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Detroit's Delectable Past: Two Centuries of Frog Legs, Pigeon Pie and Drugstore Whiskey

Detroit's Delectable Past: Two Centuries of Frog Legs, Pigeon Pie and Drugstore Whiskey

by Bill Loomis


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Join local food aficionado Bill Loomis on a look back at the appetites, tastes, kitchens, parties, holidays and everyday meals that defined eating in Detroit, from the earliest days as a French village to the start of the twentieth century. Whether it's at a frontier farmers' market, a Victorian twelve-course children's birthday party replete with tongue sandwiches or a five-cent-lunch diner, food is a main ingredient in a community's identity and history. While showcasing favorite fare of the day, this book also explores historic foodways—how locals fished the Detroit River, banished flies from kitchens without screens and harvested frog legs with miniscule shotguns. Wedding feasts, pioneer grub, cooking classes and the thriftless '20s are all on the menu, too.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609496364
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 08/07/2012
Series: Food and Drink Series
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Bill Loomis was born in Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan. He has worked in television as a talk show producer for WTVS PBS in Detroit, and his writing has been published in a wide range of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Detroit News, and Michigan History Magazine.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 9

Part I On the Town

1 Living it up in Old Detroit: Restaurants, Taverns and Low-Lit Saloons 15

2 Dinner Parties during Detroit's Gilded Age 29

3 Christmas in Old Detroit 41

Part II Working for a Living

4 To Market, To Market 53

5 The Milk Peddlers' War 69

6 Fishing for a Living in Detroit 79

7 Passenger Pigeons' Last Stand 91

Part III Cooking at Home

8 From Stone Hearth to Cookstove 107

9 Cooking Lessons 123

10 The Detroit Kitchen: Floor to Ceiling 131

11 Much Ado about Mutton: Home Cooking 145

12 The Terror of vegetables: Cholera in Detroit 159

13 Wild Game on the Table 171

Conclusion 181

Bibliography 183

About the Author 189

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