The Fort Recipe: Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be predictable. This year, treat guests to a different tablescape, including one of The Fort’s favorite dishes: Baked Stuffed Pumpkin. Inspired by the American Indians, this recipe utilizes pumpkin – a squash and member of the Three Sacred Sisters – as its main ingredient. Mixing the pumpkin with an array of flavors, including buffalo or ground beef, peppers, sunflower seeds, hot sauce and more, makes for an incredibly comforting dish that guests are sure to … Read the entire post >

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Kids in the Kitchen

Holly Arnold Kinney, Proprietress of The Fort, credits her mother for igniting her passion for food and cooking at a young age. Kinney spent much of her childhood in the kitchen with her mother, testing out new recipes and flavors for the family to enjoy.

As Kinney’s career in the food industry developed, she maintained a spot in her heart for children in the kitchen. Seen as an opportunity to empower and educate those of a young age, Kinney developed … Read the entire post >

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Fort Recipe: Apple Pie Without Apples

As the end of summer nears, we’re preparing for brisk fall weather and cozy days spent baking at home with some of our favorite recipes.

Fort Robinson in Dawes County, Nebraska was famous for acting as the old Calvary headquarters, but was also well-known for making apple pie without apples. The recipe, a nod to the ingenuity of frontier cooks, substitutes the traditional use of apples for saltine crackers, lemon, eggs and cinnamon. This fall, try a twist on a … Read the entire post >

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Fur Trade Gardens in the West

During the 19th century, many trading forts in the American west found gardens to be a necessary source of fresh food. The selection of crops at each fort depended entirely on what crops were suitable for each specific climate. Crops ranged from sweet corn to watermelon and summer squash to Hidatsa beans.

In the 1960s, Bay Arnold insisted that The Fort Restaurant needed a fur trade garden, just as forts of the old west once had. She discovered the … Read the entire post >

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Road Trip Itinerary: Historic Southwestern Forts

Summer is road trip season, and we’ve mapped out a historic and educational road trip for you and yours to adventure on this summer. The Southwestern region of the United States was once a breeding ground for adobe forts, which served as a commercial place for merchants, hunters and trappers to conduct trade and protect their goods. Today, many of these forts have been restored and now serve as must-visit historical monuments. From Colorado to New Mexico and all the … Read the entire post >

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National Bison Month

July marks National Bison Month, celebrating the cultural, historical and economical contribution of North America’s largest land animal.

Bison have roamed our continent for tens of thousands of years. Ancestors of today’s bison existed nearly 120,000 years ago and by the time the first Europeans arrived in the 1600s, estimates are that there were upward of 60 million buffalo living in what today is North America.

The Plains tribes relied on bison for food, clothes, shelter and trade. The indigenous … Read the entire post >

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Wine of the West

Life in the early West was not as primitive as some may think. Although beaver tail, raw buffalo liver and dog stew were often served for dinner, the bourgeois, or boss, of each fort would have dined on English porcelain. Most forts had wine cellars that were full of French and Spanish wines typically sold by the hogshead, or 63 gallon barrels. The wine would then be decanted from these barrels and poured into hand-blown glass bottles before being sold … Read the entire post >

Colorado’s Hail Alley

The Fort's Hailstorm Julep

Colorado’s Front Range is located in “Hail Alley,” meaning it receives the highest frequency of hail in North America. In the 1830s, visitors at Bent’s Old Fort would make the most of storms by catching the hail in a mason jar and mixing the cocktail that eventually became known as the Hailstorm Premiere Julep.

Since the day Samuel and Bay Arnold opened The Fort in 1963, the Hailstorm Julep has been a staple on our cocktail menu. It was originally … Read the entire post >

Mormon Foods of the Old West: Fruit Soup

Founded in 1830, Mormonism has been a powerful force in bringing many people to the West. The ten companies of saints – as Mormons were commonly called in the old West – traveled the handcart route between 1856 and 1860. With them, they brought a variety of different recipes and cooking techniques. In later years, Mormon cooking recognized its culinary heritage as coming from New England, the British Isles, Scandinavia and Switzerland. Old Mormon recipes were adapted for the foods … Read the entire post >

Faces of The Fort: Holly Arnold Kinney

Holly Arnold Kinney

The Fort Proprietress Holly Arnold Kinney was raised at the iconic Colorado landmark with her brother, Keith, and pet Canadian Black Bear, Sissy. As a young girl, Kinney learned the restaurant business by taking on various roles at The Fort Restaurant and traveling to several cultures around the world with her parents.

She Who Naps With Bears

Kinney later chose to pursue a career in advertising and public relations. After working for various radio stations, Kinney founded Arnold Media Services, specializing in food products … Read the entire post >

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