Chocolate chip cookies, pulled pork chicken, and prehistoric New England

Gail Golec
Gail Golec everyone!

Gail Golec is a fascinating and multi-faceted archaeologist based in New Hampshire. She was kind enough to take a break from writing to join us on the air and tell us her story. Gail began her archaeology career in a forensic anthropology class where as an undergraduate she helped local police with their investigations.  How cool is that?!

When Gail is not working at a local cultural resource management (CRM) firm she is working on her own projects. She has several ongoing projects at the moment. We talk about her work with several Paleoindian sites from the Connecticut River Valley. This has been a continuous project for several years investigating the earliest human inhabitants of this part of New England dating back 14,000 to 12,500 years ago.

We also talk about her research into local historic cemeteries.  This project is an investigative project into the lives of everyday people. Gail is in the early stages of developing this project into a podcast called, “The Secret Life of Death.” In each episode, she will uncover and discuss the biography of an individual.  Like we said, Gail is multi-faceted.

Finally, if there wasn’t enough, Gail hits us with two awesome recipes! A chocolate chip cookie recipe and a dish she calls, “pulled pork chicken.” You have to listen to find out how she turns a chocolate chip cookie on its head!

Not one but two recipes!

Pulled Pork Chicken

1 split chicken breast (two halves), bone-in, skin on
apple cider vinegar
jar of favorite salsa
salt and pepper

-Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chicken.
-Place chicken in crock pot (recipe works with frozen or thawed chicken).
-Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar over the chicken (amount varies depending on size of chicken, should come up 1/8-ish inch up the side of meat).
-Pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups of salsa over the chicken.
-Cover and cook for 5 hours on medium setting, flipping chicken over at least once.
-Cooling time will vary depending on size of chicken, but you can tell it is done when the liquid is bubbling and the meat is falling off the bone.

-When cooked, remove chicken from crock pot and pull off the skin and pull out the bones and any noticeable fat chunks.
-Shred chicken with forks, or if it is cool enough, with your hands.
-Place shredded chicken back in crock pot and mix with liquid from the cooking – this is the sauce!



Chocolate Chip Field Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Open a bottle of wine and have a drink.

1/2 C butter
1/2 C canola oil
2   large eggs
1 C light brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1 t vanilla extract

3/4 C old fashioned oats
1 C whole wheat flour
1 1/4 C white flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

1 1/2 C Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips*

Let the butter and eggs come to room temperature. Cream the butter, oil, brown and white sugar together. The oil will make the dough a little runnier than if you used all butter or shortening. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, then add to the wet mixture until well combined. (I’ve found it best not to over mix the dough, the cookies come out better. I usually do the creaming and mixing by hand, with soft butter, it isn’t that difficult. )

Add the chocolate chips and stir in by hand.

Probably a good idea to do a taste test of the dough at this point. In fact, do several tests. Better to be safe than sorry.

Drop tablespoon sized blobs on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the middle looses its shine.

Cool on rack to let the chips set a bit and then remove to wire rack.

This cookie is rugged and versatile, add nuts or coconut, etc. Toffee bits are a great addition, particularly if you bake them as a cookie bar. If you decide to go the bar route, drop the oven temp to 340 and bake for 40-45 minutes, probably covering part way through to prevent overbrowning or burning.

The cookies!!!


Music:  Provided by,  Last Night on Earth (mix) by Indepth remixed by DJ Friendly

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Contract archaeology, research in Jordan and Iran, and do-it-yourself re-hydration

Ingeborg Saehle, re-hydrating after backfilling!

Ingeborg Saehle, from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), joins us to talk about her experience within contract archaeology and doing research in Jordan and Iran. Everyone enters archaeology for different reasons but by and large, the vast majority of people are following their passion for the past. Enter Ingeborg Saehle, she is no different. We have a candid talk about the pros and cons of being a field archaeologist. This is a great discussion for anyone curious about archaeology as a career path.

Sieving moat-fill from the excavations at Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen in 2013 for the Museum of Copenhagen (Ingeborg on the right, Lars Haugesten on the left).


Pondering what to do when your excavation is completely flooded after heavy rainfall. Ingeborg on the right, Fredrik Grehn on the left. This was during our excavations at the post-medieval cemetery of Assistens Kirkegård in Copenhagen in 2010.


In the second part of the interview, we talk about her research in Jordan and Iran. Ingeborg made the conscious choice to pursue her passion in prehistoric archaeology. There is a lesson in here for everyone!

Trial-trenching at Tepe Asiab in Kermanshah, Iran in 2016. Ingeborg in the green/blue headscarf, Olivia Spelling Mavrinac, and Amaia Arranz.
Lunch break in the shade of our car during excavations at Tepe Asiab in Kermanshah, Iran in 2016. There was a heatwave in Iran at this time, so temperatures were very high! From left to right: Ingeborg, Olivia Spelling Mavrinac, Sayid Bahramian, and Saman Mostafapur. 


A very tired crew after backfilling. This was taken after we finished our first season at Shubayqa 6 in Jordan in 2014. Backfilling in the scorching sun is hard work, so be sure to drink some rehydration fluids after you’ve finished..! 😉 Ingeborg in the middle.


Finally, for all you survivalists and city-slickers, Ingeborg drops down some serious recipe for a re-hydration solution for anyone working in hot environments. This is truly a potentially life-saving recipe!

Recipe for a re-hydration solution:

1 liter of water (clean, drinkable water – not shady, “possibly ok to drink water that’s been sitting outside all night” water)
6 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
The juice of 1 lemon (help replenish those electrolytes!)
The juice of 1 orange (for a better flavour, but also to replenish electrolytes)

Your basic re-hydration fluid consists of only water, sugar, and salt. Citrus-fruits can be added to help your body to hold on to its minerals when you are consuming a lot of water in order to stay hydrated.

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Snowshill Manor, model village excavation, and fried egg sandwiches.

Jennifer Rowley-Bowen
Jennifer Rowley-Bowen

Jennifer Rowley-Bowen from the National Trust in the UK speaks with us about her work at the Snowshill Manor and Garden.  The Snowshill Manor was once owned by the eccentric Charles Wade. Who over his lifetime amassed a large collection of cultural artifacts-each with their own unique story. Jenny recounts some of the stories from the collection and talks about the on-going archaeological excavation of a model village that Charles Wade had built, which over the years fell into disrepair. We also talk about her volunteer work at an excavation of a Romano-British ville (AD 43-410) and the community of friends that came out of that experience. This last bit is really great because it details the true experience of archaeological fieldwork complete with the occasional drink and making do with what you have.

Jenny working at the model village at Snowshill Manor (9-months pregnant)!
An archaeological cheese board.

Recipe for a fried egg sandwich (in Jenny’s words)

Take some free range eggs, fry in a slab of butter on a camping stove with salt and pepper ( if you remembered to pack them). Continue to fry with some stray dried grass from the field you’re camping in and some random insects. Serve on slightly stale bread that has been sweating in your tent for four days. Always accompany with at least four cups of builder’s (i.e. strong) tea and good company. Now the day can begin!

Master fried egg sandwich maker!


Link to The Snowshill Manor.

Music by: Royalty Free Music from Bensound

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