Food Journal of Lewis & Clark
Recipes for an Expedition by Mary Gunderson
Book Review by Cheryl Harvey Hill
for Take Country Back – Vol. 1 Issue 4 Winter 2005
named "Outstanding Book of the Year" by the
Independent Publisher's and receiving the "Benjamin
Franklin Award" from Publishers Marketing Association is a
well deserved endorsement for this delicious, pun intended,
cookbook. This isn't your average cookbook, this IS an amazingly
entertaining, educational encyclopedia based on the journals of
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The Lewis and Clark that we
all learned about in school will pale by comparison to the men
we learn about in this uniquely fascinating book.
the liner notes of the book it says, "Food fueled their
journey now let their story fire your imagination and your
appetite." Lewis and Clark wrote about food in their
journals almost every day and Mary Gunderson's authentic recipes
were inspired by their words. But it isn't just the recipes that
will keep you reading. As you follow Lewis and Clark across the
country, you discover, not only what they ate, but how they
caught, trapped, picked, found their food and how they prepared
and/or preserved it. You learn about Lewis' faithful,
Newfoundland dog and how he and Clark relied on the animal to
help feed them. I never learned in any history class in public
school about the talented, squirrel catching companion of Lewis.
Now, tell the truth, you didn't either.
how about this: 9 April 1805, Lewis wrote "when we halted
for dinner [Sacagawea] busied herself in searching for the wild
artichokes which the mice collect and deposit in large hoards
..." Then Ms. Gunderson not only gives you a recipe for
"Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes" but, before doing so,
she tells you all about this particular vegetable; it's
botanical name (Helianthus tuberosus), what food family it comes
from, what region of the country it grows in, where to find it
in your local supermarket and even offers up a photo of the
plant. If you aren't impressed with that, how about "How to
Cook a Bear" (AKA Ursus horribilis)? I bet you haven't seen
that in your Betty Crocker cookbook.
right about now you are wondering what Lewis and Clark have to
do with country music; well, it appears that a lot of country
music artists have an appreciation for good food cooked outdoors
over an open fire. Ray Price, Mark Chesnutt, Andy Griggs, John
Conlee and many others appeared with Host Johnny Nix on Campfire
Cafe's Fall Celebrity TV Series, the only open fire cooking show
on TV. Their menus were created from The Food Journal of
Lewis and Clark Cookbook which is based on recipes that are
over 200 years old. The series was filmed at the legendary Hank
Williams Estate which is now the home of Jett Williams and her
husband Keith Adkinson.
think together Mary and I have proven that folks have been
enjoying good food cooked over an open fire for centuries,"
says Nix, an avid outdoor cook for more than 25 years. "We
found these recipes to be simple, healthy and delicious by any
Wills said, "I enjoy the outdoors so much that doing this
show was a blast, a great learning experience, and a fun, new
way of cooking." His enthusiasm is shared by country
music stars and avid outdoorsmen Daryle Singletary, Rhett Akins
and Aaron Tippin, who say they are each eager to try the recipes
and open fire cooking in their own hunting camps.
forget the music. On the Lewis & Clark Expedition, fiddler
Pierre Cruzatte played tunes for his fellow travelers. Nix;s
21st century food and cooking adventurers share clips from their
music videos with Campfire Café viewers. The Food
Journal of Lewis & Clark’s Mary Gunderson, author and
food historian, agrees that this unbeatable blend of food, music
and good company brings history alive for all ages.
Café (http://www.campfirecafe.com/) airs on PBS and RFD-TV
weekly to over 100 million households. The
Lewis & Clark Celebrity Series began airing on PBS in
November of 2005 and will continue through May 21, 2006.
more information about the recipes and the spirit of the Lewis
& Clark Expedition, visit www.historycooks.com.
the book right now!
Hens with Sweet Potato Stuffing
Cornish hens (about 12 ounces
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
salt and pepper to
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
the Cornish hen on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
inside and out. Fill the cavity loosely with sweet potatoes,
letting a few sweet potatoes overflow. Brush oil on each hen.
Bake in 350 oven for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours or until the juices run
clear and the potatoes are tender. Carve the hens and serve with
the sweet potatoes.
roast on an open grill, prepare as above. Place on the side of
hot coals. Cover the grill and roast hens as above.
recipe is reprinted here with the permission from The Food
Journal of Lewis & Clark: Recipes for an Expedition by