Writing Tips       Medieval History       Ancient Rome       Architecture       Old West       Travel       Vocabulary                                                 

Video Review - American Heroes Channel - America: Facts or Fiction - Fool's Gold



America: Facts or Fiction - Season 2 Episode 1: Fool's Gold

Release date: October 7, 2014

Description:

"The real facts behind America's biggest economic boom and biggest bust will shock you. On this episode of America: Facts vs. Fiction, discover a treasure of nuggets about the California gold rush and the Stock Market Crash of 1929."

Highlights:

The first gold rush in North America was in 1799 in North Carolina.

The second gold rush in North America was in 1828 in Georgia

The third gold rush in North America was in 1849 in California (the Gold Rush we all know about and learned in school)

Over 50,000 people hit the trail in 1849 to go find gold and "strike it rich" (although most did not). The first arrivals could find gold in pans in the rivers but within months the gold was harder to find.

One in five died of diseases, accidents or violence within the first six months.

One in four miners (25%) came from outside the U.S.

Arsonists would burn hotels, etc to get the gold left behind in mattresses

The frenzy of the gold rush ends around 1860.

You may be able to find this video on the American Heroes Channel (https://www.ahctv.com/) or on YouTube. Otherwise, you can purchase it on Amazon:

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Indian Tipi - Foods - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome back to our weekly Historical Tidbit Blog Column!

Reginald and Gladys Laubin's book is a wealth of information as they actually lived in the tipis they built and recreated the lifestyle including following the cooking methods and recipes used traditionally by nomadic Native Americans. Not all Indian tribes ate the same foods depending on where they lived, the tools they had available, etc. Once they moved onto reservations, some adopted a farming way of life while others were provided government rations, thereby changing a lot of the foods and meals with which they were familiar.

Here are some of the more common foods/meals:

Ash Cake - corn meal cake and dried berries wrapped in sweet leaves and baked in hot ashes
Bean Bread - (Cherokees/Eastern Indians) corn meal and beans wrapped in a large grape leaf then boiled
Camas - the bulbs could be eaten raw or were roasted in a pit oven, dried, and mashed into dough. The roots were edible (the ones with blue flowers only). The camas with yellow or cream-colored flowers were poisonous.
Corn Dodgers - dough rolled into cylinders and deep fried in fat
Fry Bread - plain flour dough fried to a golden color
Journey Cake - commonly mistaken for "Johnny Cake"; a corn meal cake
Marrow Guts - intestines heavily coated with fat and broiled over coals
Pumpkins
Roasting Ears - ears of corn (green) left in husks and roasted across hot coals
Scipio beans - pinkish beans; cooked
Squash - several varieties including Acorn Squash

Source:
"The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use" by Reginald and Gladys Laubin
ISBN#0-8061-2236-6

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Indian Tipi - Cooking - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome back to our weekly Historical Tidbit Blog Column!

I took a few weeks off to research some more juicy tidbits and info for you and for my current WIPs (works in progress). Hope you enjoy!

Every family cooked for themselves and sometimes for their related immediate family members who may not live in the same tipi. A warrior was responsible for feeding his family by hunting the meat (buffalo, deer, rabbits, etc).

Several different methods were used, depending on the meal and/or the food being served. Families had limited amounts of dishes as they moved place to place depending on the season. So, oftentimes, they came up with creative ways to cook food with little to no pots.

One method was cooking in the ground (a "pit oven"). A hole would be dug into the ground and lined with sweet leaves. Chicken or ham, potatoes, corn, carrots or onions would be set in the hole and covered with leaves. Hot coals from the fire were placed on top of these leaves. A canvas or skin was laid over the hole. Embers might be shoveled on top of that. Finally, a layer or dirt to "enclose" the heat. All of this was left alone for several hours to cook. One can imagine this might be a gritty meal. Interestingly, a lot of other cultures use this same method today (google cooking pig in a pit).

Another method of cooking used is broiling. A stand containing a rack of ribs or other meal was set next to a hot fire or speared onto sticks and set directly over coals.

Many families owned an iron kettle (via trade with settlers) or at least a buffalo paunch (stomach) that was tied to a frame and used like a large bowl. It was filled with water, vegetables and meat. Stones were heated in a fire then dropped into the water to cause it to boil. Food could then simmer and cook.

One of the key methods of preparing food involved drying (or jerking) meat. This was important for wandering tribes as they needed to be able to eat while they hunted and travelled. Meat was stretched out and dried in the hot afternoon sun. At night, it would be piled up on clean canvas and covered so it wouldn't absorb moisture (which could lead to mold). It could be eaten hard or softened with a little water. Old jerky could be used in soups.

Source:
"The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use" by Reginald and Gladys Laubin
ISBN#0-8061-2236-6

Western Word of the Week - Boot-Black Cowpuncher - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Boot-Black Cowpuncher - a humorous term for a man who came from the East to get into the cattle business. "Boot-Black" referred to the shiny, polished boots that weren't yet broken-in from the hard work of cattle ranching.

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Word of the Week - Big Scissor-Bill - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Big Scissor-Bill - described someone who didn't do their work very well

Scissorbill is also a term for an incompetent person.

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Word of the Week - Caverango - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Caverango - Spanish term for a wrangler

Other terms include "horse-wrangler" or "hostler"

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Video Review - American Heroes Channel - America: Facts or Fiction - The New World



America: Facts or Fiction - Season 1 Episode 7: The New World

Release date: August 14, 2013

Description:

"There is more to the explorers who discovered America than we have been told. On the next episode of America's Facts Vs. Fiction learn Christopher Columbus never stepped foot in North America and Hernán Cortés didn't defeat the Aztecs by himself."

Highlights:

Christopher Columbus was an English translation to his name and he did not go by that name during his lifetime.
There is no consensus to what his name really was and could have been Cristoforo Columbo (Italian) or Cristobal Colon (Spanish)
Greek philosopher Eratothenese proved the Earth was round back in 240 BC. Despite what many think, Columbus did not sail West to prove the Earth was round.
King Ferdinand approved Columbus's voyage and was funded with private investors.
Columbus's ship "Pinta" meant "the painted one" (also, a term to describe a prostitute). We'll assume that was his investor's choice.
He kept 2 log books. One with the actual nautical miles and another with shorter distances.
There was a reward (of 10,000 maravedis) to the first person to spot land. Rodrigo De Triana spotted land first but Columbus took the credit.
Columbus landed in the Bahamas where they met friendly Indians. They discovered pineapple, turkey, hammocks and tobacco.
Hernan Cortes lands in Mexico (1519) illegally (without permission). He meets natives who are angry with the powerful Aztec tribes (and the dictator Montezuma) and they agree to help him attack.
Cortes sank his own ships to keep his crew members from deserting.
Smallpox killed most of the natives.

You may be able to find this video on the American Heroes Channel (https://www.ahctv.com/) or on YouTube. Otherwise, you can purchase it on Amazon:

Western Word of the Week - Riding Sign - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Riding Sign - when a cowboy rode the range following the "sign" (track) of an animal that stayed too far.

When an animal didn't leave enough tracks, they were said to be following a "blind trail" or "cold trail".

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Word of the Week - Outsiders - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Outsiders - cowboys who rode "outside" the boundaries of the ranch (keeping an eye on stray cattle or other trouble)

Similar to a "line-rider" who patrolled an actual boundary of the ranch

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Word of the Week - Renegade Rider - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Renegade Rider - a cowboy who would go searching for stray cows, especially during round-ups

Other terms include "rep" (as he represented the ranch/brand), or "strayman"

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Word of the Week - Feeder - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Feeder - someone who would ride out on the range during winter and toss hay bales from a stack to help feed the livestock.

Also called a "hay-shoveler".

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9

Western Word of the Week - Miller - #WesternWordoftheWeek #WesternWednesdays

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...or, as I affectionately call it, Western Wednesdays!

Miller - a person who repaired windmills

Other terms include "mill-rider" or "windmiller"

Source:
Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams; ISBN#0-618-08349-9