radishes, Ripe Olives


Fried Filet of Sole with Tarter Sauce
Boiled Ham with Green Spinach
Broiled Sirloin Steak Maitre de Hotel
Compot of Rice with Fresh Fruit Sauce
Chicken Fricassee with Steamed Rice


Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower au Graten,
Candied Sweet Potatoes,
Carrots Saute in Butter



Sliced Tomatoes French Dressing
Heart of Lettuce Salad 1000 Island Dressing


French, Raisin, Rye, and Wheat Bread



Maple Cream Puffs, Hot Mince Pie,
Melba Peaches, Table Apples,
Chocolate Ice Cream,
Assorted Cookies


American, Swiss or Cottage Cheese, Crackers

Coffee, Postum, Tea, Milk, Iced Tea,
Cocoa, Demi Tassee

Old Faithful Inn
Sunday, August 31, 1930
Lectures by Ranger Naturalist on the Geysers, history,
bears, etc., at Bear Feeding Grounds at 7:00 p.m.: at
Museum at 8:15 p.m.

Searchlight on Old Faithful Geyser
Time announced in lobby.

I really like the “searchlight on Old Faithful Geyser,” bit. Now, that was dinner. A single sitting, come dressed, just the members of your own class, hotel guests only, enough wait staff to present a seven course meal, a bit of music, lecture by a pet ranger, feed Yogi, and a stroll on the veranda.

And a delicious evening was had by all.


Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce


Recipes are scattered all over the web and this is just another one. I like it, the folks back home like it, my friends here like it, I hope you try it and like it too.

The Sauce: in a crock pot.


1 large Italian sweet sausage, (about 1#),
1 large Italian hot and spicy sausage, (about 1#),
1# pork shoulder, (small cubes),
1 yellow onion, chopped, (not too fine),
double handful of sliced mushrooms, (the earthier the better),
2-4 cloves of garlic, (peeled & mashed),
8-10 large tomatoes, (stemmed and halved),
1 small can tomato paste,
Oregano, Basil, salt, pepper, (to taste),
water & red wine,
Olive oil.


Quickly brown the pork shoulder in olive oil in cast iron skillet, (very hot and very quick – just the outside.) Drain on paper towels and place in crock pot on high. Squeeze sausages out of casings and mix together – crumble and brown the sausage in olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Drain on paper towels and reserve.

Prepare remaining ingredients. After 2 hours, add sausage and onion and 1/2 the tomatoes to the crock pot. After one more hour add remaining ingredients, adjust consistency with water/wine, and turn to low. Cook for 1-3 more hours, adjust seasoning and consistency with water/wine and cook with top off for last 1/2 hour to thicken.

cella-lambrusco-white.jpgNothing special about cooking the pasta; spaghetti is a good excuse for this sauce, I also like it on great big shells. Cook it to your own taste and throw it on the ceiling or cut it with your tongue, or whatever – this is personal, so do it your way. Be sure to drain the pasta well and stir in some butter and olive oil while still hot. Serve immediately!

Dad’s family always drank both red and white wine with red pasta sauces. They are both fine. I like an Italian Cella Lambrusco – white. Use red if you choose, or both like Dad did.

Spinach just made it to the interior of nowhere. I jumped all over it and we have had spinach salad, steamed spinach, raw spinach, and shredded spinach pesto, (more about that another time.)

spinach-salad.jpgMy favorite, (among favorites,) spinach salad goes like this: 1 bunch of spinach, 5-6 mushrooms, 5-6 pieces of bacon, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of half a lemon, 1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, Salt, black pepper. Cut the bacon thin, and thinly slice the garlic and mushrooms. Fry bacon and garlic in olive oil on low heat until the bacon becomes crispy, add mushrooms at the very end. Toss in the vinegar and then turn off the gas. Pour the bacon & mushrooms onto the spinach and mix well. Season it with salt and black pepper and lemon juice.

sbcake.jpgMom & I disagree about how to best enjoy strawberries. She likes them on buttermilk biscuits, I like them by the handful. If they have to be with bread, then gimme scones.

There are two recipes on the web that I’ve used. Delia’s buttermilk scones & Whole Foods’ cardamom scones. Click over there if you need a better shortcake.


There’s a gentle drizzle outside, I’m going to run around town, have some breakfast and then go fishing. Mom’s going to clean up and pack.

Back To The Stew


Mighty Mouse

The match went well, and I finished in the top five. There were 24 shooters so I’m feeling very good – especially since I was the only girl. I’ve posted a couple of targets, including the one that really messed me up. The wind and rain made shooting a challenge. There were wind shifts of at least 120 degrees and the sighter targets looked like Swiss Cheese.

I’m still waiting for ‘Hunter 2’ and I’m grateful that ‘Hunter 1’ shoots well at lower elevations. The trip was exhausting, but it got me out of the burg for a bit of time and it felt good to see some people that didn’t hate snowmobiles, didn’t want to kill all the wolves, and thought that there were bison near them too.

This was my second match shooting in hunter class. The 30’s are a bit different than the 22’s and the 6mm’s of the varmint classes. This was a full match and I also shot in the light and heavy varmint classes. The 22 PPC was right on and I finished well in light varmint. The 6 PPC just wouldn’t group and hung right in the high 4’s – scattered vertical so it wasn’t the wind.


Last Monday night was a frenzy. I got home about noon, and the whole gang was coming over at 6:00. Happily the bison stew was done and patiently waiting in the refrigerator – melding flavors over the weekend.

The recipe is simple, old fashioned, and very tasty. It’s my third try, and this time I got it right. There are three sites on the web that I drew this recipe from, and they all say about the same thing – make it the way you like it. Visit Recipes for Natural Health and look at the Bison Stew page.

Just as Kansas City beef is superior to much of the range fed beef in Texas, Wyoming, and Montana, (I know I’ll hear about that,) so too is Midwestern bison superior to free range bison of the Dakota’s and Montana – Ted Turner’s herd included, (is it cow genes?) My bison comes from Eichten’s, and they also have a bison stew recipe. If you insist on ‘grassfed’ bison, check out Grassfed Recipes for the crock pot version of the bison stew.

Despite all the warnings about over cooking bison, 10 hours in the crock pot is not too long, and 12 hours on low can be perfect.


bison-in-crock-pot-440-x-303.jpg3# very tough bison shoulder roast – 1″ cubes,
2 stringy and dry parsnips – scrubbed and sliced thick, (use potatoes if you must,)
3 big onions coarsely chopped,
A carrot or three if they are old and tough,
4-5 tomatoes quartered,
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce,
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg,
pinch of sage,
1/2 cup of red wine that you would drink,
salt & pepper to taste.


drool.gifBrown the meat in a hot cast iron skillet with no oil. Do the same with the parsnips. Put the bison in the bottom of the crock pot, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with parsnips, then carrots, then 1/2 of the onions. Splash 1/2 the wine and all of the Worcestershire sauce over the ingredients: cover and turn to high and cook for about 5 hours. good-pinot.jpgStir, add the rest of the ingredients with the tomatoes on the top and cover and cook on low for another 5-6 hours. If you like you can thicken with a bit of cornstarch and buttermilk. Serve with buttermilk biscuits; Burgundy or Merlot or a Pinot  –  a hearty beer like Charlie Otto’s Moose Drool is also good. No salad, no beans, no squash, nothing else.

We ate it all: drank some of mom’s Pinot, ( 2003 Sonoma Coast Pinot – the last three bottles in the world,) and the report looked better after dinner than it did before dinner.


Sneaky insight: Populations of Bison, Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Elk, and Mule Deer will increase during the initial stages of global warming in Yellowstone National Park. So too will populations of Wolves.

Wine & Ego


wine_bottle.jpgCan it be true? Do women have taste buds? Is wine appreciation limited to men? How far does an insight go? ALL RHETORICAL!

Fine post today in VINOGRAPHY! Men can take note – women will understand!

” . . . over 35% of men refuse to let their partner choose wine in a restaurant because they do not trust them to make the appropriate choice.”

For more exciting snobbery visit THE WINE SNOB. OR, for a pleasant way to learn to be one visit LIFE IN ITALY. Let’s all get box wines.

Just Plain Linguisa


Drove home late last night and crashed on the couch. Got up this morning with a crik-in-neck sort of problem. I must have looked a fright.

not me

Decided to have a sausage brunch before running. Used some Linguisa from friends in Boise. There is a large community of Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish people in Boise. The sausage is simple and very good

* 2 tablespoons salt
* 1/2 tablespoon sugar
* 2 tablespoons fine chopped garlic
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 teaspoons ground pepper
* 2 teaspoons marjoram
* 2 teaspoons oregano
* 5 pounds pork butt
Rough cut the meat, add dry spices and grind on 3 1/6 plate. Let sit overnight in cooler. Then next day add vinegar and mix well. Stuff into casing. Roast in oven or smoke, or make patties and pan roast. Or, leave in refrigerator for a week and fry it up.

ling-ooo.JPGThe simplest traditional preparation is to just cut the sausage on the bias, lam-jj.JPGfry in cast iron skillet with chunks of green pepper and tomato. Serve over torn pieces of toast – grease and all.

Since it was 10:30 by the time I got everything organized it seemed appropriate to fotify my soul with a traditional drink. “Fratelli CELLA Lambrusco Di Modena” was available and was served over ice.


It’s snowing (very lightly,) for a change. I’m going to the park tomorrow {the draft and model is done and pre-approved!} Then I have to organize the loading bench for the mad rush of getting enough ammunition for next season. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn to tie flies – time – time – time.

It’s Cold Again; I’ll Post Again



My little sidebar widget is finding numbers that are outside of my normal experience. I enjoy the numbers but it sure is cold outside. Exercise of the lungs accompanies exercise of the muscles.

This post is in response to the queries I encountered at the gathering in my crowded little living space last Saturday night. The NPS finds me just a bit too strident, some others think that I lack political tact – both are consensus opinions of those that don’t appreciate data and the science behind it.

They ask for the data and then ignore it. They have an agenda and need justification and rationalization. They pay for & get data, facts, models and projections. Ask and ye shall recieve – No apologies.


Here are a few of the necessary formulae for finding out just how polluted Yellowstone National Park really is. References follow. I’d rather be fishing.

formula-370-x-53.jpgThe roadway dispersion model. This is the theory: an infinite straight line with the height of the observer accounted for in the observation. The observer can move up to encounter different wind vectors. This was the elegant model developed by CalTrans in response to the EPA. It accounts for a lot of the roadway design that you see in California.


This is the standard “Complete Equation For Gaussian Dispersion Modeling Of Continuous, Buoyant Air Pollution Plumes”:

. formula.JPG

f = crosswind dispersion parameter
g = vertical dispersion parameter =
g1 = vertical dispersion with no reflections
g2 = vertical dispersion for reflection from the ground
g3 = vertical dispersion for reflection from an inversion aloft
C = concentration of emissions, in g/m³, at any receptor located:
x meters downwind from the emission source point
y meters crosswind from the emission plume centerline
z meters above ground level
Q = source pollutant emission rate, in g/s
u = horizontal wind velocity along the plume centerline, m/s
H = height of emission plume centerline above ground level, in m
σz = vertical standard deviation of the emission distribution, in m
σy = horizontal standard deviation of the emission distribution, in m
L = height from ground level to bottom of the inversion aloft, in m
exp = the exponential function


The winter situation is modified by temperature and density factors that must be accounted for by the model. The best adjustments come from the study performed by Sonoma Technology in Petaluma, California.

Because different models are stipulated for various purposes, a suite of results is generated for the study. The easiest way to explore the models is to go to the compiled models page.

And the The Oklahoma Dispersion Model

Wikipedia does a surprisingly good job of introducing people to Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling. The page has an excellent assortment of links.

It’s necessary to appreciate that point-instant modeling is a far cry from predictive reality in the face of the rapid changes taking place in our environment. The most surprising thing about the Government is that different agencies seem to fear talking to each other. Much of what the NPS is paying for could have been extrapolated from existing data.

Try the EPA Page on climate change, and look at the box about climate change – Past, Recent, Future.


pretz.jpgOnce we got done exploring ignorance the gathering went along swimmingly. Soft pretzels and a mild horseradish-mustard dip sharpened the taste buds for the dinner. The several white wines that we consumed before we sat down were absolutely unremarkable.

roast-lol.jpgDinner was catered by the one decent restaurant in town and consisted of: roast leg of lamb, (with red currant dressing, roasted carrots, potatoes, squash, & NO mint,) white Lima beans, fried eggplant, pineapple upside down cake – in lieu of salad, and several kinds of fresh baked rolls and bread.

chianti.jpgThere were two wines to choose from. A Chianti – Villa Antinori Toscana Tuscany, and a Chardonnay – Rodney Strong, Chalk Hill from the Russian River. The Chardonnay tasted like sour Granny Smith Apples and was way too green. Most of the guests chose it.

I liked the Chianti. It was a bit soft and lacked too much pepper, (which I normally like but this was good with the lamb.) There was a definite berry taste and a mellow finish. It asked for more and I obliged.

Desert was vanilla ice cream, Galliano, and coffee from the local coffee grinder. Everyone was gracious and left by midnight. It was only 28 below zero and they wanted to get home before it got cold.


As if the cold temperatures in West Yellowstone weren’t enough to bring cogitation about Global Warming, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is busy showing us the other kind of alterations to expect in our weather disruptions.

” Last week I saw robins and bluebirds in upstate New York where they don’t usually arrive before April. Crocuses and daffodils were in bloom everywhere. A friend ate asparagus he harvested in the normally frozen Catskills in the first week of January. Turtles in downstate New York, like bears in Scandinavia, forgot to hibernate for the first time in human history.”

. . . Read More


Another Mental Health Day


headbrain.jpgI’ve got a couple of days left here and just needed to unwind. So, of all the stupid things, I’ve eschewed the beach and parked myself in front of the computer.

The world’s news and condition, (aside from headlines and sound bites,) is really encapsulated in weblogs. From the mundane to the monumental – they come and they go, (where is the Budget Wine Babe? – lost in Napa?) But, they continue to reflect a mostly male dominated activity. That’s not bad – just the way it seems to me.

mf.jpgI wonder if it’s a cultural thing or if it’s something in the way we’re wired? Do women have much to say about what is going on? Are our topics just too domestic and mundane? Do we care about different things, in different ways? Jeeze, I don’t know. The idiosyncrasies of a blog are certainly reflective of our personalities, interests, desires, perspectives, and intellectual curiosities. They are also wrapped up in both ego and financial satisfactions.

Is our projection of our persona self aggrandizing, or is it selfless sharing. Probably neither 100%. Are we convincing anybody of anything or just sharing information? Who knows? What are the personal consequences of spreading oneself across the Internet. Reflection on this can lead to some interesting conjecture. The impersonality of it all guarantees some sort of fantasy perception of the self. THE MUSINGS GROW!

I’ve gotten into the habit of aiming a few clicks at a few favorite blogs, and find that there are just a few that keep popping up. It’s a mostly habitual activity, and on days like this provide insight into my own interests and curiosities. Some of them are even written by women.


yogabeach.jpgFrom Rochester, Minnesota comes a blog – Driftless Skies – that is unassuming, down to earth, folksy, and just plain ‘real.’ The flyfisher there is at about the same stage of exploration that I am and I feel a genuine kinship. A brand new $5 rod is being used for the opening of the winter season. No artifice or snobbery here. From the family to the weather to some poetry this blog is genuine.

Verbena-19 gets under my skin. It haunts me with its continuous probing of the human condition and behavior on this too, too small planet. The view from Canada is always refreshing and, in this case poignantly disturbing. I wonder why I keep checking?

Small Dead Animals also get under my skin. It’s also Canadian. It’s also full of insight and perspective. The breadth of this blog is mind-blowing. Real concern and information just ooze from the posts. What is it about Canada? It was a quote on this site that caused this rumination in the first place . . . “Bloggers will continue to believe they are supplanting the mainstream media, when – in fact – the data will show that the growth and influence of blogs is waning:” . . . Check it out.

Persistence, regularity, consistency, and genuine “Old School” insight always comes from the weblog of Dave Richey. It’s obviously written for guys, but it’s also obviously from the heart. This is the way Dad felt. Me too, some times.

My neighbor back in West Yellowstone is training for the Iditarod. I always check Klondike Dreams for his progress. It’s all about dogs. And it’s all about desire and will and dedication. Just imagine; over 1,100 miles on a dog sled. In the cold. In the wild. In the day. In the night. What can be the force that drives these people?

Reel Women, commercial fly fishing for women – and mighty interesting too. Next season’s schedule looks to be the best offering in quite a few years. It’s expensive, alluring, educational, expensive, fun, diverse, and expensive. I think I’ll go.

“SERIOUS BLOGGING” is what CUSS is all about. The Campaign for Unshaved Snatch. reaches out and grabs me each time that I click on it. She’d shit if I meant that literally. This weblog is not as irreverent as the title would imply – but it’s irreverent enough. It’s not just under my skin – it’s under my scalp as well.

“Close on the Season of Goodwill comes the Season of Coughs and Colds and Sneezes.” You tell ’em girl! Mountainear is a weblog about “The high spots of life from the top of a very low mountain.” From Great Britain comes one of the most genuine and insightful life tales – ongoing and authentic. I hope this one doesn’t disappear.

beaujolaisposter.jpgAfter reading some posts about the Nouveau wines, I vowed to get some back in Bozeman. Blew That! But, thankfully, the kids down here dragged me to the Isla Vista village market and Trader Joe’s.

We gathered up a large sample of the “newbies,” as they call them down here. I’d provide a review but they were all opened at once and consumed willy-nilly. Drinkable. winewall.jpgAll that by way of saying that I frequently click on the Winehiker-Witiculture weblog. It has some precise, topical posts. And, like all good things seems to be getting better with age.

And, never to be missed, is “F-Words.” Straight from Moscow comes this weblog that roars about feminism and English muffins within a few lines. This is just about as jolting and entertaining and serious as it gets. If I just want the English muffins I click on over to Orexia. After all, to steal a quote, “If we have to eat three times a day, we might as well make it a good experience.”


winter-beach.jpgA flock of gulls blew in last night and are raising a real ruckus outside. Maybe I’ll go to the beach after all. I feel a song coming on . . . “Windbreakers On The Beach” . . .

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