Stuffed Baked Fish

Today’s post is by talented editor and fellow author, Pegg Thomas. Welcome back to Historical Nibbles, Pegg!

My story in The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection, Anna’s Tower, is set on Thunder Bay Island near Alpena, Michigan. There was a thriving fishing village there in the 1800s, so I went looking for a fish recipe that might have been enjoyed by Anna and the rest of the characters living at Thunder Bay Lighthouse in 1883.

From Cement City Cookbook, Alpena, Michigan, 1910

STUFFED BAKED FISH

After cleaning fish, wipe out inside and rub in a little salt. Make a dressing of raw potatoes, chopped fine, and season with salt, pepper, onion and poultry savory. Stuff the fish with this dressing, sew it up and dredge with flour. Pepper and salt the whole and put pieces of pork or butter over the top, and 1 cup of water. Bake slowly 1 1/2 hours. Garnish the whole with chip potatoes or lemon.

My first challenge was finding a whole fish. It seems that not one single grocery or market in the county sells whole fish. That left one option … catching our own.

A call to our friend, Steve Benedict, resulted in a Friday evening spent on a pontoon at Lake Winyah. My husband caught a 16” small mouth bass, and Steve caught a 20” walleye. I caught a perch that was, ahem, a little under optimum size. Two fish were more than enough.

I’ve never been very good at following recipes. I view them as loose guidelines. To be historically accurate, we should have left the heads on the fish. But today’s diner has a bit of an aversion to an entrée that stares back from the platter. So the heads were removed. I grated the potatoes instead of chopping fine. It was faster. I have no idea what poultry savory is, so I used salt, pepper, and a little rubbed sage. The recipe doesn’t say whether or not to cover the roasting pan, so I did. A slow oven is about 325 degrees, and that worked out perfectly at an hour and a half.

Then, just to be bold and daring, I invited Steve and his wife plus another couple from church to come to dinner and be guinea pigs. Because if I’m going to have an epic fail, I want witnesses. Thankfully―it wasn’t! It was very tasty. If I ever do it again, I’ll omit dredging the fish in flour. And, to be honest, I’d probably fillet the fish and sew the two fillets together. I’m spoiled. I like the bones removed before the fish is cooked. Still, it was fun to play with this recipe from yesteryear.

-Pegg Thomas

Anna’s Tower is Pegg’s novella, part of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection.

 Blurb:

Anna’s dream of running the lighthouse was difficult enough to achieve, but then a Russian stowaway was left on the island, and that complicated everything.

Amazon

 About Pegg

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls. Connect with Pegg on her blog at https://peggthomas.com/.

 

 

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Lighthouses in the Great Lakes

Today’s post was written by fellow writer, editor, and friend, Pegg Thomas. Welcome back to Historical Nibbles, Pegg! 

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection was my baby from the start. I wanted to offer Barbour Publishing a collection that showcased our beautiful Great Lakes and honored the memory of the men and women who pioneered this area.

Lighthouses—and the men and women who manned them—were essential to both bringing people and supplies into this vast wilderness and shipping valuable resources out to a growing nation. The Great Lakes are awe-inspiring in many ways, inland seas of fresh water teeming with fish and surrounded by dazzling sand dunes and towering forests. They were also treacherous. Violent storms, hidden shoals, and thick fogs made travel by boat dangerous. The lighthouses, often situated in remote, isolated areas, were literally the saving grace for many a crew.

Lighthouse keepers and their families had to be self-sufficient and hardy people. Often days of travel away from the nearest town, they had to raise, hunt, or catch much of their own food. Most did not winter at the lighthouse, but some did. Those also had to preserve enough to see them through the long, dark months of the year.

Aside from keeping the lights burning, lighthouse keepers also assisted in rescue missions, with or without the help of a life-saving station. Many heroic stories have survived through the years of men and women who risked their own lives to save those wrecked on the lakes.

The rest of the growing nation desperately needed the raw materials of iron, copper, and other metals of this area. Steel mills back east needed it to turn out hundreds of thousands of rails the country needed for the railway system that was spanning from coast to coast. The lumber was needed for building cities and homes. The area I currently live in was lumbered off in 1871 and 1872 to rebuild Chicago after the great fire.

I’m proud to be a part of this collection that shares these historical romances inspired by the people who pioneered our northern shores.

-Pegg Thomas

Amazon

Blurb:

Anna’s dream of running the lighthouse was difficult enough to achieve, but then a Russian stowaway was left on the island, and that complicated everything.

About Pegg:

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

Pegg’s blog

Battle at Fort Michilimackinac

Today’s post was written by talented editor and author, Pegg Thomas. The location of her book is a place I’ve longed to visit. Reading and loving one of her stories,  Embattled Hearts, has made me look forward to reading this newest novella.  Welcome to Historical Nibbles, Pegg!

 First, let me help you pronounce that fort, it’s mish-ee-lee-mack-in-aw. Right. Exactly how it’s spelled.

This fort sits at the top of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, at the point where the two peninsulas are the closest. It’s called the Straits of Mackinac and today is spanned by the very impressive 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge. The fort has been rebuilt on its original foundation and is the longest ongoing archeological dig in the United States. It’s open for tourists and staffed with a good crew of reenactors to make the experience memorable.

My May release, Her Redcoat, which is part of The Backcountry Brides collection, takes place here in 1763 during the Indian uprising, Pontiac’s Rebellion. While Pontiac organized multiple tribes and led the uprising against Fort Detroit, other Indians who supported him also attacked Fort Pitt and Fort Niagara. Those major forts stood against the attacks, while eight smaller forts were overrun. Including Fort Michilimackinac.

Pontiac and his followers had been used to the level-handed relationship they’d built with the French fur traders. When the British ousted the French and moved into their forts, the Indians rebelled against the arrogant and heavy-handed methods of the British.

In the background of my story is the history of Fort Michilimackinac. The British commander with his forty-some troops was vastly outnumbered by upwards of five hundred warriors. But in his full British arrogance, the commander could not see the danger all around him. He could not believe that savages—as he thought of them—could best the mightiest military in the world.

They did.

The results were devastating. Most of the regular soldiers were slaughtered. The officers were captured and held for ransom. There was one man, a British fur trader, who escaped the attack. He wrote his first-hand account of the story which has been made into the book Attack at Michilimackinac 1763. If you’re interested in this time period and the unrest in the backcountry of Britain’s American colonies, you’ll enjoy this book.

-Pegg Thomas

Bio:

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

Her Redcoat teaser:

Laurette Pettigrew grew up in the northern frontier. Henry Bedlow arrived against his will. Their chance meeting changes everything. Will a deadly clash of cultures keep them from finding happiness?

Buy her book on Amazon or Christianbook.com.

Subscribe to Pegg’s Newsletter.

Enter Pegg’s Giveaway for this beautiful shawl by subscribing to her newsletter!

Pegg gives away one of her signature handspun, handknit, wool shawls with the release of each new story. To celebrate the release of Her Redcoat, Pegg is giving away the shawl Northern Lilacs. The Straits of Mackinac are known for their abundance of lilacs each spring and this shawl showcases their varied and gorgeous colors. Everyone who subscribes to Pegg’s newsletter is automatically entered in the drawing.

 

Embattled Hearts by Pegg Thomas

The Pony Express Romance Collection

Alannah Fagan and her brother, Conn, are running for their lives. Still grieving the recent death of her mother, Alanna can’t take another beating from her stepfather.

Stewart McCann works at a relay station on the Pony Express route, a lonely job in the middle of nowhere. When he discovers Alanna and Conn hiding, he knows from the bruises on her face and the fear in her eyes that helping them comes with a cost.

The story pulled me in from the first paragraph. I had to keep coming back to the book to find out what happened next. I felt like I was there on the lonesome Pony Express station with the characters. The story moves quickly as danger escalates. Well-written story!

Looking forward to reading other books by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Christianbook.com