Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Wyoming in known for being a state of firsts: First National Park (Yellowstone), First National Monument (Devil's Tower), first woman judge (Esther Morris) and the first governor of any state (Nellie Tayloe Ross).

Governor Nellie Ross with Yellowstone Park Superintendent Horace Albright. Ross was the Governor of Wyoming from 1925 to 1927 - the first female governor of any state, and still the only woman to serve as Governor of Wyoming. She later served as Director of the U.S. Mint from 1933 to 1953. She lived to be 101, passing away in 1977.

Nellie Tayloe Ross was born in St. Joseph, Missouri to James Wynns Tayloe, a native of Tennessee, and Elizabeth Blair Green, who owned a plantation on the Missouri River. Her family moved to Miltonvale, Kansas in 1884, and she graduated from Miltonvale High School in 1892. She attended a teacher-training college for two years and taught kindergarten for four years.

On September 11, 1902, Ross married William B. Ross, whom she had met when visiting relatives in Tennessee in 1900. William B. Ross was governor of Wyoming from 1923 to his death on October 2, 1924. Ross succeeded her late husband's successor Frank Lucas as governor when she won a special election, becoming the first female American governor on January 5, 1925. She was a staunch supporter of Prohibition during the 1920s. She lost re-election in 1926 but remained an active member of the Democratic Party.

In 1933, Ross became the first female Director of the United States Mint. Despite initial mistrust, she forged a strong bond with Mary Margaret O'Reilly, the Assistant Director of the Mint and one of the United States' highest-ranking female civil servants of her time. Ross served five terms as Director, retiring in 1953. During her later years, she wrote for various women's magazines and traveled. Ross died in Washington, D.C., at the age of 101.


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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ice Cream and a recipe by Kaye Spencer #sweetheartsofthewest #icecream

Ice cream and summertime go together like kids and puppies.

'Cute Puppies' courtesy openclipart.com

According to this Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream), ice cream showed up in the Archaemenid Empire around 500 BCE. The Persians came up with their version of ice cream as a chilled concoction of rose water and vermicelli (for royalty). Ancient Greeks ate snow mixed with honey and fruit. Frozen milk and rice was the sweet treat in China. The Roman Emperor Nero ordered ice from the mountains brought to him and he ate it with fruit toppings. From there, ice cream became a popular dessert of the European aristocracy, including Catherine de' Medici and Charles 1 of England.

Ice cream recipes became increasingly popular in England in the 18th century. This is a recipe for making ice cream that was published in 'Mrs. Mary Eales's Receipt' (London, 1718)

Take Tin Ice-Pots, fill them with any Sort of Cream you like, either plain or sweeten’d, or Fruit in it; shut your Pots very close; to six Pots you must allow eighteen or twenty Pound of Ice, breaking the Ice very small; there will be some great Pieces, which lay at the Bottom and Top: You must have a Pail, and lay some Straw at the Bottom; then lay in your Ice, and put in amongst it a Pound of Bay-Salt; set in your Pots of Cream, and lay Ice and Salt between every Pot, that they may not touch; but the Ice must lie round them on every Side; lay a good deal of Ice on the Top, cover the Pail with Straw, set it in a Cellar where no Sun or Light comes, it will be froze in four Hours, but it may stand longer; then take it out just as you use it; hold it in your Hand and it will slip out. When you wou’d freeze any Sort of Fruit, either Cherries, Raspberries, Currants, or Strawberries, fill your Tin-Pots with the Fruit, but as hollow as you can; put to them Lemmonade, made with Spring-Water and Lemmon-Juice sweeten’d; put enough in the Pots to make the Fruit hang together, and put them in Ice as you do Cream.

Quaker colonist who 'introduced ice cream to America'...Confectioners sold ice cream at their shops in New York... Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were known to have regularly eaten and served ice cream."

Ice cream's popularity moved westward with the settling of the West. We're probably all familiar with the stories, television shows, movies set in the Old West era that included a church social scene with the men standing around the hand-crank ice cream machine and children hovering nearby, anticipating filling their bowls with the cold treat on a hot summer day.

Nellie Oleson (screen capture - Kaye Spencer)

In my novelette A PERMANENT WOMAN, the community celebrates Colorado Day (August 1st) with games, a parade, and tables and tables of food. And what summer celebration would be complete without homemade ice cream?

images via creative commons

Here is my hand-me-down family recipe for homemade ice cream that I like to think could have been the exact recipe someone at that celebration used. *wink*

Click to enlarge - also available on my Pinterest board

For more of my Hand-Me-Down Family Recipes, click here >

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer

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