Yesterday I indulged in a little volunteerism. This Is The Place Monument in Salt Lake City also has a full scale Mormon pioneer village/settlement, and they use a TON of volunteers. Those who know me might remember I worked at TITP as their historian a dozen years ago. So anyway, I thought it might a good place to experiment with some of this food stuff I've been researching. I got all dressed up in my duds and went to do an afternoon of sharing info with visitors.
Yesterday was "free day" at TITP and they say they had about 8,000 visitors. It was busy. It was also raining most of the afternoon. I tried to work in the garden as much as I could between spats of rain. I brought my excerpts from Elijah Larkin's diary to share, and I managed to share some of it sometimes (mostly with the other volunteers). In the garden, the most I ever was able to share with people was, "Yes, this is how they grew their food. These are beans coming up here." So I never really got to talk about the research I've been doing. Even though people came to the park to see history, not many wanted to stop and talk about history. In the house, they were using the coffee grinder-- wait, I mean the "spice grinder" to show people how to grind wheat. (Some pioneers did use coffee grinders to grind wheat before mills were established).
It seems that people want fast and dirty information; condensed snippets void of context. Wheat ground in a coffee grinder. Beans in the garden. This makes me think that perhaps a more successful book would be "1,001 strange facts about pioneer food" or "101 Mormon recipes void of context." Just the quick and dirty. After all, isn't that what a blog is? Just a quickie.