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Sandwich Dora Hand

It’s official! END OF TRAIL EATS is in the pipeline. I am thrilled to be offered a contract from TwoDot Publishing for a second cookbook.

END OF TRAIL EATS: Cowboy-approved Favorites from the Cowtown Cafe to the Saloon will begin where KEEP ‘EM FULL AND KEEP ‘EM ROLLIN’ ended, as the cowboys moved up the trail to the railheads north. Cowtowns had a love/hate relationship with this rambunctious group. After four to six months in the saddle eating beans and sourdough, the crews were ready for fine dining and entertainment. Separating cowhands from their newly earned wages was crucial for the survival of these frontier towns. The research is now on, and honestly it’s sometimes more fun than the writing. I’ve already uncovered some interesting tidbits. Did you know that Dodge City was famous for sandwiches named after Bat Masterson and Dora Hand?

Dora Hand aka Fannie Keenan, Pinterest.

In addition to a mesmerizing voice and striking beauty, singer Dora Hand was also known as an exceptional cook. Besides performing in the dance halls, she began singing every Sunday in Church which brought her acceptance and respect from the mainstream community as well. The sandwich that bears her name is a notable Dodge City favorite. Believed to be from New York, Dora reportedly trained the cook at the restaurant owned by Mayor James Kelley, a good friend. Tragically Dora was gunned down while house sitting for the Dodge City Mayor. Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp immediately formed a posse to hunt down Texan James Kennedy, who harbored a long-time grudge against the Mayor. The beloved songstress of Dodge City earned an elaborate funeral with over 400 mounted cowboys in attendance. She was only 34 years old.

Sandwich Dora Hand

6-8 ounces fresh fish per person, cleaned

2 slices of bread or 1 hamburger bun

4 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons vinegar

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

Dill pickles

Onion, thinly sliced

Fill a pot with water. Add vinegar, pepper and salt. Boil fish until done, about three to nine minutes. Remove fish, drain on a paper towel and debone. Set aside. Butter both slices of bread. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in heated cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add fish. Chunk and mash up fish as it cooks. Keep stirring and cooking until lightly browned. Spread a thick layer of fish on one piece of bread. Top with thinly sliced dill pickles and then add the onion. Top that with mustard. Cover with the top bun and serve warm. I haven’t tried this yet, but I plan to.

END OF TRAIL EATS: Cowboy-Approved Favorites from the Cowtown Cafe to the Saloon will be published in Spring 2024. Along with authentic dishes from the Wild West, several of my favorite ranch cooks are already digging through their most popular recipes for this project. You’re gonna love it and I am so excited! Keep checking this blog and my eNewsletter for all the deets as research continues.

Dodge City Peace Commission
back row l to r, W. H. Harris, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, W. F. Petillion
front row l to r, Charlie Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Frank McLean, Neal Brown