Fred Harvey Book Signings and a Recipe for "Alligator Pear Salad"

Visionary businessman Fred Harvey has been credited with many things -- from the invention of chain restaurants, to romanticizing train travel, to providing opportunity for the first significant female workforce in the United States. 

You can hear all about it tomorrow when Stephen Fried visits the Heard Museum (2301 N. Central Ave., events begin at 2:30 pm,) and speaks about his book, Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West. Heard Museum curator, Diana Pardue, will interview the author. A book signing will follow.  

Or, for a more sensory experience, head to the Turquoise Room in Winslow, AZ this weekend and dine inside a former Harvey establishment, located within the La Posada Hotel. A special menu and booksigning will take place. The La Posada, built in 1929, was designed by female architect, Mary Colter

The young women who worked for Mr. Harvey became known as "Harvey Girls". These women, ages 18 to 30, travelled to the West to work at lunch counters, restaurants and hotels, along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. You can see a permanent exhibit about the Harvey Girls' contribution to Arizona's growth at the Arizona Capitol Museum (1700 West Washington). 

Here is a recipe for Alligator Pear Salad, served at Harvey establishments. (Recipe courtesy of the Arizona Capitol Museum

Alligator Pear Salad 

Avocados first became familiar north of the border in the 1920's, and they were called "Alligator Pears" on Harvey House menus. 

2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar 
3 Tbs. Olive oil 
1 or 2 drops hot pepper sauce 
Pinch of salt 
Dash of pepper 

2 ripe "Alligator Pear" (avocados), peeled and sliced in wedges 

Strips of red bell pepper 
½ cup chopped walnuts 

Mix dressing, Arrange individual servings of "alligator pears" on a bed of greens, top with pepper strips and nuts. Drizzle dressing over each serving. Serves 4-6

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