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Workers helping the cook, British Columbia, 1911
The cook for a National Transcontinental Railway survey camp in Whitemouth, Manitoba, January 1905
I Was There
An important menu item in railway camps was pie:
"... Though it be only of dried apple and sodden paste, ...[a worker] will put up with no potatoes and bad beef, or even none at times. ... Just before I left, the camp was split in two and two sets of cooks appointed, with the result that ours fairly gorged his men with pie.... [instead of one slice each,] whole pies were at the disposal of every one, and there was great gorging and contentment."
The Western Avernus or Toil and Travel in Further North America, by Morley Roberts. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1887, p. 81-82
I Was There
"One day ... while we were busy in camp, ... we heard the sudden crack of a rifle.... We found that the rifle shot we had heard had come from the cook's rifle; and that with this shot he had killed a bear which had come close to the camp. ... The best parts of the carcass were later served by the cook for dinner. This was the first time we had tasted bear meat. It was all right as a novelty; but left no craving for it as a regular diet."
When the Steel Went Through, by P. Turner Bone. Toronto: Macmillan, 1947, p. 78
(P. Turner Bone was an engineer during Canadian Pacific Railway construction in the 1880s.)
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