February 25, 2016

Wyoming

Statehood: July 10th, 1890 (44/50)

I dated a boy who had once lived in Jackson, and he cured his colds and flus "the Wyoming way" - which he described as drinking a lot of whiskey then cranking up the heat to sweat the sickness out while he slept.

Disclaimer here about how you probably shouldn't do this.

(Although it isn't the craziest idea - when I get sick, I'm convinced that a high calorie diet and long-distance running helps me.)

Wyoming is fascinating for so, so many reasons. And now I realize it's one of the places in the U.S. I think I'd like to visit the most. Besides their involvement with the Oregon Trail and the natural beauty of Yellowstone National Park (most of which falls in Wyo.'s borders), there's their incredible history of women empowerment and self-freedom. By that I mean:

1. Women empowerment
Wyoming - appropriately nicknamed The Equality State - was the first state to allow women to vote. This was passed in 1869. The following year (on 9/6/1870), 69-year-old Louisa Ann Swain, became the country's first woman to vote in a general election. The first woman governor in the U.S. also hailed from Wyoming: former kindergartner teacher, Nellie Taylor Ross in 1925.

2. Self-freedom
At one point in 1939, parts of Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana attempted to create a new state, Absaroka (if your brain is working overtime to figure out how those three states names mashed together become this, I'll spare you the pained neurons: the proposed state was going to be named after a sub-range of the Rocky Mountains), didn't work much to the chagrin of the ranchers and farmers pushing for it. In their over-enthusiasm, they even picked a capital (Sheridan, Wyo.) and a Miss Absaroka. And then, in 2012, Wyoming (and almost every other state) attempted a "peaceful" secession from the U.S.

They are all still a part of the United States to this day.

Wyomingite's, while you don't have an official state food yet, we still will want to know what you eat. So what about...


A Wyoming food: Biscuits and Coffee
If there's one state that embodies the song "Home on the Range", Wyoming might be it, especially considering they were a part of what we now know as the wild west. As such, I researched what foods cowboys might eat on said range. For breakfast, it seemed strong coffee and skillet biscuits (eggs and salt pork, too) were prevalent.  I can't replicate that exactly, but we can get pretty close!

Home on the Range Coffee
Makes: 2 large cups of coffee

Ingredients:
3 cups of cold water
6 Tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee
Optional: a filter, cold water, or sugar

Method:
In a large pot, bring the water and the coffee to a boil. Remove from heat, and let steep for two to five minutes. To remove grounds from coffee, either strain through a coffee filter or a tea strainer. To keep it more authentic, sprinkle cold water or sugar on top of coffee - this should help settle the grounds to the bottom. Then, slowly as not to stir up the grounds, pour coffee into mugs.

Home on the Range Biscuits
Makes: six biscuits

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 to 1 1/4 cups milk

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease a baking sheet.

In one large bowl, mix all the ingredients until just combined. Do not over-mix! It's totally okay if there are patches of flour still.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool before enjoying with butter and honey, a drizzle of molasses, your favorite jam, or dunked in a hearty soup.



Sources:
Tourism X. "Official State Foods." Message to the author. 29 Oct. 2013. E-mail.