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story.lead_photo.caption The Flying Crow railcar will set the scene for a recipe exchange and sampling event on Sunday, Set. 27. Photo by Kelsi Brinkmeyer / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA, Ark. — Dining car delights from the railroad's golden age own the spotlight Sunday, Sept. 27, with a recipe exchange at The Flying Crow.
The Texarkana Museums System will host this 3rd annual event, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. that afternoon, sharing recipes and samples of appetizers and cocktails that could be found while criss-crossing the country with a chic dining car on the rails.
Admission? Simply bring your own recipe to share and add to an ongoing project, the TMS's Texarkana Foodways Collection, which is meant to collect traditions involved with making and eating food here in the Texarkana region.
TMS Curator Jamie Simmons said the railcar owner, David Peavy, offered the space with taste samplings to be shared inside the car. People can spread out and social distance, however, at this come-and-go event.
"The goal overall for all of the recipe exchanges is to add to our Texarkana Foodways Collection," Simmons said. "It's partially started just for the fact that we have so many cookbooks in our archives, so many handwritten recipes that have been donated to family collections."
Simmons said the TMS wants residents to get involved in preserving their food traditions in the area.
"The easiest way to do that is through sharing recipes," she said. The collection will become a permanent part of the Museums System archives.
Attendees can bring a recipe, although it doesn't have to be an old one. "Any type of recipe they want to share," Simmons said. Meanwhile, the TMS will also prepare and share dishes inspired by dining car menus from old trains.
"For instance we have a 1940s menu from the Sunset Limited that used to pass through Texarkana, and for some of the foods that would have been served in the dining car we found recipes," Simmons said, suggesting people can also share recipes they collected from their travels.
Copies of recipes the TMS will share will be available to everyone who attends, too. These recipes would have been part of the dining car experience decades ago.
"The time when people were going across country taking a train, not necessarily hopping in the car and certainly not hopping on an airplane," Simmons said.
And attendees will be able to learn about these recipes in an actual vintage railcar.
One of the foods they'll share is rarebit, specifically Welsh rarebit, a cheese dish. Simmons admits that for her it wasn't a tradition when she was growing up.
"It's a pretty simple recipe, but it was something that I found on a lot of the menus I was looking at for both the Texas Eagle, which still passes through Texarkana — that's a passenger train — and the Sunset Limited," Simmons said. These trains headed east and west and north and south. Rarebit was on the menu for both.
"We'll also have some cocktail recipes, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic," Simmons said. They're straightforward punches, she said, but there was always a cocktail bar where train passengers could enjoy refreshments such as these.
If people want to bring an actual sample of the recipe, they're welcome to do so. It's not required, however. It's up to the guests.
How does the recipe exchange fit into the TMS mission? It's a way to connect, historically speaking.
"One of the goals we have at the Museums System is to tell as complete a picture about the history of Texarkana as possible," Simmons said. "One thing that kind of cuts across all barriers is food. Food is part of all of our family history in one way or another."
(Other than the recipe to submit and share, the event is free. Reservations are encouraged at the 3rd Annual Recipe Exchange event page on Facebook or via the TexarkanaMuseums.org website. More info: 903-793-4831.) 

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