Join us in exploring the history of "The Harvey Girls" on screen and off.
Collage art by Cherie Savoie Tintary.
This past April my friend Lora Stocker and her husband took a road trip from North Carolina to Hollywood for the TCM Film Festival. They stopped at historic locations across the country including several "Harvey Houses". I thought it would be fun to learn more about them and compare the real life "Harvey Girls" to the women depicted in the Judy Garland musical from 1946.
There is a Harvey House cookbook, but this recipe on Bigoven.com seemed simple and perfectly in line with our topic. Plus we decided it would be quick and easy to make on camera!
Kansas Harvey Girl Orange Pancakes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
Grated zest of 2 oranges
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh orange; chopped, or tangerine sections
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, zest, orange juice, milk, and oil. Combine the mixtures with a few swift strokes. Fold in the orange sections. Do not over mix. The batter will be thin.
Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until drops of water sprinkled on the surface dance over it, then lightly grease. Using a 1/4-cup measure for each pancake, pour the batter onto the griddle. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, the edges are dry, and the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn once. The second side will take about 1 minute to cook. Serve at once or keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
Comments: This is an adaptation of pancakes served in the Harvey Houses, dining facilities that were established on the Santa Fe railroad line from Kansas to California. The waitresses were called Harvey girls. These unique pancakes were originally made the size of a silver dollar.
Lora Stocker is a professional designer, illustrator, and artist and does graphic design work for the Turner Classic Movies social media team. She is a North Carolina native and is on the board of the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina.
Lara Gabrielle is a writer and film historian. Her new book Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies from UC Press is slated for release in 2022. She writes book reviews, festival coverage, and pieces on the history, theory and culture of film on her blog Backlots.
The Final Result
Lora Stocker's final result looks fantastic! I love the addition of almonds on top.
My pancakes turned out a bit thick, but they still tasted great! This was fun recipe and very easy to make.
I love my "Harvey Girls" figurine.
Postcards from Lora's collection.
These are The Harvey House books from Lora's collection.
You can see "The Harvey Girls" on TCM and it is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Thank you again for joining us on this ride! If you enjoyed this episode, please like, share and consider contributing to my Patreon so I can keep these going.
Stay tuned for more food, fun and film history from Hollywood Kitchen!