Old recipe books in the Latah County Historical Society’s collection are the inspiration for a Feb. 2 progressive dinner at two Moscow museums.
“So many people in the area have been to one or neither of our two museums in Moscow,” said Dulce Kersting-Lark, executive director of the Latah County Historical Society, which is partnering with the Appaloosa Museum for the event. “For people who have always meant to stop by, this is your opportunity. Most people don’t get to eat at the museum.”
The menu for the night was designed by Stephanie Wilkes, head chef at Bloom in Moscow, who updated recipes from historic cookbooks.
“We have a really wonderful collection of cookbooks, probably close to 40,” Kersting-Lark said.
While some are mass produced, others are hyperlocal, such as the Latah County Pomona Grange Cookbook from 1944 and an 1896 cookbook created by the Ladies Aid Society of the Methodist-Episcopal Church.
Wilkes focused on recipes from older cookbooks that use whole foods and simple ingredients, Kersting-Lark said. Processed foods didn’t become popular until the mid-1900s.
“There was a culinary low point mid-century with a lot of mayonnaise salads and jello molds,” Kersting-Lark said. “The older recipes don’t use them. She’s really drawing on the idea that high-quality produce can be really tasty without a lot of alterations to it.”
The choice reflects a current interest in returning to simpler ways of eating, drawing inspiration from an era when lard was a common ingredient and prep times were often hours long, not counting the time it took to start a fire in the cookstove.
The event begins at 3:30 p.m. at the mansion, where attendees will board the Vandal Trolley and travel to the Appaloosa Museum for appetizers and a champagne toast. The museum’s gallery will be open with a special exhibit curated for the event. The trolley will then return people to the mansion for dinner beginning at 5:45 p.m. Seating is limited, and reservations must be made by Jan. 25.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Meet Us at the Museums” progressive dinner
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. Feb. 2
WHERE: From the McConnell Mansion, the Vandal Trolley will shuttle guests to the Appaloosa Museum for appetizers and champagne, then return to McConnell Mansion for dinner.
COST: $50; reservations required by Jan. 25.
Tickets are available at the Appaloosa Museum, 2720 Pullman Road; the Latah County Historical Society, 327 E. Second St.; or online at latahcountyhistoricalsociety.org.