After a long, hard day in the creek bed shoveling and sifting gravel, the last thing a 49’er miner wanted to do was prepare a meal. This simple fare offered a quick fix as well as a host of health problems.
Start a fire. Let the wood burn down to coals. Mix:
2 tbsp butter 1 ½ cup flour water salt onion powder 1 egg
Stir until smooth. *The batter should be thick.
Using a clean shovel, rest it in coals until hot.
A deep fire pit is NOT necessary for this recipe.
Support shovel firmly over coals. Pour batter over the blade. Use a long-handled spatula or spoon to keep it in place until the base sets.
Lightly press against batter to determine doneness.
It’s done when it feels spongy.
Click on the photo to watch a video about malnutrition during the California Gold Rush.
Finely chop potatoes.
Fry in oil till done.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Set aside to cool.
Chop or tear watercress into bite-sized pieces.
Add fresh or sun-dried tomatoes (in oil).
Dress with red wine vinegar and oil.
Top with grated cheese.
Potatoes (pull done ones out of the pot as it’s boiling – peel when cool)
Eggs (hard boiled for 12 minutes then chopped)
Dried Onions (soaked for 5 minutes)
Green Onions (chopped)
1 – Cucumber (peeled & chopped)
Sweet Pickles (chopped) or Sweet Relish
Dill Pickles (chopped)
Black Olives (chopped)
1/2 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise (full fat)
2 tsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. Milk
Combine all into a bowl. Blend dressing and mix all together.
Salt & Pepper to taste
Always a staple at family gatherings – Grandma’s potato salad. When working to reproduce the recipe ‘just like she did,’ I finally figured out the dehydrated onions and both the dill and sweet pickles combine to make those flavors that everyone thinks about in anticipation of the first bite.
…the potato salad in a wine glass…my silly ‘toast’ to Grandma…
The bowl in the image above came from Grandma’s kitchen. Whenever I pick one up to use it, my mind is filled with all of the wonderful things that were created in it throughout the years.