This Day…

1867- Richmond, Missouri- the James-Younger gang ride into town shooting their weapons and whooping like drunken cowboys as they rob the Hughes and Wasson Bank. Pedestrians ran in all directions while six men –Jesse and Frank James, Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger, and James White-broke down the locked front door of the bank. The bandits stuffed $4,000 into a wheat sack and then raced to the street to their horses.

This Day…

1858- Pleasanton , Kansas- the Marais Des Cygnes River at in Linn County is the site of a confrontation between pro slavery (“Border Ruffians”) and abolition (free-state) forces. The five victims of the massacre were immortalized as martyrs in the cause for freedom. This massacre was the last significant display of mob rule in Kansas.

This Day…

1876- Norwegian Jon Torsteinson was born in 1827 and died on this day after a four-day illness. Jon later changed his name to John Thompson. He later became known as Snowshoe Thompson, the intrepid skiing mail carrier of the High Sierras in the late 1856 when he made the run between Placerville, California and Carson City, Nevada on skis (snow shoes had been recommended to him) in three days carrying a sixty pound sack of mail. Snowshoe Thompson continued this for the next twenty years.

This Day…

1887- Arizona Territory- the Tombstone Epitaph reports a volcanic eruption and an earthquake in the Dragoon Mountains.

This Day…

1827-Fort Leavenworth, first known as Cantonment Leavenworth, was established by Col. Henry Leavenworth on the Missouri River’s right bank of Salt Creek as an army post to protect the western frontier and travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. 1829 Sublette’s pack-train, en route West by way of Independence, Missouri for the first time traveled out the Santa Fe Trail some distance before turning northwest toward the Kansas river. This became the established Oregon-California trail route.

Sandra Dallas’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

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The stress of my weight loss resolution led to relentless binge eating. I’m not complaining. After making Sandra Dallas’s blueberry coffee cake recipe I needed to generously sample the goods. I couldn’t have done that if I was sticking to some boring resolution. If I’d had any coffee cake left I would have taken some to church yesterday to share. Who am I kidding? I planned on NOT having any left to take to church yesterday.

I love food and I hate to exercise. I figure by the time I make all the recipes in the Western Writers of America Cookbook: Favorite Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Writing Wisdom I’ll look like Bib the Michelin Man. When I think about it, the only exercise that has ever worked for me is occasionally getting up in the morning and jogging my memory to remind myself of exactly how much I hate to exercise. I tried running. I hated it. I hear walking can make a difference. I don’t think that’s entirely true. If it’s so good for you why does my mailman look like Jabba the Hut with a quirky thyroid?

I joined a health club once, but everything there seemed too complicated. There’s nothing quite as humiliating as finishing a thirty-minute workout on a piece of gym equipment only to have the instructor tell you you’ve been sitting on it backward. So, there’s nothing left to do but continue making the rest of the recipes in the Western Writers of America Cookbook: Favorite Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Writing Wisdom and not worry about anything else. Next up, I tackle Sandra’s zucchini bread recipe and look into whether or not the Michelin tire man has a clothing line for women.

The Western Writers of America Cookbook: Favorite Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Writing Wisdom is filled with more than 150 recipes, anecdotes, and stories from some of America’s most popular writers and personalities, this collaborative effort has a writers sensibility and a Western point of view. Including recipes for drinks, appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and fun extras—as well as stories from and profiles of the contributors, this is both a Western book and a cookbook that moves beyond the genre.

The Western Writers of America Cookbook was edited by Nancy Plain and Sherry Monahan. Nancy Plain is an award-winning writer of biographies and histories for readers of all ages. Sherry Monahan has her own column (Frontier Fare) in and is a contributing editor for True West magazine.



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This Day…

1878- Texas- Jim Murphy and his father are arrested for harboring the Sam Bass Gang. Jim cuts a deal with Texas Ranger Major John B. Jones, in which Murphy pretends to join the gang and tell the law where they are hiding out. Sam Bass was suspicious but was talked out of killing Jim Murphy by Frank Jackson.

This Day…

1868- Fort Laramie, Wyoming- Negotiations begin to end the war with Red Cloud. Red Cloud said he would talk peace with the departure of troops from the Powder River region. General Sherman arrives at the conference with orders to abandon the posts that had been established in the region, in return for cessation of Indian raids. Sherman receives signatures from only the minor chiefs.