Official Historian, Author Offers 1920s Cookbook



Official town historian and author Jayne Peace-Pyle, recently named as one of the states "Culture Keepers" with her husband Jinx Pyle, is releasing a new book, "Cooking for Zane Grey Under the Tonto Rim" as part of the celebration marking the opening of the replica of Zane Grey's cabin in Green Valley Park.

"It is a historical cookbook. Almost half and half. Of course, I don't have Zane Grey's recipes, so I have included the recipes of some of the people living under the Tonto Rim from 1918 to 1929 who knew Zane Grey and cooked for him," Peace-Pyle said.

"He visited most all of the people, as he was looking for characters for the books he was writing, and I think he found quite a few characters under the Tonto Rim."

She said the book includes short histories and photos on each of the families.

"I could never get all of the families, but some of the ones included are: Babe Haught, John Haught, Pete Haught, Pink Haught, Henry "Pappy" Haught, Floyd Pyle, Elwood Pyle, Andrew Ogilvie, Jase Anderton, Effie Hunt Hubbard, and more. There is a special section on sorghum, which includes a story by Raymond Cline."

Peace-Pyle said her new book includes what crops these people grew and how they got them to market.

"By knowing their crops, we know what foods they ate. The recipes include ones the women would have used while serving a dinner to Zane Grey in their homes, and camp cooking, which was done by the men," she said.

The book will sell for $15. It will be released Oct. 15 at the Zane Grey Cabin Dedication.

Here are a few recipes that will be included in the cookbook:

Old Fashioned Eggsparagus

Asparagus grew wild under the Tonto Rim. It was a welcome sight each spring.

The early settlers ate it raw, and cooked it in many ways. This was one of their favorites.

1 pound fresh asparagus

Boiling salted water

4 eggs, separated

2 tablespoons milk or cream

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Salt and pepper to taste

Trim asparagus; cook in boiling salted water until stalks are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and arrange in a lightly-greased 13 x 9-inch shallow baking dish.

Beat egg whites to a stiff froth. Fold in beaten egg yolks, milk or cream, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture evenly over asparagus.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Old-Fashioned Baked Apple Butter

People living under the Tonto Rim grew tons of apples. Apple butter was a favorite of many.

8 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup cider

2-1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large kettle, bring chopped apples and cider to a rapid boil. Reduce heat and simmer until apples are soft, probably about 20 minutes. Strain apple pulp through a sieve. Blend sugar into hot pulp. Mix in spices. Pour into a baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour. Stir frequently until apple butter is thick enough for spreading. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Put in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Note: The pioneer cooks didn't always have all of the above spices. Most of the time, cinnamon was their only spice. Also, if you make this apple butter, it is best to cover it loosely with foil while it is baking.

Roast Chicken and Stuffing

Capture a 3- to 4-pound chicken and assist in its demise. Clean and singe it. Remove the pin feathers. Wash and wipe it clean. Now stuff it and truss it. Rub the outer surface of the chicken with a mixture of flour and softened butter, salt and pepper. Place it in a roasting pan with a little chicken fat or bacon drippings. Place in a hot oven. When the bird is well browned on one side, baste it real good with its fat and turn it over on the other side so as to brown it well all over. Reduce the heat to a moderate oven and keep on basting it until the chicken is well browned and tender. A 3-pound chicken takes about 40 minutes to roast.

Stuffing for the Chicken:

Chop one large onion real fine. Fry in half-cup melted butter until soft. Soak a loaf of stale white bread, broken in pieces, in as much water as it will absorb without becoming too soft and squeeze dry. Add the bread to the onion. Add a few bacon trimmings, a little salt and pepper, and a beaten egg. Stir mixture over fire until dressing is dry. Remove from fire, add finely chopped parsley, then stuff into chicken.

Town of Payson Historians Jinx Pyle and Jayne Peace-Pyle have written seven books, five of them being local history books: "Rodeo 101 -- History of the Payson Rodeo," "Looking Through the Smoke," "History of Gisela Arizona," "Calf Fries and Cow Pies," "Blue Fox," "Muanami -- Sister of the Moon," and "Mountain Cowboys." "Cookin' For Zane Grey Under the Tonto Rim" by Jayne Peace will be released Oct. 15 at the Zane Grey Cabin Dedication and Western Heritage Festival.

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