Welcome to week 44 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome the state of Wyoming, who joined the union on July 10, 1890. Back at week 30, I accidentally made a recipe for Wyoming when I was supposed to be on Wisconsin. So I am very glad that I have kept going and we have now reached Wyoming in its legitimate place in history.
Wyoming was the sixth and final state to join the union under President Benjamin Harris. After the Enabling Act of 1889 allowed four states to seek statehood, Idaho followed by passing a state constitution, which was submitted and approved by Congress. Similarly, Wyoming decided that it wanted statehood as well, especially to insure land and water rights at the state level. As a territory, they had limited control, but as a state they could dictate how their land and water were to be used.
One of the most interesting things about Wyoming’s state constitution is that it included full voting rights for women. It was seen as a way to attract East coast women to the region, since at the time of ratification, the population was barely big enough to meet the minimum standard for statehood (which was supposed to be 60,000 people) and men outnumbered women nearly six to one. They were so progressive that they even offered delegate seats to women in the writing of the state constitution. Ultimately, the seats were given to men, but I commend them for their forward thinking.
Something that I didn’t know about Wyoming is that it is a major coal state. And as progressive as they were with women’s rights, the original state constitution banned all women from working the coal mines. It was not overturned until 1978.
And a fun fact… Devils Tower, the huge rock formation made famous in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was designated the first national monument in the U.S. on September 24, 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
In searching for a recipe this week, I found myself back where I was at week 30. But in the interim, I did manage to find the cookbook Cooking in Wyoming, which is a compilation of recipes put together by the Wyoming Recreation Commission. The version that I found was the woman’s suffrage centennial edition, circa 1969. I will say that there is some weird stuff in this cookbook. Things like Wood Chuck Pot Pie and Elk Stew with Vegetables. Yikes. Sorry folks, I am not that adventurous! But I did find an old recipe for what they call Old English Pork Pie, and although it doesn’t have a back story, it sounded pretty yummy and, well, I can find pork around here.
The result was really tasty. The filling is delicious and I love the full flavor you get from the interesting combination of spices. I would never think to put clove in a pork dish, but it really works with the other ingredients to give the dish a hearty taste. The original recipe called for much more salt than I added, probably because their pork products are not ‘brined’ like they are today and they probably used homemade stock that was not salted. So I adjusted that and I also decided to add some peas, because it just seemed to need a vegetable and I happened to have them on hand.
Overall, I give this a solid A; much better than my first attempt at Wyoming. And the cookbook, well, I am not sure I am going to rush into making Wild Game Casserole, but maybe I will flip to the dessert section and whip up some Never Fail Mahogany Cake sometime.
Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by. See you next week in Utah!
Old English Pork Pie
Recipe for Old English Pork Pie:
Pastry for a two crust pie (or you can use ready-made from the refrigerator section)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ pounds lean ground pork
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¾ cup chicken stock
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon mace
¼ cup finely chopped celery leaves
1 cup peas (I used canned)
¼ cup fine bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
In a large sauté pan, fry the onion in butter until just tender. Add the ground pork and cook, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink. Sprinkle with cornstarch; add the stock and the rest of the spices, including the celery leaves. Simmer uncovered until the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the peas. Allow mixture to cool completely (about another 30 minutes).
Roll your bottom pastry and line a glass or porcelain pie plate. Add the filling, then sprinkle the bread crumbs and top with pastry. Make steam holes and brush with the beaten egg mixed with the water.
Bake for 10 minutes in a 425°F oven. Lower the heat to 350°F and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Allow the pie to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.