Thnk you, it is great to be here!
It was very challenging to research this cookbook because ther was not a lot written about food two centuries ago. Thank goodness for the internet! There are several excellent websites where you can buy old, out of print books and I bought about 200 hundred for my research. I can't tell you how enjoyable it was to spend a winter in front of the fireplace with a pot of tea and my kitty on my lap pouring through old manuscripts.
I started with the original seven volume set of the Journals of Lewis and Clark which are incredibly rich with food references. The Corps main occupation was hunting and gathering food to sustain them through their incredible journey so they record exactly how many deer, buffalo, elk, bear, wolves, fowl, dogs, horses, and hundreds of other small animal and fish they killed and cooked. They also recorded in great detail the foods they traded for with the many Indian Tribes that helped sustain them throughout their trek. They discussed how dishes were prepared, how they made salt on the Oregon Coast for their return journey, and how the Indians prepared their foods. Each man consumed nine pounds of meat a day when it was available because of their astonishing physical requirments of rowing, walking, and riding across the continent and back. Absolutely fascinating!
Then I read all of Jefferson's voluminous writings on his passinate curiosity and love of good food and gardening. In these books I would find references to contemporaries and track down anything written by them.
I also bought old cookbooks and reprints of old cookbooks to develope the recipes accurately. The variety of foods enjoyed back then suprised me and I was delighted with trying quaint recipes such as crepes which was called: "A Quire of Paper Pancakes".
Each recipe in my book has a quote from one of the writings of Lewis, Clark, Jefferson, or a contemporary regarding an ingrediant in the recipe as well as a headnote describing the recipe.