Staff Writer






































I started and established a business for correct period foods and items to prepare those foods, for the re-enactment movement going on in North America and Europe back in 1980.

Our original store “Buckhorn Rendezvous”, later becomingClark & Sons Mercantilein the 90’s grew into a mail order business named after an old family name that was as old as our country. The family name of Clark has been in American History from the beginning, “from sea to shinning sea”, treading on new ground, always involved and looking for a new venture or adventure.


I was looking through some old issues of books related to the historical living history mode and found an article read and forgotten a while back that I had written a reply to the editor.

In the March/April 2002 issue of Muzzleloader.  An article of interest was a letter titled “Canning Canned” by Frank Bielman; according to medical records on canned meat during the last part of the “buffalo stands” period - I have read that it was a question as to what was worst the possible bad meat or the lead soldered lids and bottoms on the cans that made many company hunters sick.

A small group of us found this very interesting, trying to use edibles as correctly and true to the period, this has been a hobby as well as a business when still owning Clark & Sons Mercantile, a period edibles food supplier now being handled out of Houston Texas (closed a few years ago).

Doing reenactments or historical living history for more years than many of our readers have been alive, (not bragging - just getting old), may I give you some more information on the subject of “potted meat”.

I had an older gentlemen (a rancher) tell me about the care of meat before refrigerators or a warm winter and ice wasn't as thick as usual.  In the fall they would process wild game meat, (cattle were to be sold to easterners not eaten), this meat would still be edible in the spring. Here’s what is really interesting, they kept it in pottery crocks, glass and metal cake pans covered with cheese cloth and stored in the root cellar.

The secret is they would cook the meat well done, then using rendered hot lard (liquid form) cover the bottom of the container, next the meat was singly placed in the container with a covering of lard to seal it from the next piece of meat being placed as well as not letting the sides of the container touch the meat either. Each piece is kept completely sealed from the container and other meat, when meat was needed you would take out what you wanted wiping off the lard and saving it to be rendered again for use at a later time.

He claimed it would last at least 5-6 months, this was as late as 1955 near Loveland CO, they didn't get electricity until 1955 or 1956 in many farming areas in rural Colorado and Wyoming.

For a 20 year period we have practiced this method of taking care of meat while moving around the mountains in Colorado. A small group of us started doing canoe trips back in the mid 80’s, one trip was from Ft. Morgan CO to Ft. de Chartre IL (60 miles south of St. Louis MO), 1260 river miles. The venture was done in period dress, food, and mode of transportation, with no support team - just on our own skills to keep everything moving forward. For this trek we prepared buffalo, elk, deer and antelope meat, packed in lard gotten at the local grocery store in TIN containers, the trip took 28 days, starting in temperatures in the mid 30's and arriving in IL with temperatures in the mid 80's. We ate the meat every day and found it was as good the last day as it was the first day.

Hope this adds to your use and thoughts on caring for and preparing your next meal.

Buck Conner    



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