Zane Grey

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Pearl is not usually a name for a male child, but that is what Josephine Alice Zane Grey named her son. It is said that she liked the ‘pearl grey’ color of Queen Victoria’s wedding gown. Small wonder that the boy preferred his middle name, Zane. The Zane family had been ‘pioneers’ in the American West in the 1800s — that’s when the ‘West’ meant the Ohio Territory. Young Pearl loved tales of his ancestors’ exploits in founding Zanesville, Ohio. The boy was supposed to become a dentist like his father and was sent to the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship. Reluctantly, Grey became a dentist. Part time, he became a semi-pro baseball player. Full time, he yearned to be a printed author. His father tried to bully him into abandoning writing, but Grey persevered. He moved to New York to set up a dental practice and to have access to publishers. His wife, Dolly Roth, supported him — using her inheritance to pay the bills and editing his work. A few hunting trips to Arizona gave Grey an enduring love of the Western landscape, people, and culture. Despite many publishers’ rejections, he penned The Heritage of the Desert in 1910, and it was a hit. Riders of the Purple Sage followed in 1912, and his career was launched. Of the 89 books he published, 56 were about the Old West. With wealth assured, Grey could pursue his other passion: fishing. [OK, his third passion was for women, which his wife tolerated.] He fished all around the world, fresh water and salt water. Being out in nature helped him to deal with his bouts of depression, he said. Five film versions were made of Riders of the Purple Sage and his work inspired the television series called Zane Grey Theater. Thanks to Pearl Zane Gray the entire literary and cinematic genre of ‘Westerns’ captured the public imagination — then and still today.

Of course there must be some sort of ‘western’ food for Zane Grey’s birthday on January 31, so we will have eggs inspired by a ‘Western Sandwich.’ For dinner, a meal that the author would have relished: pan-fried trout.

Western Bake: 270 calories 5.4 g fat 4 g fiber 12.4 g protein 45 g carbs [43.7 g Complex Carbs] 199 mg Calcium  NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  My father taught me to love a good Western Sandwich. Thus it seemed natural to incorporate that flavor combination in a breakfast. And its a winner.

1 two-oz egg 1 oz green pepper 2 tsp ketchup 1 oz onions 2 oz pear  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Chop the pepper and onions and cook: either in the microwave or by poaching in water. Drain and combine with the ketchup. Whisk with the eggs, salt and pepper to taste. Spritz an oven-proof ramekin or other dish with non-stick spray. Pour in the egg mixture and bake at 350 F. for 12-15 minutes. Plate the fruit and pour the beverages. Yee-haaw, that’s a breakfast!

Trout with Hazelnuts: 267 calories 18 g fat 3 g fiber 21 g protein 6 g carbs 75 mg Calcium  PB GF From Savoie, France comes this recipe, via Anne Willem’s French Regional Cooking  Hannibal is supposed to have dined on local trout as he crossed the Alps with his elephants. Very easy to prepare [the trout, not the elephants] and absolutely delicious. 

3 oz trout 1 tsp butter ½ oz hazelnuts 2 oz French green beans [haricots]

Bone the fish and trim off the fins. Cut the fish in half to create two fillets. TIP: if serving one person, wrap one of the fillets in cling film, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it for another day. Chop the nuts so that there are some halves and the rest are in large pieces. Start cooking the beans. Heat a heavy saute pan and spray with non-stick spray. Put in the trout and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly cook the trout on one side for about 3 minutes. Turn the fish over. Add the butter to the pan along with the nuts. Continue cooking everything slowly until the fish is done, roughly another 3 minutes. Drain and season the beans, plate them with the trout, and top the fish with the nuts in butter. Enjoy your culinary visit to the French Alps.

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