Dining by Rail
The History and The Recipes of America's Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine
As those fortunate enough to have taken a ride on board the great passenger trains of North America at their peak will attest, no part of the experience survives so vividly in the memory as that of a sumptuous meal in the dining car: crisp linen, polished silver, fresh flowers, attentive service, the passing panorama of American life - all accompanied by great food. Dining by Rail tells how that experience was created, recapturing the lively history of eating on the train and presenting more than 300 wonderful recipes that entertained and fortified the hungry traveler from coast to coast.
Among the award-winning dishes found in Dining by Rail:
• Avocado Cocktail from the Southern Pacific
• New Corn Chowder, Southern Style, from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe
• Roquefort Salad Dressing from the Great Northern
• Deviled Roast Beef with Mustard Sauce from the Pennsylvania
• Potatoes Romanoff from the Illinois Central
• Peas in Butter from the Pullman Company
• Hot Strawberry Sundae from the Fred Harvey Company
Railroad menus featured consistently unique items made of fresh, natural ingredients native to America and Canada, and available today in stores everywhere. The recipes require only ordinary kitchen tools, and because they are designed to be cooked quickly in a small kitchen, they allow today's cook to turn out a gourmet meal in record time - truly "high speed cuisine."
Dining by Rail also serves up the rich and colorful history of dining in the "Golden Age" of American railroading. It offers over 150 illustrations to help give a complete picture of this most important aspect of travel: finding something good to eat wherever you go. It describes how railroads went from tolerating vendors hawking soot-covered hotcakes, eggs soaked in lime water, and gritty black coffee, to providing meals that won awards in international competition. Learn how chefs on forty-eight railroads prepared such unique and tasty dishes as cantaloupe pie, cream of sweet potato soup, and five varieties of French toast. Enjoy more than two-dozen distinctive salads and dressings, and other specialty dishes by which the railroads sought to identify themselves. Share the secrets behind quickly preparing rich and flavorful sauces for meat dishes.
Dining by Rail will take you to the kitchen, or back in time. Either way, enjoy the trip.
Have Said About Dining by Rail
"All-in-all, the book is very well researched, and the information contained was all new to me."
Railfan & Railroad Magazine
"…enjoyable reading, and it is easy to work from, as cookbooks go."
Trains: The Leading Magazine of Railroading
"...an entertaining and scholarly book…eloquent"
B&O Railroad Museum
"Mr. Porterfield has not only carried out a scholarly piece of research but has written the story of the railway dining car in an entertaining and absorbing fashion."
State College: The Magazine
"…unique, practical and highly informative.…Besides its 150 priceless photographs, the book contains…simple and easy-to-follow recipes."
"…a wonderful…highly readable work of history…"
Middleton (Connecticut) Press
"…the history is very readable, truly enjoyable and enlightening.…It is accompanied by quality pictures and illustrations which add a lot to our enjoyment and understanding.…My tip: try the California peach and rice fritters."
National Railway Bulletin of the
National Railway Historical Society
"Dining by Rail is the best single-volume treatment of the subject available.…The treatment is comprehensive.…I found (the recipes) to be all that (Porterfield) claims: interesting, practical, and tasty."
Railroad History: Journal of the
Railway & Locomotive Historical Society
1994 Nominee for the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Hilton Book Award as the "outstanding work of lasting significance to the interpretation of North America's railroading history" published between 1992 and 1994.
Have Said About Dining by Rail
"…the luxury of eating on trains has been captured in all its romantic glory.…entertaining"
The New York Times
"A wonderful book, full of interesting information and great food"
"Cookin' USA," The Nashville Network
"I have been fascinated by this book ever since I first saw it."
TV Food Network's "Cookbook Corner"
"The recipes, which emphasize fresh regional foods and use minimal cookware, are…fast and easy to make."
The Baltimore Sun
"…fascinating…If you're a rail enthusiast who loves to cook, you'll be delighted."
The Milwaukee Journal
"…you'd best get aboard Mr. Porterfield's 325-recipe Limited." Recommended as one of the year's best gifts for cooks.
The Atlanta Constitution
"Readers…may find this book fulfilling their wildest dreams.…invaluable….For authentic American (cuisine) presented without campiness or apology, this is the source."
"…mouthwatering.…A sumptuous social history, complete with recipes."
"This book's a great ride all the way…"
"…a real treat.…substantial."
Richmond (Virginia) Times Dispatch
"(a) loving look at dining cars, first-class meals and the vanished romance of rail travel."
Fort Worth Star-Telegram