Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home Queens, Transvestites, and Bison Poop.

I went to the Alemany Flea Market this morning in search of a cast iron Dutch oven for the Little Dinner on the Prairie. I was not disappointed. I scored a nice little vintage oven with braising spikes in the lid for $25 and a genuine Griswold muffin pan for $5. Then, across the stacks of Garfield comic anthologies and Reader's Digest Condensed Books I spotted another treasure: The Home Queen Cookbook: Two Thousand Recipes on Cookery and Household Economy, Table Etiquette, Toilet, Etc., Contributed by Over Two Hundred World's Fair Lady Managers, Wives of Governors, and Other Ladies of Position and Influence. This seems like quite a lot to cover in one book, but apparently publishing was a different beast in 1893 when this book came out.

Better, almost, than the title of this tome were the newspaper clippings tucked inside its pages. Most were recipes cut from the pages of the San Francisco Examiner in the years between 1943 and 1945, exhorting women to stretch their meat ration points with delicious recipes like "Fish Salads Attractive  in Many Styles." 

But best of all was this. Totally random. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: 

A dead male carnival sideshow geek in a dress was two columns' worth of news in 1944! Here's my favorite paragraph: 

Alex Marks, the "Cobra Woman's" husband...said that they had been married 18 years. "I didn't know Elsie was a man until after we were married, and then there wasn't much to be done," he said. "And besides, 'she' was such a nice wife to me that it really didn't make much difference." 

Isn't that sweet? 

The other thing I did this week was visit these sunbathing beauties at Golden Gate Park. 

I was looking for bison poop for the Little Dinner on the Prairie experiment. Unfortunately, there was no one around to bother with my bizarre request, so I've emailed the folks at Rec & Park in the hopes of getting some steaming buffalo patties to use as cooking fuel. 

There aren't too many trees on the prairie, you see. And dry grass burns too hot and fast to be of any use as a cooking or heating fuel. So the savvy homesteader (and the Native peoples whose land he was stealing) burned dry bison turds. So in the interest of authenticity, I plan to do the same. 

Burning crap patties, people. THIS is what I do for your entertainment! 


  1. Let me know if you need help with Rec & Park. I have some ins with them and the Zoo people (who own the bison).

  2. Who else could/would write about s**t for my amusement?
    I am the richer for knowing you.
    Keep up the good work!