EDIBLES - RECIPES - CAMP EQUIPAGE
HISTORICAL RECIPES OF NORTH AMERICA
Last issue Buck provided you with the edibles and the sources, this issue he'll give you some ideas on what to do with all that food. These recipes cover several periods of time in our history of North America. Next issue we can look at other issues involved in cooking, feeding and care of your camp. The trade of edibles was alive and well across this land whether done with the local natives or by the Europeans that ventured onto this land. The search for cultivated and foraged edibles has never ended.
As promised here are a few recipes and some old remedies we’ve found. From the time of the colonies and through the Indian Wars most recipes and home brewed remedies were passed on by word of one to another and few were written down.
word of caution,
measurements have changed over the years as products improved; (ex.
yeast of old compared to today, half the amount is required.)
Take 3/4 of a pound
sifted flour, (2) large spoonfuls of brown sugar, (2) spoonfuls of good
yeast, add a little salt, stir well together and when risen work in (2)
spoonfuls of butter, make into buns, set to rise again and bake until a
golden brown on tins.
Berkshire, New Lady’s Cook Book,1731
Biscuits (F & I War)
(1) quart of sour milk, (1) teaspoonful of soda, (1) teaspoonful of salt, a piece of butter the size of an egg and enough flour to make them roll out. Bake on a clean rock or flat plate until they are brown.
Journal (un-named) 17xx ?
Biscuits (Rev. War)
(2) quarts of flour, (2) ounces of butter, half pint of boiling water,
(1) teaspoonful of salt, (1) pint of cold milk and half cup of yeast.
Mix well and set to rise, then mix a teaspoonful of saleratus in a
little water and mix into dough, roll on a board an inch thick, cut into
small biscuits and bake twenty minutes.
Major A. N. Berwyn, Paoli News,1776
Biscuits (War of 1812)
Take (1) quart of flour, (3) teaspoonfuls of cream of tarter, mixed well through the flour, (2) teaspoonfuls of shortening, (1) teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in warm water, of a sufficient quantity to mold the quart of flour. For the large families the amount can be doubled.
New York Regulars,1810
Bread (Civil War)
quart of butter milk, (1) quart of corn meal, (1) quart of coarse flour,
(1) cup of molasses, add a little soda and salt. Bake until tan in
Samuel L. Brown, Pennsylvania Regulars,1862
Bread (Indian Wars)
in your flour subcarbonate of soda, (2) parts, tartaric acid (1) part,
both finely powered. Mix up your bread with warm water, adding but a
little at a time and then bake until brown.
John Cottingly, Kansas City News,1881
Fish (Indian Wars)
Fry fish in hot lard or beef drippings, or you may use equal parts of lard and butter; butter alone takes out the sweetness and gives a bad color. Fried parsley, grated horse radish, or lemon are used as a garnish.
Mrs. Crowen, Every Lady’s Cookbook,1854
with troops of most every war that has been in N. America, William Clark
wrote about them at Fort Osage years after the westward movement
(1/2) a cup of sugar, (1 1/2) teaspoonfuls of soda, butter the size of
an egg, (1) cup of yellow corn meal, (1) egg, (1) cup of white flour, (1
1/2) cups of sour cream or buttermilk and a pinch of salt. Grease a flat
pan, bake in a field oven, medium heat, check when they start to brown.
Book of Recipes,1837
quart of buckwheat flour, (1) gill of wheat flour, (1) quart - less (1)
gill of warm water, (1) gill of yeast, (2) teaspoonfuls of salt. Mix the
batter at night in order to have the cakes for breakfast; if very light,
an hour before they are required stir the batter down and let it rise
again. Bake the cakes on a smooth, nicely-greased griddle and send them
to the table the moment they are baked, piled regularly in the middle of
the plate. Left over batter will serve as yeast for the next baking;
store in a cool place, but don’t let it freeze if in a winter camp.
Bring it out at night, add buckwheat, etc., and leave it to rise. With a
little care no fresh yeast will be necessary for the winter.
origin is unknown.,18xx ?
Pemmican (makes 1 1/2 lbs)
oz. of chipped beef, (1) 6 1/2 oz. of roasted peanuts, (1) cup of
seedless raisins, (1) 8 oz. bar of beef suet, make a quick trail lunch /
beef on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes @ 140 degree oven, chop nuts and
raisins up into small pieces, melt suet in a large skillet - low heat.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (beef cut in 1/4” shreds),
add melted suet - mix
thoroughly. Spread mixture in half inch layer in shallow pan,
refrigerate until the layer is hard and then slice into squares. Wrapped
in foil, bars stay clean and fresh, will keep for a year in freezer.
was rewritten in the 1930’s for use in a hunting camp in Pennsylvania,
the original 1840’s recipe has been lost in the passage of time.
N. Conner Jr., Milroy, Pa.,1937
the nicer fish, more simply it should be prepared. A long , narrow fish
skillet with a rack is the best to boil fish in, but even a deep frying
pan and a cheesecloth sling, which lets you remove the fish from the
water without breaking, will do. Start the fish in cold water, with salt
and vinegar in it, or in cold court bouillon. Bring it slowly to a boil
and simmer gently until just done, 8 to 10 minutes to the pound. Serve
hot, with lemon wedges or a tart sauce.
North, Home Cook Book,1721
Bouillon (F & I War)
Bouillon is used for boiling fresh water fish or others which are
without much flavor. It may be prepared before hand and used several
times, or the vegetables may be added at the time the fish is boiled.
Fry in (1) tablespoonful of butter, (1) chopped onion, (1) chopped carrot, (1) stalk of celery. Then add (2) quarts of hot water, (1) cup of vinegar or wine, (3) peppercorns, (3) cloves, (1) bay-leaf and (1) teaspoonful of salt. This is a good base for seafood soup according to the local tavern owners.
L. C. Connor, Phila Bulletin,1718
Moultee (Rev. War & War of 1812)
any nice fish, (roll it in) egg, bread crumb and fry it with a little
turmeric and butter, after cutting it to a nice fillet. Scrape half a
fresh coconut, take the milk from it (or soak dried coconut a couple of
hours in a little warm water, then use the water), cut some green
gringer, green chilies in slices, boil them with the coconut milk and a
little water. Add the fish and let stew until the sauce is slightly
thickened. Send to the table with rice.
John Johnson, N. England Gazzett,1782
Fish (Civil War)
of fish may be rolled in corn meal, dredged in flour, dipped first in
beaten egg and then in fine bread crumbs, or fried plain. Small fish or
small pieces of fish may be dipped in batter and deep fried. For deep
frying, the fat should be moderately hot; for sautéing, the pan should
be hot but not smoking. Lay the fish in and fry it according to size and
thickness, about 10 minutes per pound. Turn it only once. Serve it with
slices of lemon.
S. B. Boyer, Union Army,Ohio,1866
was a common soup and a favorite of the “Bucktails” of Pennsylvania
and Gen. A. Wayne’s Lennie Lenape (Delaware) scouts.
oz. dried lentils, (3) cups water, (1) chopped onion, (1/2) teaspoonful
of black pepper and (2) cloves of garlic. Salt to taste, fry bacon
pieces - add to taste. Johnny cakes or biscuits cut into small cubes for
a filler. Add nuts, rye or rice to make it go farther. Wash and clean
lentils, put in a large pot to cook with (3) cups of water (cover
lentils by an inch). Medium heat / add garlic, onion and pepper, let
simmer for one hour. Add bacon pieces and salt to taste. Put cubes into
broth at time of serving. If adding rice or rye cook until they are
bean soup with red onion strips and a tart apple (sliced into
small pieces) work great. The Rev. War cooks used Granny Smith or
Winesape apples, when available, in many of their dishes, an attempt to
break up an otherwise bland diet for Officers and the Enlisted men.
Soup (Civil War)
gourds should be full-grown, but not those with hard skin; slice three
or four, and put them in a stew pot, with (2) or (3) onions and a good
bit of butter; set them over a slow fire till quite tender (be careful
not to under cook). Stir to keep from sticking to sides of pot and make
sure the soup is well done, season as needed.
Ellet, The Practical Housekeeper,1857
Duck or Hare (colonies - War of 1812)
a good deal of water and skim it as often as anything rises. Half an
hour will boil them. Make a gravy of sweet cream, butter, add flour, a
little parsley chopped small, salt and pepper, and stew until done, and
lay them in a dish and pour the gravy over them.
Owen, New Lady’s Cook Book,1759
Roast Rabbit or Hare (18th & 19 century)
or hare was an esteemed dish in the 18th and 19th century, so much so
that cooks occasionally doctored beef to try to make it taste like hare.
After casing (skinning & gutting) two rabbits, skewer their heads with their mouths upon their backs, stick their forelegs into their ribs, skewer the hind legs doubled (this approved position in which 19th century rabbits appeared at the table); next make a stuffing for them of the crumbs of half a loaf of bread, a little parsley, sweet marjoram and thyme-all cut fine, salt, pepper and nutmeg, with (4) ounces of butter, a little good cream and (2) eggs; put it into their bodies, and sew them up; dredge and baste them well with lard; roast them about an hour. Serve them up with butter and parsley. Chop the livers, and lay them in lumps around the edge of the dish. (serves 4-6).
Hams (Indian Wars)
Bear meat is best roasted and may be treated the same as pork, cooking twenty minutes to every pound. Prepare the hams in the usual manner by rubbing them with common salt and draining them; Take (1) ounce of saltpeter, half a pound of coarse sugar and the same quantity of salt; rub it well into the ham, and in three days pour a pint of vinegar over it. A fine foreign flavor may also be given to the bear hams by pouring old strong beer over them and burning juniper wood while they are drying; molasses, juniper berries and highly-flavored herbs, such as basil, sage, bay-leaves and thyme mingled together, and the hams well rubbed with it, using only a sufficient quantity of salt to assist in the cure, will afford an agreeable variety.
Roper, Phila Cook Book,1886
Take nice size steaks from the neck or haunch while having your griddle well buttered, and fire clear and hot (cook in a hot frying pan). Lay steaks on the bars and boil rapidly, turning often not to lose or a drop of juice. They will take three or four minutes longer than fine beef steaks. Have a chafing dish, a pinch of salt, a little pepper, a tablespoon of currant-jelly for every pound, and a glass of wine for every (4) pounds. This should be liquid, and warmed by boiling water under a dish, heat in a saucepan. Lay each steak in the mixture and turn over twice. Cover closely and let all heat together, with fresh hot water underneath-serve in an ordinary dish, covered
Webster, The Improved Housewife,1854
A LITTLE FOOD FOR THOUGH
Where you aware there was an agency in our government before 1800 that watched and told producers the rules of "fair trade".
never ending search for edibles, cultivated and foraged.
WOODCUT FROM The PENNSYLVANIA GAZETTE / NUMB 8677
documented facts pertaining to periods & availability of foods.
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