A Real Taste Of Rim Country


Rim Country residents and visitors who want a real taste of the historic Rim Country need to get down to the Northern Gila County Historical Society museum between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10.

The NGCHS is hosting a book signing for Jayne Peace Pyle, author of Git A Rope Publishing’s latest release, “Recipes from Anna Mae’s Kitchen.”

The book includes recipes the late Anna Mae Deming started collecting in the 1930s and also some that Peace Pyle added. It also includes Deming’s family story, as told by her, and some of her family photos.

“It is meant to be a book in honor of Anna Mae and it is also to honor the State’s Centennial — I know she would love that,” said Peace Pyle.


Anna Mae's Kitchen

At the book signing, members of the NGCHS will serve small slices of lemon pie made from the recipe handed down from Deming’s mother. 

Peace Pyle said the purpose of the book was:

• To publish the old recipes that Anna Mae Deming began collecting from her neighbors — people like Lena Chilson, Theresa Boardman and Julia Randall — when she got married in 1933.

“She continued to collect the recipes of family and friends throughout the years and when she passed away in 2008, I inherited the recipes. The oldest recipes are hand-written, of course, which makes them more historic and more interesting to me. I scanned copies of some of the oldest recipes so the readers could enjoy them. I felt these old recipes needed to be shared,” said Peace Pyle. 

• To publish old photos of Anna Mae Deming and her family — and photos of some of the women who gave her the recipes. Anna Mae had quite a collection of photos. She wanted to write a book and use the photos of her family at the Tonto Natural Bridge, at their Star Valley ranch, and at their home in Payson, but she ran out of time. “I wanted to finish a task Anna Mae had begun because I felt it was so worthwhile,” Peace Pyle said.

• To furnish a vehicle for Anna Mae Deming to tell her own family story. She was deeply rooted in Gila County. On her father’s side, she was a descendant of David Gowan (credited with the Anglo discovery of the Natural Bridge) and the Ogilvie and Goodfellow families. Davy Gowan was living in this area in 1874. The Ogilvies and Goodfellows came to America from Scotland in the 1890s. On her mother’s side, Anna Mae was a granddaughter of John and Margaret (Stark) Lazear, some of the first Mormon settlers of Pine who came here about 1881. 

• “I wanted to honor Anna Mae in some way and I thought this would be something she would appreciate. And since she was such a patriotic person, I thought it was fitting to honor Arizona’s Centennial at the same time. She would be so proud. State Historian Marshall Trimble wrote the foreword to the book,” said Peace Pyle.  

“I think Anna Mae needed to be honored and remembered because she was a great historian for this area. She literally kept trunks of articles and photos of people, plus she wrote a lot of articles on other people. Of course, she did a lot of the writing of the Rim Country History book, which laid a lot of groundwork for other historians. My husband, Jinx Pyle, and I are very thankful for all of her historical work. I am so thankful that Anna Mae was chosen as an Arizona Culture Keeper — she was truly deserving,” Peace Pyle said.

The recipes Peace Pyle thought were the most interesting were the ones she put in the Mexican food section. “Those women had to make everything from scratch — things have come a long way. The section on sandwiches is also interesting. It tickled me to read all the different sandwiches Anna Mae and her siblings could make. This was after their mother had died. And I also was fascinated by the cake recipes — cake recipes changed a lot during the 1940s and 1950s. And I loved her brother Bill’s recipe for biscuits. Honestly, I really enjoyed all of the recipes and I am happy I completed this book in honor of Anna Mae.” 

The book, “Recipes from Anna Mae’s Kitchen,” is Jayne Peace Pyle’s tenth book. She is now working on three others: “The Tonto Natural Bridge,” due to release in October 2011; “Women of the Pleasant Valley War,” due to release in January 2012; and “Little Doe,” a novel and sequel to her first work of fiction, Muanami. She and her husband are also working on the “Early History of Payson” in honor of Arizona’s Centennial, which is due to be released in 2012.

“Jinx and I are looking forward to the 2011 Arizona Culture Keeper event in Scottsdale in September. Both of us are Arizona Culture Keepers. I serve on the State Culture Keeper Committee and Jinx performs at the annual events. We love history and are so thankful to all of those who help preserve it,” she said. 

The books cost $15 each and are available at the Rim Country Museum gift shop and Sue Malinski’s Western Village. For a check or money order of $18, mailed to Git A Rope Publishing, P.O. Box 35, Payson, AZ 85547 the book will be shipped right out. 

Here are a few samples of the recipes to be found in “Recipes from Anna Mae’s Kitchen.”

Cold Spaghetti Salad

1 pound dry spaghetti

1 medium red onion

2 cucumbers

2 green peppers

2 tomatoes

1, 16-ounce bottle Wishbone Italian dressing

1/2 or 2/3 bottle McCormick’s Salad Supreme

Boil spaghetti, drain and rinse in cold water. Chop vegetables while pasta comes to a boil. Add dressing and Salad Supreme to rinsed pasta, mix well and then add chopped vegetables; mix again and refrigerate.

Meat Loaf

2 eggs

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup minced onion

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup soft breadcrumbs

2 pounds ground beef

Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in ketchup, water, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and breadcrumbs. With a fork, mix ground beef with other ingredients. Mold into loaf and on a rack in a pan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until juices run clear. Drain the fat. Remove foil and coat top and sides of loaf with ketchup and brown sugar and return to oven to broil for a few minutes.

Anna Mae’s Texas Sheet Cake

In a large mixing bowl, mix:

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil together:

2 cubes of margarine

1 cup water

4 tablespoons cocoa

Then add to the first mixture while hot.

Mix together:

2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon soda

Add to the first two mixtures. Pour into a large sheet cake pan; bake 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees.


Bring to a boil together:

1 cube margarine

6 tablespoons canned milk

4 tablespoons cocoa

Pour into 1-pound of powdered sugar. Add 1 cup nuts and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat together and frost while hot on hot cake.


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