Sunday, January 8, 2012

Drying Foods

Drying Foods
Drying Foods
Drying or dehydration, the oldest method of food preservation, is particularly
successful in the hot, dry climates found in much of New Mexico. Quite simply,
drying reduces moisture necessary for bacterial growth that eventually causes
Successful dehydration depends upon a slow steady heat supply to assure that
food is dried from the inside to the outside. Drying is also an inexact art. Size of
pieces, relative moisture, and the method selected all affect the time required to
dehydrate a food adequately.
Methods of Drying
Foods may be sun dried with or without a solar dehydrator, in a gas or electric
oven, or with a portable electric dehydrator. Dehydrators with thermostats provide
better control over poor weather conditions and food quality than sun drying.
An effective solar dehydrator is the shelf above the back seat of a car. Clotheslines
are another popular drying rack for ears of corn and strips of jerky. Colorful red
chile ristras hung from vigas are practical as well as decorative.
Sun drying. Prepared foods are placed on drying trays. Stainless steel screening
and thin wood lath are good materials for home-constructed drying trays. As
aluminum screening reacts with acids in the fruit, it is less desirable. Do not use
galvanized, copper, fiberglass, or vinyl screening.
Trays measuring about 14" x 24" x 1" are an easy size to handle. If trays are to be
used in an oven, they should be 1 1/2" smaller in length and width than oven
shelves to allow air circulation.
Place trays of food away from dusty roads and yards. Elevate them at least 1"
above the table with spools or bricks to allow good air circulation below the food.
Cover the food with a muslin or cheesecloth tent to protect it from insects. Dry
fruits and meats in direct sunlight; move trays periodically to assure direct sun
exposure. Place vegetables in the shade to prevent excessive color loss.
If rain threatens or food requires more than one day to dry, cover with a waterproof
material or place the food in a sheltered area.
To destroy insects or their eggs that may be on sun-dried foods and to remove
additional moisture in thicker pieces, heat foods in a 150 degree oven for 30 min.
Oven drying. Either build trays as described for sun drying or convert oven racks
Drying Foods Page 2 of 10 8/30/01
to drying racks by stretching muslin or cheesecloth across the oven rack. Secure
with toothpicks or long sewn stitches. Alternate trays in the oven periodically to
assure even drying.
Set oven control at its lowest setting, but not below 140-150 degrees. If using an
electric oven, wedge a potholder between oven and door to allow a 1" opening.
Moisture from the drying food will vent through this opening. Close the door on a
gas oven, as into vent will permit moisture to escape.
Dehydrator. There are two types of dehydrators: solar and electric. For each type
of dehydrator, prepare food and place on racks. If using a solar dehydrator, adjust
the position of the food throughout daylight hours to keep in direct sunlight.
Follow manufacturer's instructions for the electric dehydrators. When purchasing
an electric dehydrator, select one that has a thermostat to regulate temperature
and a fan to circulate air.
General Directions for Preparing Foods for Drying. Refer to the tables at the
end of this guide for instructions for specific foods.
Vegetables. Choose tender vegetables. Wash, remove any damaged areas, and
cut into even pieces. Blanch, then chill as though preparing for the freezer. Note:
Do not blanch mushrooms, onions, or sweet peppers.
To blanch in boiling water, use one pound of food for each gallon of boiling water.
Immerse vegetable into the boiling water using a wire basket or mesh bag, cover
kettle, and boil the recommended time (see table). Blanching water may be reused
until it becomes cloudy. Drain vegetables thoroughly.
To steam blanch, place 1" of water in kettle and bring to a rolling boil. Suspend thin
layer of vegetables in basket or loose cheesecloth bag. Cover and steam blanch
required amount of time (see table).
Fruit. Choose firm, mature fruit. Wash, peel if desired, remove any damaged
areas, and cut into even-sized pieces or slices. Some fruits require little or no
pretreatment. However, pretreat apples, apricots, bananas, cherries, peaches, and
pears by one of the following methods to reduce vitamin and flavor loss, browning,
and deterioration during storage.
Immerse fruit in a solution of one of the following to a gallon of water: 1 tbsp of
sodium bisulfate or 2 tbsp of sodium sulfite or 4 tbsp of sodium metabisulfite.
These pretreatment mixtures are available from some grocery stores, pharmacies,
and wine-making shops. Soak fruit pieces for 5 min. and fruit halves for 15 min.
Note: Approximately 5% of asthmatics are sensitive to sulfites. Use one of the
following pretreatments if sulfites present a potential health problem:
Dip fruit in a commercial ascorbic acid/water mixture from the grocery store. Follow
manufacturer's instructions when preparing and using the solution.
Drying Foods Page 3 of 10 8/30/01
Steam blanch fruit for 5-6 min.; water blanch fruit for 4-5 min. (see information on
water and steam blanching above).
Dip prepared fruit in a saline solution composed of 2-4 tbsp of salt and l gallon of
water for 10-15 min.
Meat. Choose lean cuts of beef or venison. Partially freeze and remove all visible
fat. Slice with the grain of the meat into strips, 1" wide, 1/2" thick and 8-10" long.
Pound strips flat to tenderize and season with salt, chile, or other desired flavors.
Marinate and refrigerate overnight for additional tenderness and flavor. Popular
marinades include teriyaki, sweet and sour, soy, Worcestershire, and chile sauces.
Fish. Slice salmon filets into thin strips. Place strips in a dish or enamel pan. Salt
strips using 2 tbsp. salt per pound. Refrigerate overnight. Oven or dehydrator
drying is preferable to sun drying fish.
Drying Times
Drying time varies widely because of the method selected and the size and
amount of moisture in food pieces. Sun drying requires the most time; an electric
dehydrator requires the least. Vegetables take from 4-12 hours to dry; fruits take 6-
20 hours. Meats require about 12 hours. Making raisins from grapes may require
days/weeks when dried outside.
When testing foods for dryness, remove a piece from the center of the drying tray
and allow it to come to room temperature. Fruits and meat jerky should be leathery
and pliable; vegetables should be brittle.
Conditioning Dried Foods
Food should be conditioned for a week before being packaged for long-term
storage. To condition food, place it in a container such as a cloth sack or a clear,
covered container and allowing any remaining moisture to redistribute itself
through the fruit.
If using a clear, covered container, watch for moisture beads. If they form, continue
drying food. If using the cloth bag, hang it in a convenient location and shake the
bag daily to redistribute food and moisture.
Storing Dried Foods
Place dried food in freezer-weight plastic storage bags, press out air, and then put
in containers with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dark, dry area.
Dried foods store well at room temperature for a month. Refrigerate foods if they
will be used within three months; freeze foods for storage periods between three
months and one year. Foods should be used within one year.
Drying Foods Page 4 of 10 8/30/01
Instructions for Specific Food Drying
VEGATABLES (See text for general directions)
Using Dried Foods
Dried meat, commonly called jerky, is normally not rehydrated and is eaten in the
dried state. Dried meats and vegetables used in soups rehydrate during the
cooking process.
Rehydrate vegetables by soaking them in 1 1/2-2 cups of water for each cup of
dried vegetable. If necessary, add more water during the soaking process. Heat
and eat.
Cover dried fruit with boiling water and let stand for 5 min. Drain. Dried fruit may
also be steamed for 3-5 min. until plump. Fruits may be eaten immediately or used
in a recipe.
Making Fruit Leather
Fruit leathers, also called fruit roll ups, can be made from almost all fruits or
combinations of fruits. However, peaches, apricots, cherries, and nectarines are
ideal. Pears and apples, sufficiently softened, also work well.
Wash well, peel (if desired), cut into pieces, and puree fruit in a blender. Sweeten
to taste with sugar or honey. Spread evenly, no more than 1/4" deep, on a cookie
sheet. The cookie sheet should either be lightly sprayed with a vegetable
shortening or covered with plastic paper.
If using plastic paper, tape edges down to prevent them from folding into the
puree. Dry fruit leather until it is slightly tacky to the touch.
When dried, lift leather (including plastic paper if used), and roll or cut into small
sections and roll. Storage recommendations are the same as those described
Nutritional Value of Dried Foods
Dried foods retain their protein, mineral and vitamin A content fairly well if soaking
water is also consumed. Because they are concentrated into a small mass, dried
foods can also be high in calories. It's important to brush teeth after eating dried
fruit because they stick to the teeth.
Drying Foods Page 5 of 10 8/30/01
Vegetable Preparation
with Steam
Cooling Time
(mins.) with
Cool Water
Dryness Test
large tips.
4-6 4-5 Leathery to
Green Beans Wash. Cut in
pieces or strips. 2-3 2 Very dry brittle
Cook as usual.
Cool & peel. Cut
into shoe-string
strips 1/8" thick.
Included in
Included in
Brittle, dark
Trim, cut as for
serving Wash.
Quarter stalks
3-4 2 Crisp, brittle
Cut in half
through stem.
7-8 5-6 Tough to
Remove outer
leaves quarter
and core. Cut
into strips 1/8"
3 2 Crisp to brittle
Select crisp,
Wash. Cut off
roots and tops,
peel. Cut in
slices or strips
1/8" thick.
3-4 4 Tough to
Cauliflower Prepare as for
serving. 5-6 4-5 Tough to
Trim stalks.
Wash stalks and
thoroughly, Slice
2-3 2-3 Very brittle
Drying Foods Page 6 of 10 8/30/01
Green Chile
Wash. To
loosen skins, cut
slit in skin, then
rotate over
flame 6-8 min.
or scald in
boiling water.
Peel and split
pods. Remove
seeds and stem.
None None Crisp, brittle,
medium green
Red Chile
Wash. String
whole pods
together with
needle and cord
or suspend in
bunches, root
side up in area
with good air
None None
dark redpods,
Corn on the
Husk, trim,
blanch until milk
in corn is set.
3-5 3 Brittle
Corn, cut
Prepare as for
corn on the cob,
except cut the
kernels from the
cob after
3-5 3 Brittle
Eggplant Wash, trim, cut
into 1/4" slices. 3-4 3-4 Leathery to
Wash, remove
small roots and
stubs. Peel or
scrape roots.
None None Brittle,
(see note
Scrub. Discard
tough woody
stalks. Slice
tender stalks
1/4" thick. Peel
slice. Leave
None None Dry and
Drying Foods Page 7 of 10 8/30/01
Wash, remove
Remove tops
and root ends,
slice 1/8-1/4"
None None Very brittle
Parsley and
other herbs
clusters. discard
long or tough
stems. Dry on
trays or hang in
bundles in area
with good
None None Flaky
Peas Shell. 3-4 3
Peppers and
Wash, stem.
Remove core
and seeds. Cut
into 1/4"-1/2"
strips or rings.
None None Tough to
Wash, peel. Cut
into 1/4" shoestring
strips or
1/8" thick slices.
7-9 6-7 Brittle
Spinach and
other greens
(kale, chard,
Trim and wash
very thoroughly.
Shake or pat dry
to remove
2-3 (until
wilted) 2 Crisp
Cut or break into
pieces. Remove
seeds and cavity
pulp. Cut into 1"
wide strips. Peel
rind. Cut strips
crosswise into
pieces about
1/8" thick.
3 1-2 Tough to
summer or
Wash trim, cut
into 1/4" slices. 3 1-2 Leathery to
Drying Foods Page 8 of 10 8/30/01
Instructions for Specific Food Drying
FRUITS (See text for general directions.)
Steam or dip in
boiling water to
loosen skins.
Chill in cold
water. Peel.
Slice 1/2" thick
or cut in 3/4"
None None Crisp
Fruit Preparation Pretreatment Drying Procedure
Wash. Pare, if
desired, and core.
Cut in rings or
slices 1/8-1/4" thick
or cut in quarters
or eighths Coat
with ascorbic acid
solution to prevent
darkening during
preparation (uses
2 1/4 tsp/cup
Choose one: Soak
5 min in sodium
sulfite solution.
Steam-blanch 3-5
min., depending on
size and texture.
Arrange in single
layer trays, pit side
up. Dry until soft,
pliable and
leathery; no moist
area in center
when cut.
Apricots (firm, fully
Wash. Cut in half
and remove pit (do
not peel). Coat
with ascorbic acid
solution to prevent
darkening during
preparation (1
Choose one: Soak
5 min. in sodium
sulfite solution.
Steam blanch 3-5
Arrange in single
layer trays, pit side
layer up; pop the
cavity up to expose
more flesh to air.
Dry until soft
pliable and
leathery; no moist
area in center
when cut.
Bananas (firm,
Peel. Cut in 1/8"
No treatment
necessary; may
dip in lemon juice.
Arrange in single
layer on trays. Dry
until tough and
Drying Foods Page 9 of 10 8/30/01
Berries (firm)
Wash. Leave
whole or cut in
No treatment
necessary; may
dip in boiling water
15-30 sec., to
crack skins. Steam
blanch 30 sec. to 1
Spread in layer not
more than two
berries deep. Dry
until hard and
berries rattle when
shaken on trays.
Cherries (fully ripe) Wash. Remove
stems and pits.
No treatment
necessary; may
dip whole cherries
in boiling water 15-
30 sec. crack
Arrange in single
layer on trays. Dry
until tough,
leathery and to
slightly sticky.
Citrus peel (thickskinned
with no
signs of mold or
decay and no color
Wash. Thinly peel
outer 1/16-1/8" of
the peel; avoid
white bitter part.
No pretreatment
Arrange in single
layers on trays.
Dry at 130 degrees
1-2 hours; then
120 degrees until
Figs (fully ripe)
Wash or clean with
damp towel. Peel
varieties if desired.
Leave whole if
small or partly
dried on tree; cut
large fig in halves
or slices.
No treatment
necessary; may
crack skins of
whole figs in
boiling water 15-30
Arrange in single
layer on trays. Dry
until leathery and
Grapes (seedless
Wash, sort, leave
whole on stems in
small bunches, if
desired, May also
remove stems.
No treatment
necessary; may
crack skins in
boiling water 15-30
sec. Steam blanch
1 min.
Spread in thin
layer on trays. Dry
until pliable and
leathery with no
moist center.
Melons (mature,
firm and heavy for
size: cantaloupe
dries better than
Wash. Remove
outer skin, any
fibrous tissue and
seeds. Slice 1/4-
1/2" thick.
No pretreatment
Arrange in single
layer on trays. Dry
until leathery and
pliable with no
pockets of
Peel. Cut in half Arrange in single
Drying Foods Page 10 of 10 8/30/01
Nectarines and
Peaches (ripe,
and remove pit.
Cut in quarters or
slices if desired.
Coat with ascorbic
acid solution to
prevent darkening
during preparation
Choose one: Soak
5-15 min in sodium
sulfite. Steam
blanch halves 8-10
min., slices 2-3
Arrange in single
layer on trays pit
side up. Turn
halves over when
visible juice
disappears. Dry
until leathery and
somewhat pliable.
Pears (Bartlett
variety is
Wash. Pare, if
desired. Cut in half
lengthwise wash
and core. Cut in
quarters or eighths
or slice 1/8-1/4"
thick. Coat with
ascorbic acid
solution to prevent
darkening during
preparation (1-
Choose one: Soak
5-15 min. in
sodium sulfite.
Steam blanch 5-7
Arrange in single
layer on trays pit
side up. Dry until
springy and suede
like with no
pockets of
Plums and prunes
Wash. Leave
whole if small; cut
large fruit into
halves (pit
removed) or slices.
No treatment
necessary; may
choose: Steam
blanch halves or
slices 5-7 min.
Crack skins in
boiling water 1-2
Arrange in single
layer on trays pit
side up, cavity
popped out. Dry
until pliable and
leathery; pit should
not slip when
squeezed if prune
not cut.
(1) Blanching times are for 3,000-5,000 ft. Times will be slightly longer at higher
altitudes, or if the quantity of vegetable is large.
(2) Dry in thin layers on trays to desired state of dryness.
(3)WARNING: The toxins of poisonous varieties of mushrooms are not destroyed
by drying or by cooking. Only an expert can differentiate between poisonous and
edible varieties.
By Alice Jane Hendley, Extension Diet and Health Specialist . New Mexico State
University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU
and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.

"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation part 5

Domestic Animals and Vermin
Most Americans have an aversion to eating dogs, cats or horse meat while they don't give a second
thought to eating a piece of chicken, beef or pork. It's also a culinary taboo to eat vermin like rats
and groundhogs, but many people eat other rodents like rabbits and squirrels. Cultural culinary
taboos have nothing to do with nutrition and if you can "unlearn" them a wide variety of new
potential protein sources is available to you. If you have trapped a nice juicy rat or if Fido and
Tabby aren't performing a vital task like protecting your food larder, garden or hen house you may
find the recipes in this section of interest.
Fried Cat
1 cat, 2 to 3 pounds
1/2 GI canteen cup flour
2 GI mess kit spoons paprika
1-1/2 GI mess kit spoons salt
1/4 GI mess kit spoon pepper
1 GI canteen cup shortening
Cut cat in serving pieces. Blend flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a clean container. Shake 2 or 3
pieces of the cat at a time until well coated with flour. Save any left over flour for gravy. Heat
shortening in a heavy pan. Place cat pieces in pan and brown slowly on all sides. Cover and cook
slowly until cat is tender. Uncover about 15 minutes to crisp cat.
Clay Cat
1 small cat
salt & pepper
aromatic spices such as bay leaves, juniper berries or lemon grass (use what is available)
5 garlic cloves
2 oranges, peeled and halved
Dress and clean the cat, leaving the fur on. In the stomach cavity (which should be patted with
salt and pepper) place the peeled oranges, peeled garlic cloves and aromatics. Tie the cavity
closed or pin closed with little wooden skewers, threaded in and out of the soft belly skin. Coat
the whole animal with clay. Do several coats so you have a good shell formed. Put in a hole with
hot coals at the bottom and pile hot coals on top of the clay cat. Throw a blanket of banana leaves
(or other green vegetation) over the hole. Let bake for 2 or 3 hours while you are tending to other
things. The fur will come off when you strip the clay away.
Baked Dog DiRocco
1 small dog
10 bay leaves or any aromatic spice
1 onion
1 pod hot red pepper
1 GI mess kit spoon salt
black pepper
3 slices bacon
Mike DiRocco, who served three tours in Vietnam, offers a good tip on selecting the best dog for
cooking. He says the Vietnamese judge how tender the dog will be by color; a white dog is best,
brown second best and lastly a black dog. Skin and clean dog. Remove the glands from under the
legs (they have a strong taste, though they are not harmful if eaten). Cut into sections. Put pieces
in a pot. Add bay leaves or aromatics, then onion, red pepper and salt. Cover with cold water.
Cover pot and boil gently for 30 minutes. Drain meat and discard water and seasonings. Cover
again with cold water and boil for 1 hour. Again pour out the water and drain. Cover dog with
cold water for a third time and cover pot. Boil gently until tender, about 1 hour. Drain. Put dog
in pan. Season with plenty of black pepper and salt if needed. Cover with slices of bacon or fat
pork. Put in a clay oven or a covered pan placed in hot coals and covered with coals. Bake for 1-
1/2 hours. Make gravy with pan juices.
"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation
Page 35 of 37
Barbecued Dog
Dress dog, removing any glands from under the legs. Take off all fat, if any. Cut into serving
pieces and parboil in salt water for several hours until tender. Place on spit or grill and pour your
favorite sauce recipe over the pieces. Grill, turning as needed to brown evenly. Baste with sauce
throughout cooking. (improvised sauce: mix a GI canteen cup of tomato sauce or juice with a GI
mess kit spoon of garlic powder, two GI mess kit spoons of worcestershire sauce and a dash of
Bunker Beef Curry
2 cups boned bunker beef (any meat on the hoof that you find down in your bunker; usually rats)
1/4 cup flour
3 large onions, sliced
4 tbsp. butter or oil
1 cup boiling water
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup tomato juice
Sprinkle the "beef" with seasoned flour. Cook "beef" and onions in butter or oil until brown. Add
water and spices and bring to a boil. Cover pan. Simmer for a couple of hours until "beef" is
tender. Stir in tomato juice. Serve with rice. Any condiments such as coconut, raisins, nuts or
chutney which are available can be sprinkled on top of Bunker Beef Curry on rice.
Barbecued Bunker Beef
4 cups cooked bunker beef, boned
1/4 cup vinegar or wine
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1-1/2 cups water
4 tbsp. mustard
1 tsp. salt
2 slices lemon
1 cup catsup
3 tsp. worcestershire sauce
Steam enough "beef" to make four cups, pulled from the bone. Set aside to cool. Combine
vinegar or wine with sugar, butter or oil, peppers, onions, water, mustard, salt and lemon slices in
a pan. Bring to a rolling boil. Add catsup, worcestershire sauce and "beef". Simmer for 15
minutes. Serve over bread or rice.
"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation
Page 36 of 37
Rat Roulade
2 medium rats, dressed (cut off heads, paws and tails)
4 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups toasted bread cubes
2 tbsp. minced parsley
1/2 tsp. celery seeds
1/4 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup bouillon (1 cup water, 1 bouillon cube)
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Saute bacon with onion until onion is tender. Mix in bread cubes, parsley, celery seeds and sage.
Season rats with salt and pepper. Stuff each rat with stuffing. Tie rats closed with strings by
wrapping around bodies. Place in pan and pour bouillon over roulades. Cover pan and simmer 45
minutes to 1 hour or until rats are tender. Add tomato sauce and cover pan again. Cook for 30
minutes more.
Jane Fondue or Meat with Red Sauce
3 pounds meat (beef, pork, horse, monkey, water buffalo, dog, cat ... any red meat)
3 cups cooking oil (any kind)
Red Sauce (see next recipe)
Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes and set at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Fill a pot 1/2
full with cooking oil and heat to 375 degrees (meat will brown quickly when oil is heated
properly). Place cubes of meat on sticks and cook in oil for 10 to 30 seconds until browned. Dip
into Red Sauce. Note: If fowl is substituted for red meat in Jane Fondue recipe, be sure to use
only the left wings of the chicks.
Red Sauce
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup steak sauce (or your favorite bottled steak condiment)
2 tbsp. cooking oil
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat thoroughly.
"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation
Page 37 of 37
Hopefully the recipes in this "Militia Cookbook" will give you some ideas on how to prepare
meals from your stockpiled staple foods during an emergency so you won't have to choke down
plain uncooked flour and break your teeth on dry beans.

"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation Part 4

"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation
Page 27 of 37
Company Brunswick Stew
2 fat hens, cut up
6 28-ounce cans of tomatoes
5 pounds of onions, chopped
10 pounds of potatoes, cubed
4 10-ounce packages frozen lima beans
4 17-ounce cans cream style corn
3 10-ounce packages frozen cut okra
4 red pepper pods
2 20-ounce cans tomato puree
1 5-ounce bottle worcestershire sauce
1 pound butter (no substitute)
Cook hens in plenty of water over medium-low heat until they are tender enough to fall from
bones. Remove chicken and let cool. Add tomatoes and onions to broth and cook 1 to 1-1/2
hours. Meanwhile, remove meat from bones and return to broth. Add potatoes, lima beans, corn,
okra and pepper pods. Reduce heat and cook 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally. Add tomato
puree, worcestershire sauce and butter. Simmer about another half hour. Serves 35 to 40.
Pea Soup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. butter
celery salt
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups cooked green peas
1 cup cold water
1/2 onion
1 cup milk
Set aside one third of peas. Add remainder to water, chicken stock and seasoning and let simmer
for 30 minutes. Press through sieve. Add butter. Let boil for a few minutes then add milk and
remaining peas which have been heated.
Split Pea Soup
1-1/2 cups dried split peas
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/8 tsp. pepper
5 cups water
Simmer peas, onion, salt and pepper in water 20 to 30 minutes until peas are tender.
Corn Chowder
2 slices diced salt pork (or 2 tbsp. butter)
1/2 cup diced onion
3 cups diced raw potatoes
2 cups water
2 cups fresh (or canned) corn
4 cups hot milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Saute onion in butter (or pork grease) and mix all ingredients (except milk) in large pot. Cook
until potatoes are tender. Add milk last and serve hot.
"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation
Page 28 of 37
Confederate Corn Chowder
3 cups water
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup potato flakes
1 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 cup dry milk powder
salt and pepper
Combine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until onion is tender. Season to
taste. Makes 6 servings.
Forager's Potato Soup
3 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups water
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or butter
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
Bring potatoes, water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15
minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Without draining the potatoes, mash them up.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil and add onion. Cook until onion is soft. Sprinkle in flour
and stir for 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring frequently for 5 or 10 minutes until thickened.
Add cooked potato mixture and seasonings blended together.
Old Timey Potato Soup
1 medium onion, minced
1/4 cup butter
4 cups diced raw potatoes
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
4 cups milk
a few dashes celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Saute onion in butter until translucent. Add potatoes, water and salt and cook until tender. Add
milk and season to taste. Simmer a few minutes before serving.
Bacon and Bean Soup
2 cups dried beans (or 2 cans cooked beans)
4 slices bacon
4 cups water
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. savory
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp. bacon fat
1 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. salt
Soak dried beans overnight and cook until tender (or use canned beans). Fry bacon until crisp and
drain. In a large pot, mix cooked beans with remaining ingredients. Simmer for 1 hour. Add
water as desired during cooking process. Crumble crisp bacon on top and serve.
"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation
Page 29 of 37
The complex carbohydrates in bread and pasta can take four hours for the body to break down and
make use of. This is fine to provide energy for a long hike or to allow you to sleep warmly. The
carbohydrates in simple sugars are more easily assimilated by the body (about fifteen minutes).
Cookies or breads containing fruit and a high sugar content make good snacks for a quick pickme-
up on the trail. For example, most of recipes in the cornbread section can be prepared using a
little extra brown sugar, molasses and some raisins. Cooking the sugar rich cornbread batter in a
cast iron corn stick pan makes an excellent trail snack or something to munch on in a sniper hide.
To satisfy your sweet tooth and to provide quick energy, here are some recipes that use sugar
(brown sugar is easier to carry and use in the field), molasses and dried or fresh fruits (there is a
possibility that you might just happen to run across a couple of apples in Washington State):
Yankee Cake
2 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp. shortening
2 cups hot water
1 package seedless raisins
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
Combine and boil the sugar, water, shortening, raisins, salt and spices for 5 minutes. Dissolve
soda in a teaspoon of hot water. When all ingredients cool, mix in the flour and dissolved soda.
Pour batter into two loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. (Note from recipe book:
"Notice this here recipe ain't got no eggs, milk or butter. Now I guess you know where it got it's
name. Cause of them Yankees there wuz no eggs, milk or butter after THE WAR.")
Hard Times Spice Cake
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1-1/4 cup whole wheat, unbleached or all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 to 1 cup raisins
Mix together the milk, oil and molasses. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients
except raisins. Mix together the two mixtures and stir in raisins. Pour batter into a greased 9x9-
inch pyrex baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
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Old Fashioned Stack Cake
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup molasses
1 quart cooked dried apples
allspice or nutmeg (Schilling Pumpkin Pie Spice combines cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg
and is good with stewed fruit)
Mix sour milk, soda, egg, shortening and molasses real good. Then add flour to make a stiff
dough. Roll thin and cut layers round, the size of cake desired, and bake. To stack, drain juice
from cooked dried apples, mash, sweeten and spice to taste and use between layers.
Stack Cake
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup sorghum molasses
3 eggs
1 cup milk
4 cups wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 cups sweetened, spiced applesauce
Sift well the flour, salt, soda and baking powder. Cream in shortening. Then add sugar a little at a
time, blending well. Add molasses and mix thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well
until smooth. Pour 1/3-inch deep in greased 9-inch pans and bake. This will make 6 or 7 layers.
When cool, stack using applesauce between layers. Commercial applesauce can be used or you
can try the next recipe.
Windfall Applesauce
Cut apples, peels and all. Place in pot and add small piece of cinnamon and a small amount of
water. Cook covered for 20 minutes. Cool slightly and add 1 tablespoon butter per quart of
apples and add grated nutmeg, ginger, grated lemon peel and ground cloves to taste. Cool and
Dried Apple Cake
2 cups dried apples
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup molasses
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup baking powder
1 cup raisins
cinnamon and nutmeg
Soak apples long enough to soften. Chop apples up small and boil them for 15 minutes in the
molasses. Dissolve the soda in hot water, put into molasses when cold. Mix in all ingredients,
beat well and pour into cake pan. Bake in moderate (350 degrees) oven until done.
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Confederate Puddin'
3 cups hot milk
3 cups cold boiled rice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. butter
Mix hot milk and rice, add molasses, butter, raisins, nutmeg and salt. Bake in a greased pan at 350
degrees for an hour. Stir after 30 minutes. (Note from recipe book: "Southern folks always had a
sweet tooth. After the war white flour wuz hard to come by so they came up with this here recipe.
It wuz so good they kept right on eatin' it even when they could git flour.")
Baked Cornmeal Pudding
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 well beaten eggs
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sorghum molasses
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
Sift meal twice. Mix all dry ingredients real good. Add eggs, milk, molasses and shortening. Mix
all together good, adding more milk if too stiff. Bake at 350 degrees in well greased pudding pan
until golden brown. Test with toothpick, if it comes out clean, pudding is done. Serve hot with
any kind of fruit.
Southern Bread Pudding
2 cups milk
4 eggs beaten
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup raisins
4 cups biscuit crumbs
2 tbsp. butter
nutmeg to taste
Mix milk, eggs and nutmeg together in a saucepan. Place over heat until hot but not boiling. Line
baking dish with biscuit crumbs mixed with melted butter. Pour milk mixture over biscuit crumbs
(you can use store-bought light bread, but biscuits are better). Sprinkle with nutmeg. Place the
baking dish in a pan of hot water in a 350 degrees oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Apple Brown Betty
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup margarine
3 cups apples, sliced (they need not be peeled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup water
In an oven-proof skillet, saute bread crumbs in margarine. Add apples, sugar, cinnamon and
water. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until apples are translucent and tender.
If mixture becomes too dry during baking, add 1/4 cup water (apples vary as to moisture content).
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Apple Custard Pie
filling ingredients:
3 apples, sliced and peeled
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup evaporated milk (or 1 cup double-strength powdered milk)
crust ingredients:
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
For crust, mix flour, salt and butter with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press firmly
on the bottom and sides of a buttered pie plate. Place sliced apples on crust. Sprinkle with 2/3
cup sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Beat together egg, remaining sugar
and evaporated milk. Pour over apples and return to oven to bake 30 minutes longer.
Timeless Gingerbread
2/3 cup molasses
1-1/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ginger
Mix the liquids. In another container, mix the dry ingredients. Beat together the two groups of
ingredients and pour into a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes
or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out un-sticky.
Scotch Shortbread
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Cream butter with sugar until soft. Add flour and mix well with hands. Add nuts if desired. Chill
dough 1 hour, then roll thin. Cut into shapes or short strips. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen pieces.
Grandma's Molasses Cookies
1 cup molasses
1 stick butter
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. ginger
Heat molasses and butter. Remove from heat. Mix remaining ingredients together and add to
molasses mixture. Mix well and chill 3 hours. Roll thin and cut with cookie cutter. Place on
greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees about 12 minutes. Cool.
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Molasses Crisps
1-1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup shortening
Sift the dry ingredients. In a saucepan, bring the molasses and shortening to a boil. Cool slightly.
Add flour mixture. Mix real good. Chill thoroughly. Cut into desired shapes and arrange on
greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until done, about 8 or 10 minutes. Makes about 2

Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation Part 3

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Carolina Choice Rice (or Grits) Loaf (or Muffins)
2 cups cooked brown rice (or 2 cups cooked hominy grits)
1-1/4 cup sour milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. baking soda, dissolved in 1 tbsp. of water
2 cups whole wheat, unbleached or all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 to 2 tbsp. sugar
Combine the rice or grits, sour milk, oil, egg and soda in water. In a separate bowl, mix the
remaining 3 ingredients. Stir together the two mixtures. Spoon into a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan
or into greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees. For the loaf bread, bake 50-60 minutes. For
muffins, bake 15 to 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick or broom straw. Insert near the center; if it
comes out unsticky, the bread is baked.
Charleston Rice Muffins
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup cold cooked rice
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
Combine dry ingredients. Add rice and liquid ingredients. Mix. Spoon into greased muffin tins.
Bake at 400 degrees for around 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
In case of a long-term survival situation, the following bread and biscuit recipes don't require eggs
or yeast and can be prepared with foodstuffs which will keep on a pantry shelf without
refrigeration (except whole wheat flour which you should grind as needed):
South Boston Brown Bread
1 cup rye flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. plain white flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup raisins
2 cups buttermilk or sour milk (to sour milk, put 2 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar in a pint container,
add milk to make 2 cups, stir and let sit a few minutes until clabbered)
3/4 cup molasses
Sift dry ingredients together. Add raisins. Stir. Mix buttermilk with molasses and pour into dry
mixture. Blend well and pour into greased 9x5-inch loaf pan (do not use 8x4-inch pan unless you
enjoy cleaning your oven). Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. (Note: This bread is named
after South Boston in Halifax County, Virginia, CSA.)
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Old-Fashioned Brown Bread
2 cups graham or whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup dark molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup low-fat milk
Mix graham flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a medium size bowl. In a large bowl,
combine molasses, buttermilk and low-fat milk; stir until blended. Add flour mixture to milk
mixture; stir until well blended. Pour batter into a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees
until bread begins to pull away from sides of pan and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean
(1 to 1-1/4 hours). Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack and let cool
Master Biscuit Mix
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups unbleached or all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking powder
1 tbsp. salt
Mix all ingredients (store in refrigerator or freezer for later use, if desired). To prepare, take 1-1/2
cups of master biscuit mix and add 3/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Mix. With a
large spoon, drop mounds of batter on baking sheet or cast iron skillet. Bake at 425 degrees for
about 15 minutes or until the tops are brown.
Cabin Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk (about)
2 tbsp. lard or shortening
Sift dry ingredients together and blend with lard or shortening. Add buttermilk, about one cup to
make soft dough. Roll on a floured board until 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and cut with drinking glass or
biscuit cutter. Place on baking sheet and bake in 350 degrees oven about 10 minutes or until
Mammy's Baking Powder Biscuits
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. shortening
1/2 cup milk
Sift dry ingredients together. Work in shortening with fingertips. Add milk slowly, stirring the
batter until smooth. Roll on a floured board until 1/2-inch thick and cut. Place on a baking sheet
and bake in a hot (450 degrees) oven for 15 minutes.
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Rebel Yell Whole Wheat Biscuits
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached or plain white flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
8 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups milk (or more)
Mix dry ingredients. Combine oil and milk. Stir the liquid into the dry mixture quickly. On
greased baking sheets, make mounds of dough using a large spoon, leaving enough space to allow
for expansion. Bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes.
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Casseroles, Soups, Stews and Dumplings
Much colonial cooking consisted of meals that simmered for hours in cast iron kettles over the
fireplace. One-pot meals in a dutch oven or iron kettle over a fire are still a practical method for
preparing a lot of food with minimum effort. For casseroles the ingredients are mixed together in
the cooking vessel and then baked. For soups and stews on the stove top or over the fire, the meat
goes in first and vegetables are added towards the end of the cooking time. If unexpected guests
show up, an extra potato can be quartered and dropped in the stew pot. If meat is in short supply
for your stew, you can substitute bouillon cubes and a little butter or vegetable oil and add
potatoes or dumplings. Dumplings can be quickly prepared to stretch a meal by adding biscuit
dough in small lumps or strips and steaming in the covered pot for 10 to 15 minutes (either use a
biscuit recipe from the previous section or try one of the dumpling recipes below).
Whole Wheat Biscuit Mix for Dumplings
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. shortening or oil
1/4 cup powdered milk
Combine at home and store in a zip-lock bag or Nalgene bottle. In camp, add 3 tablespoons water
per 1/2 cup biscuit mix and mix well. Spoon into boiling stew or soup. Simmer 10 minutes
uncovered and 10 minutes covered.
Cornmeal Dumplings
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp. black pepper
ham stock
Mix cornmeal and pepper. While ham stock is boiling, pour some over meal mixture and stir into
dough. Make stiff enough to form balls the size of an egg and drop in briskly boiling stock.
Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
4 cups flour
1/3 cup lard or other shortening
1-1/2 to 2 cups water
Mix together flour and lard. Add water and mix thoroughly. Toss dough on a floured surface
until coated with flour. Divide into 4 balls and roll dough out 1 ball at a time to about 1/4-inch or
thinner. Cut in strips and cut strips into 2-inch pieces. Add a few pieces at a time to boiling broth.
Cook uncovered, making sure that each dumpling is under the liquid part of the time. cook about
5 to 10 minutes. Makes 4 to 5 large servings. (Note: If using self rising flour, make sure to use
hot water so dough will rise before cooking.)
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Beef Stew with Dumplings
1-1/2 pounds rump roast
1/4 cup flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 small onion
1/3 cup cubed carrots
1/3 cup cubed turnips
4 cups potatoes, quartered
Wipe meat off, remove from the bone, cut in 1-1/2 inch cubes. Mix flour with salt and pepper and
cover meat with mixture. Heat some fat from meat in a frying pan. Add meat and brown. Put
meat with browned fat in stew kettle, add boiling water to cover. Simmer until tender, about 3
hours. Add carrots and turnips for last hour of cooking. Add potatoes 20 minutes and dumplings
15 minutes before serving. Use one of the dumpling recipes above.
Chicken and Dumplings
1 stewing hen
3 cups flour
1 egg
1 heaping tablespoon shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold water
Cut chicken for stewing. Barely cover with water and cook until tender for about 2 to 3 hours.
Remove chicken from stock and remove bones. Put flour in mixing bowl. In center of flour put
egg, shortening and salt. Gradually add cold water. Work plenty of flour into dough. Roll thin
and cut in 2x3-inch strips. When dumplings are added to broth, lower heat and simmer about 12
to 15 minutes. Place the chicken back in the stew. A little butter may be added if chicken is
lacking in fat.
Chicken Pot Pie
3 to 4 cups cooked chopped chicken
1 16-ounce can mixed vegetables, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup self-rising flour (if using ordinary flour, add 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) margarine, melted
Place chicken in a large casserole dish and add vegetables, soup and broth. Mix together, in a
separate bowl, the next 4 ingredients for the topping. Pour the topping mixture over the chicken.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
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Meat Loaf with Cornbread Topping
meat loaf ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage
1-1/2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
topping ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sage
1 tsp. shortening
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
3 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meat loaf ingredients together and lightly press into a 9x5-inch
loaf pan. The top of the meat loaf should be flat to make an even surface for the topping. In a
mixing bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients and cut in shortening. Add eggs and milk and
blend well. Spread topping evenly on top of meat loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Beef Stew and Lima Beans
3/4 cup dried lima beans
1 pound boneless chuck stew beef, cut in pieces
1 bunch carrots
salt, pepper and celery salt
Soak beans overnight, drain. Add meat and cook 1-1/2 hours in boiling water. Add carrots and
cook until tender. Season with salt, pepper and celery salt. Serve with tomato sauce.
Beef Stew
1-1/2 pounds boneless stew beef
3 tbsp. bacon fat or shortening
1-3/4 tsp. salt
a few dashes of pepper
1 onion the size of a large egg, peeled
1/3 cup water, and more as needed
5 carrots (6 inch long)
5 potatoes (medium size)
Wipe meat with a damp cloth and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes. Heat fat until sizzling in a heavy 3
quart saucepan or dutch oven. Add meat, turning it often until a fine rich brown. Add thickly
sliced onion to meat the last five minutes of browning. When brown, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt
and pepper. Add water, cover, heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer until meat is almost done,
from 1-1/2 to 2 hours. After simmering 1 hour, if more water is needed, stir in 1/4 cup at a time.
A half-hour before serving time, add scraped and washed carrots cut into 2-inch lengths and pared
halved potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until vegetables are
just done. There should be enough liquid in pot to almost cover meat and vegetables. To make
gravy, mix 1/3 cup water and 1 tablespoon flour. Blend until smooth. Push meat and vegetables
to one side and pour flour mixture, while stirring, in a stream into broth. Cook and stir 2 to 3
minutes longer until thickened and smooth.
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Carolina Beef Stew
1 pound boneless beef cubes
2 tbsp. fat
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. catsup
3 cups beef bouillon
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tsp. salt and pepper
2 cups diced raw potatoes
2 cups sliced carrots
6 small onions (whole)
Brown beef in fat. Add chopped onion, catsup, bouillon, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and
simmer about 1-1/2 hours until meat is tender. Add potatoes, carrots and whole onions, barely
cover with water. Cover and simmer until vegetables are cooked (about a half hour).
Brunswick Stew
1 large chicken
1 rabbit
2 bay leaves, crumbled
5 peppercorns
3 sprigs parsley
1 stalk celery, cut up
3 potatoes, cut up
2 large onions, sliced
piece of salt pork
2 cups fresh corn, cut from cob
2 cups large lima beans
6 tomatoes, quartered
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. savory
Cut salt pork in small pieces and brown slowly in large skillet. Remove salt pork and save. Cut
rabbit into serving pieces, dredge in seasoned flour and brown in salt pork fat. Place chicken in
large pot, place rabbit on top of chicken. Add salt pork, beans, onions and celery. Cover with
boiling water, cover tightly and simmer 2 hours. Add other ingredients except tomatoes. Cook
until vegetables are just tender. Mix a little flour and water and add to stew. Add tomatoes and
cook 5 minutes. Correct seasoning and serve.
Brunswick Stew
2 pounds beef or veal cubes
1 large chicken
2 cups diced raw potatoes
4 cups cut corn
1 cup chopped onions
3 cups fresh lima beans (or cooked dry lima beans)
4 cups canned tomatoes
1 tbsp. salt (to taste)
2 tbsp. hot sauce
2 tsp. red pepper
Place beef or veal and chicken in large pot, cover with water, bring to boil, reduce heat and
simmer over medium-low heat until tender. Remove meat from bones. Skim fat from liquid.
Return meat to broth. Add other ingredients. Simmer slowly for several hours to blend flavors and thicken. Serve hot.

"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation part 2

There is an old saying, "Beans, beans, good for the heart, the more you eat beans the more your
health will improve." All varieties of dried beans except split peas and lentils need to be soaked
before cooking. Beans tend to retain their shape better with a long soak.
Cooking Dried Beans.
To prepare dried beans (1 pound of dried beans = about 2 cups raw or 5 to 6 cups cooked), place
washed beans in a pot with 2 to 3 times their volume of water (1 pound of beans needs 4 to 6
cups). Let stand 8 to 12 hours. To quick soak, bring water and beans to a boil and allow to boil 2
minutes. Cover pot and let stand 1 hour. The time required for cooking beans is generally 1-1/2
to 2 hours, but this depends upon the variety of bean and the length of time they have been stored.
Check beans often as they begin to get tender so they don't get mushy. Cook at a gentle simmer
with the lid tilted to retain shape. If beans foam up during cooking, add a tablespoon of oil or fat
to the water or cook with a small amount of fat pork or bacon. If a recipe calls for tomatoes,
lemon juice or vinegar, add when beans are almost tender or acid will slow the softening process.
Beans can also be prepared for quick-cooking in camp like minute rice. Cook them normally until
tender, drain and dry them in a food dryer or spread them on a flat pan and dry in a warm oven or
in the sun. Store in airtight canisters. They can then be reconstituted in water by boiling about 20
Trench Beans
1 lb. dry pinto beans, cooked
1 tbsp. seasoned salt
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. A-1 Steak Sauce
1/8 tsp. Tabasco
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
Soak and cook beans. When tender, add seasonings and simmer an additional 30 minutes.
Battalion Baked Beans
1 large can pork and beans
1/2 cup tomato catsup
6 small onions (or 1 jar small onions)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. dry prepared mustard
bacon strips
Combine all ingredients except bacon and spoon into a casserole dish. Cover with strips of bacon.
Bake at 300 degrees to 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the bacon is done and the beans are bubbly.
Secession Baked Beans
2 cans pork and beans (or 3 cups cooked dry beans)
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup tomato sauce (3/4 cup if more liquid is needed)
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1/2 tsp. dry prepared mustard
1/4 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
dash of pepper
3 strips of bacon, cut in half (optional)
Combine everything except bacon. Pour into 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. If you use bacon, arrange
on top of the bean mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours or 375 degrees for 1 hour.
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Baked Beans
6 cups cooked dry beans (2 cups raw)
1 small chopped onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. molasses
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry prepared mustard
2 slices fat pork or bacon
Place half the cooked beans in a bean pot place chopped onion on top. Add remaining beans. Mix
brown sugar, molasses, salt and mustard and pour on top of beans. Lay fat pork or bacon on top
and cover beans with hot water. Cover bean pot and bake in a slow oven (250 degrees) for 6
hours. Uncover last hour to brown.
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Rice and Beans
Like the cornbread and beans diet of the Confederacy or the fish and rice staple diet of the Orient,
rice and beans combine incomplete proteins from two different foods to form complete proteins.
The combination of rice and beans is a staple diet for much of the world's population. You can top
the Carolina Red Rice recipe with cooked dried beans (seasoned to taste). Use the recipes for
Hopping John (a colonial dish served on New Year's Day to insure good luck) as guidelines and
substitute whatever type of beans you have available. Try adding canned chili and tomato sauce
or salsa to cooked rice (or make your own chili with meat, tomato sauce and chili seasonings) and
add it to any rice and bean mix (seasoned to taste with hot sauce).
Cooking Rice
Instant or minute rice, while good for cooking in the field, won't store for long periods (without
vacuum or nitrogen packing) since it has already been cooked and then dried. To prepare regular
long grain white rice (1 cup uncooked rice = about 3 cups cooked rice), rinse lightly and drain the
water. Add one cup of water and 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt (or meat stock or bouillon) for each cup of rice.
Optionally, add one teaspoon of butter or oil for each cup of uncooked rice. Bring to a boil over
high heat and allow to boil one minute. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes more. Don't open lid while cooking.
Bean-Rice Casserole
3 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup quick-cooking black beans (see previous section for instructions on preparing quickcooking
beans or substitute cooked dried beans or a can of cooked beans)
1 tbsp. instant beef bouillon
3 tbsp. margarine
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple
Put all ingredients in a frying pan and mix. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 20
minutes. Don't stir while it's cooking because that will make the rice gummy. When the water has
been absorbed, test rice for doneness. If it's still a little chewy, add a little more water and cook a
few minutes more.
Carolina Red Rice
1/4 lb. bacon
3/4 cup chopped onions
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups canned tomatoes (or reconstituted dried tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
Cook bacon, remove from pan and crumble. Cook onions in bacon fat until tender. Add rice,
tomatoes, seasonings and crumbled bacon. Cook on low heat about 35 minutes, stirring well. Stir
with fork several times while cooking. Check after 15 minutes and add water if needed.
Hopping John
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
2 cups cooked rice
1 chopped onion (optional)
2 tbsp. butter
dash salt, pepper and hot sauce
Blend and heat slowly about 30 minutes.
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Hopping John Soup
1 cup dry black-eyed peas ("southern caviar")
8 cups water
6 slices bacon
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup regular rice
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Rinse black-eyed peas. In a large saucepan add the peas and water, bring to a boil 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Drain, setting aside 6 cups of the cooking liquid. In
heavy saucepan, cook the bacon, onion and garlic until the bacon is crisp and the onion is tender
but not brown. Remove the bacon, drain on paper towels: crumble and set aside. Stir the blackeyed
peas, raw rice, salt, pepper and reserved cooking liquid into mixture in saucepan. Bring to a
boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in crumbled bacon and it's
ready to serve eight regular folks or two good ol' boys.
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Bread and Biscuits
In case of a power outage, bread bakes just as well in a dutch oven with hot coals or charcoal
briquets (cooking time should be roughly the same as in your home oven). If you don't do a lot of
baking, you might want to invest in a set of no-stick air-bake insulated baking pans and cookie
sheets, which will lessen the chance of burning your baked goods. Bread can be prepared from
stockpiled staples and can be served with any meal. However, note that due to their oil content,
items like wheat germ and whole wheat flour or other unprocessed flours will turn rancid without
refrigeration (or freezing). It's best to store whole grains, get a hand cranked mill and grind your
own flour. In the face of an expected long-term power outage, you will want to preserve or use up
the perishables in your refrigerator. Baking bread is a good way to use your milk, eggs and butter
(substitute melted butter in recipes that call for vegetable oil) before they spoil and will give you
something to put your peanut butter and jelly on or sop up some gravy. To ease this task, you may
want to keep a stock of Jiffy Muffin Mix on hand (rotate periodically by using and replacing).
These mixes are easy to use and are very versatile. For example, the corn muffin mix package has
instructions for preparing as muffins, cornbread, corn sticks and corn pancakes or waffles. Any
Jiffy Muffin Mix can be extended using the following recipe:
Jiffy Muffin Mix Mini-Loaves
1 package Jiffy Muffin Mix (corn muffin, blueberry, apple-cinnamon, etc.)
In addition to the ingredients listed in package recipe (e.g. corn muffins call for 1 egg and 1/3 cup
milk), also use:
1/3 cup wheat germ, bran or uncooked multigrain cereal
1 tbsp. brown sugar or molasses
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit (or 1/4 cup each dried fruit & chopped nuts)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. melted butter or vegetable oil
1 tbsp. milk
For corn muffin mix, preheat oven to 400 degrees (or temperature called for by other type muffin
mix). Mix dry ingredients together. Beat remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl, then
blend with dry mix. For maximum rise, let batter rest 3 or 4 minutes and then pour into two
greased 3x5-1/2 inch mini-loaf pans (which will fit in a 10-inch dutch oven, by the way; set the
pans on top of home-canning jar rings or pebbles placed in the bottom of the oven to let hot air
circulate under the pans). Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until brown.
The following quick breads (no active dry yeast required) can also be prepared to use up your
milk, eggs and butter before they spoil:
Logan Bread
6 eggs
3 cups flour (any mixture of whole wheat and rye)
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup sorghum syrup or maple syrup
(any combination of these four sweeteners totaling one cup works fine)
1/2 cup shelled walnuts or pecans
1 cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, apricots, peaches, etc.)
Beat all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Pat down into two greased 9x5-inch loaf pans.
Bake at 275 degrees for two hours, or until a tester comes out clean. The bread will be very
heavy, dense and chewy; each loaf weighs 24 ounces. Logan bread tastes good on the trail, is high
in calories and is almost impervious to spoilage.
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Pioneer Bread
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk: 1 tbsp. vinegar, 1/3 cup powdered milk, water to make 1 cup, let
set 5 minutes)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins
2 tbsp. caraway seeds
Combine butter, honey, and eggs in a bowl and add buttermilk. Separately, combine flours and
baking soda and add salt, raisins, and caraway seeds. Combine both bowls. Place in a greased
9x5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Molasses Graham Bread
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1-3/4 cups graham flour (or whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1-3/4 cups sour milk or buttermilk
3/4 cup molasses
Mix together dry ingredients, then cut in the butter. Work with fingertips until mixture resembles
coarse cornmeal. Blend eggs, milk and molasses. Pour into dry mixture and stir just enough to
blend. Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
Irish Soda Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 cups dried currants or raisins
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tbsp. melted butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and currants in a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat
buttermilk, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the butter and vanilla until blended. Add egg mixture to flour
mixture and stir until evenly moistened. Spread batter in a greased 10-inch oven-proof frying pan.
Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Bake at 350 degrees until bread is browned and pulls
away from sides of pan (about 45 minutes). Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
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Nut Bread
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2-1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat real good. Sift together dry ingredients and
add to butter mixture alternately with the milk. Mix in nuts and vanilla. Pour batter into greased
loaf pan and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Date Nut Bread
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. shortening
1 cup boiling water
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts
1 egg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put dates, sugar and shortening into a bowl. Pour boiling water over
mixture and cool. Sift flour with soda, salt and baking powder. Mix with dates. Add nuts and
mix real good. Add egg last, mix thoroughly and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake 1 hour.
Whole Wheat Beer Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. sugar
4-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup (1/4 lb. plus 1/4 cup) cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup beer
Mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar in a large
bowl. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add
egg and beer. Stir with a fork just until dough holds together. Turn dough out onto a well floured
board and knead briefly until smooth (2 or 3 turns). Pat dough 1-inch thick. Using a floured 2-1/2
to 2-3/4 inch round cookie cutter, cut out biscuits. Gently pat scraps together and cut out
remaining biscuits. Arrange biscuits slightly apart on a large greased baking sheet. Bake at 425
degrees until browned (18 to 20 minutes). Transfer biscuits to a rack. Makes 8 or 9 biscuits.

"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation

"Militia Cookbook" Emergency Food Preparation
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Emergency Food Preparation
During wartime or a natural disaster, food shortages and lack of natural gas or electricity for
cooking requires a great deal of improvisation and reliance upon back-to-basics cooking
techniques used by our forefathers in order to survive. In an emergency it helps to know what to
do with all the wheat, rice, cornmeal, sugar, molasses, vegetable oil and dried beans, milk, fruits
and vegetables which you've wisely cached along with firewood or cooking fuel.
Colonial, pioneer and nineteenth century military cooking methods and recipes are useful when
preparing meals from simple cached staples. Many of the recipes included in this information
paper don't need perishables like meat, eggs or yeast, which you might not have.
Recipes for the modern kitchen with a temperature-controlled oven will naturally have to be
adjusted by trial and error if you are baking in a clay oven in the field or cooking over a campfire.
Improvisation is called for to substitute what is available. For example if a recipe calls for bacon
drippings, you can use any cooking fat like lard, margarine, butter, vegetable oil or shortening.
Butter Flavor Crisco can be used in most recipes, doesn't require refrigeration and is available in
easy to measure sticks.
The interaction between a sweetener, baking soda and buttermilk or sour milk (which you can
make by adding a little vinegar to reconstituted dry milk; 1 tablespoon per cup of milk and let
stand 5 minutes) can substitute for yeast if none is available.
White hardwood ashes can replace baking powder as a leavening agent.
Honey, molasses or syrups and be substituted for sugar in most recipes by using less water. 1 cup
honey = 1-1/4 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid.
Use whatever dried fruit is available regardless of what the recipe calls for.
Experimentation is the order of the day.
If you remember to add spices in stages (they can't be removed if you use too much) and if all of
the ingredients you use are food, then the chances are the end result will be edible (especially if
you are hungry enough).
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Sources of Recipes
Living history reenactors of the American Revolution and the War of Northern Aggression take
great delight in recreating authentic army meals around their campfires and hardcore reenactors
actually eat the mess. Patricia B. Mitchell has published a series of cookbooks (available from
Sims-Mitchell House Bed & Breakfast, 242 Whittle Street SW, P.O. Box 429, Chatham, VA
24531) to make this task easier and many excerpts from her books "Revolutionary Recipes,"
"Union Army Camp Cooking," "Confederate Camp Cooking," "Confederate Home Cooking" and
"Cooking for the Cause" are included in this paper. Some recipes have been included from
"Colonial Treasure Cookbook" (Hutcraft, High Point, NC 27262) and from "Colonial Fireplace
Cooking & Early American Recipes" (Shoestring Press, 430 N. Harrison, East Lansing, MI
Regional cookbooks, especially from the South, are a source of recipes for nutritional meals from
simple foods. Recipes have been included from various southern cookbooks including "Cookin'
Yankees Ain't Et" (The Merry Mountaineers, Highlands, NC 28741), "Southern Recipes" and
"Piggin' Out in Dixie" (Southern Cookbooks, P.O. Box 100905, Nashville, TN 37224).
Recipes and field cooking techniques have also been excerpted from "The Green Beret Gourmet"
(The Guttenberg Press Publications, P.O. Box 973, Rockledge, FL 32955).
Some quick bread recipes which don't require yeast come from "Sunset Breads" (Sunset
Publishing Corp., Menlo Park, CA 94025), a cookbook with recipes from all over the world. If
you have active dry yeast or sourdough starter, this book is an excellent reference for other bread
recipes not included in this paper.
Vegetarian cookbooks should also be a good source of survival recipes, but being a confirmed
carnivore, the writer of this paper has no personal knowledge of any such books. Backpacking
books are also an excellent source of field cooking techniques and recipes.
There is a chapter on field nutrition and camp cooking as well as an extensive appendix of recipes
in "The National Outdoor Leadership School's Wilderness Guide" (Simon & Schuster, Inc., Simon
& Schuster Building, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020).
"Roughing It Easy" by Dian Thomas (The Dian Thomas Company, P.O. Box 171107, Holladay,
UT 84117; 1-800-846-6355) is a comprehensive collection of outdoor cooking recipes and
techniques, including many variations on improvised tin can stoves and ovens, pit and open fire
cooking, dutch oven cooking, building a solar reflector cooker or solar oven and a section on
drying fruits, vegetables and jerky.
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The Improvised Kitchen
You should have a camping stove for emergency cooking purposes. Two-burner stoves are useful
in a fixed location or if you are vehicle mobile. Propane stoves are easy to use but fuel is
expensive, the high pressure steel canisters are heavy and not likely to be widely available during
a long-term emergency. A multifuel stove capable of using either white gas (lantern fuel or
Coleman fuel) or ordinary gasoline is easier to resupply in an emergency. However, gasoline
burns hotter than propane and is not as useful for low heat simmering of foods, so it might be wise
to have both types of stove.
If you are in a fixed location like a survival retreat or base camp, nothing beats a cast iron skillet,
covered kettle and especially a dutch oven for open fire or hot coal cooking. An excellent
configuration for a cooking fire is the keyhole type. Build a fire ring of rocks with a rectangular
extension, build a fire in the circular part and coals can be raked or shoveled into the rectangular
cooking area as needed. A grill or griddle can be supported over the rectangular cooking area
(bricks can be used instead of rocks here for more stability) or the area can be used with a dutch
oven. A metal tripod (or one fashioned from green branches) to hang a kettle can be used for
boiling water or directly cooking over the flames in the circular part of the fire ring.
The book "Roughing It Easy" shows how useful heavy duty aluminum foil is for outdoor cooking;
stock up. Also, if you store food in large #10 cans (1 gallon) or in five gallon square cans, get this
book and a pair of tin snips to convert the empty cans into many useful stove and oven variations.
A cookie cooling rack can be used over a small pit of coals or an improvised #10 can barbecue.
A grill and dutch oven can be arranged to allow simultaneous use as a baking oven and for frying.
Dig a shallow hole 9 to 12 inches in diameter and 3 to 4 inches deep; place coals or charcoal
briquets in the hole and place the grill across the hole; put the pan containing the item to be baked
on the grill and cover with an inverted dutch oven; place coals on the base of the dutch oven which
is now the top; place the inverted dutch oven lid on the base tripod legs and it becomes a griddle
for frying foods.
Another useful accessory for either base camp cooking or for use in the field is a folding pack
grill. Such a grill can be used for directly broiling meats, as a stand over the coals for a skillet,
griddle or a stock pot (used for soups and stews, as a steamer or as an oven for baking or roasting),
as a reflector oven (using disposable aluminum cooking pans for reflectors), as a stand for an
inverted dutch oven lid allowing it to be used for frying, as a dirt free stand for placing a dutch
oven lid when adding ingredients to or checking the progress of food in the oven and as a stand
away from the fire for serving or for safely adding ingredients without burning yourself or spilling
the food. The Coghlan's brand pack grill is cheap enough (about $3 to $4 in discount stores) that
several can be purchased for use in a base camp. A single pack grill and a lightweight nesting
cooking set or GI mess kit can be carried in your rucksack to simplify field cooking.
You can also add a folding pocket stove or GI canteen cup stand and solid fuel tablets to your
rucksack for reheating prepared foods or preparing hot beverages like instant soup, coffee, tea or
To ease the cleanup chore when reheating cooked food, immerse the food container (can, MRE
pouch, vacuum seal bag or freezer bag) in boiling water in your cooking pot; pierce the food
container above the water line so it doesn't explode. In the field this method of heating food
reduces cooking odors and lessens the chance of giving away your unit's position to enemy scouts.
A single-burner butane or multifuel backpacking stove can be shared between two or three people.
Most butane cartridges nowadays are filled with iso-butane which can be used down to about 20
degrees but, like with two-burner camp stoves, a multifuel stove is easier to resupply. Get an extra
GI canteen cover and you can carry your stove attached to the side of your GI rucksack.
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If you are on the move without a vehicle or pack animals to carry heavy cooking vessels like cast
iron skillets and dutch ovens (or in case you get separated from your well stocked rucksack), here
are some of the many other ways of cooking food using natural materials described in "The Green
Beret Gourmet":
Clay Ovens:
Construct an arched structure of green sticks (similar in shape to a beehive), insert a thick stick
vertically through the top to form a flue opening and daub with wet clay until it is completely
covered except for a front opening. Pile on successive layers of clay until a thick wall is made.
Allow the layers to dry between applications by either placing hot coals inside or, if time is not a
problem, by the sun. If each layer is not thoroughly dry, the oven will crack when you try to use
it. A clay oven can also be made by hammering a thick sharpened stick down through a bank or
slope about three feet back from the edge. Scoop out the size of the oven you want about a foot or
so down the bank. Leave a thick ceiling. Leave a narrow front opening and dig back and hollow
the bank as far as the stick which you hammered down. Pull the stick out to form the chimney
opening. Wet your hands and smooth the interior surfaces, then harden the walls by building a
small fire inside. After your oven is prepared, to use it build a fire inside. When the fire has
burned down, scrape out the coals and ashes. Lay food inside on stones, leaves or hardwood slabs.
Close off the front opening and flue. Leave food inside to cook. Cooking time depends upon the
type of food being cooked.
Cooking in Natural Containers:
A stone with a hollow in it makes an excellent container. If it is small enough you can build a fire
around the stone. Bark can be used to fashion pots to boil water, cook soups, stews or any foods
with liquids over a fire. Peel a square of bark and fold the corners inward and hold them in place
with wooden pegs. Keep the flames from touching your bark pot above the liquid level and your
meal will cook in this simple container. Large leaves make an instant "aluminum foil" when
baking or steaming food, but be sure to use edible nonpoisonous leaves.
Baking in Clay.
This method is excellent for small game or fish. Remove the entrails from the animal being
prepared. This is easiest to do if the animal is already dead. Do not skin, pluck or scale. Cover
with a layer of clay about an inch thick. Place it in hot ashes and build a fire above it. Cooking
time varies with animal size and taste preference. A one pound animal will be cooked in
approximately 30 to 40 minutes. The meat will be stripped clean of fur, feathers or scales when
you break off the clay.
Baking on a Stick.
Heat a peeled green stick by the fire while you prepare a bread dough. Mix a GI canteen cup of
flour with a mound of baking powder the size of a quarter and a dash of salt. Add water gradually
to make a soft dough. Work quickly so the bread will rise as it bakes. Wrap dough around heated
stick and place upright next to the fire to let it bake.
Cooking in Ashes.
Foodstuff is placed in warm ashes and then covered with embers. Self-contained foods such as
vegetables do not need to be wrapped in anything; simply place them in the ashes and dust them
off after cooking. Cooking time depends upon the type of food and personal preferences. You
can test vegetables by feeling for softness and putting them back if they still feel firm.
Cooking on Wood Slabs.
Select a green hardwood slab (evergreens season the food with a pine or turpentine taste) large
enough to lash or peg the animal. Fish and very small game can be successfully cooked this way.
Clean the animal and flatten down on the slab. Either pin the animal down with wooden pegs or
lash to the slab with whatever is available. Lean the slab up in front of glowing coals. Turn a few
times so the food will cook evenly.
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This recipe comes from Richmond, Virginia in the Confederate States of America when Yankee
invaders were marauding and food was in short supply:
Roasted Rat
The rat must be skinned, cleaned, his head cut off and his body laid upon a square board, the legs
stretched to their full extent and secured upon it with small tacks, then baste with bacon fat and
roast before a good fire quickly like canvasback ducks.
Broiling on a Stick.
This is a good method for cooking a small amount of food. Fish, birds and small animals (large
animals must be cut into smaller chunks) can be cleaned and then skewered on a peeled green
wood stick. If the food tends to slide, a bark twine can be used to tie it down by splitting the wood
down to the game on both ends and twisting bark through the splits. Sear the meat in the flame to
seal in the juices. The skewer can be laid over forked green sticks at both ends of an ember bed.
As long as the fire does not flame up, the meat needs only occasional turning so it cooks evenly.
Steaming in a Hole.
This method can be used to cook small or enormous amounts of food with great results. Build a
fire and place some stones in it to heat. Don't select rocks from a stream bed, limestone or
sandstone since they can contain trapped moisture and may explode when heated. While the
stones are heating, dig a hole. Put the stones in the pit and place a thick layer of wet vegetation
like grass or seaweed over them. Lay the food on top of the wet vegetation and place a stick near
the edge of the pit. Fill with dirt. Pull the stick out and pour water down this opening onto the
rocks to steam the food. Tamp down the top and leave the food to steam for at least two or three
hours. If you are cooking something larger than fish or small game, the cooking time will need to
be extended.
Meat can be grilled over the coals if it is fat. Lean game will end up very dry. Build a bed of
hardwood embers and place a grill matting of green sticks on it. Place the meat on the grill and
turn immediately after the sides are seared to seal in the juices. Try not to pierce the meat with
whatever you are turning it with so you don't lose any juices. Keep a small container of water
nearby to douse any flames that surface from the fat drippings.
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Fire Cake and Hoe Cakes
One of the easiest ways of making flour edible, even if not very appetizing, is to make a simple
dough and fry or bake it over a fire. During the Revolutionary War it was common for soldiers to
make a thick paste of flour and water (salt was added when available) and then bake it on hot
rocks around a campfire. The result was an unpalatable, chewy, soggy glob which only the
starving soldiers at Valley Forge probably appreciated. Hoe cakes were made from a corn meal
dough carried to the fields by slaves and other farm workers. At lunch they cleaned their hoes, put
the dough on them and cooked it over a fire.
Entrenching Tool Cake
4 GI canteen cups white cornmeal
boiling water
1 GI mess kit spoon (1 tablespoon) bacon drippings
GI mess kit spoon salt
Scald cornmeal with enough boiling water to make a stiff batter, then add bacon drippings and
salt. Shape into pones, leaving the imprint of four fingers across top. Place batter on the cleaned,
greased blade of an entrenching tool and set up next to fire to bake.
Corn Pone
2 cups cornmeal
3/4 tsp. salt (or less)
boiling water
2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted; or vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients to make a semi-stiff mush. Spread 1/4-inch thick in a well-greased heavy
pan and bake at 375 degrees 20 to 25 minutes. Corn pones used to be baked on a greased shovel
over glowing coals.
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During the War for Southern Independence, hardtack was a staple food (when fresh bread was
unavailable) for both the brutal soldiers of the oppressive Federal government and the brave
Confederate patriots defending their homeland. Hardtack was a virtually indestructible 1/2-inch
thick cracker about three inches by three inches, pierced with sixteen holes and made from flour
and water. Tack was a contemptuous term for food and the soldiers "affectionately" referred to
hardtack as worm castles, sheet iron crackers and tooth dullers. Some of the hardtack issued to
soldiers in the 1860's was supposedly left over from the 1846-48 Mexican War. The daily ration
was nine or ten crackers, but there was usually enough for those who wanted more since some
men would not draw a full ration. They were eaten plain, soaked in coffee or crumbled and added
to the stew pot. A dish known as Skillygalee was made by soaking hardtack in cold water and
then browning it in pork fat and seasoning to taste. A favorite seasoning of the times was cayenne
pepper. Confederate Cush provided a dinner entree that consisted of bits of cooked beef, seasoned
with garlic, fried in bacon grease and then stewed with crumbled hardtack or cornmeal mush. The
crackers included in military C-rations and the current MREs are similar to hardtack, being much
more dense, containing more flour and less air than commercial saltine crackers. When fresh,
hardtack was not unappetizing, but when boxes of hardtack sat on railroad platforms or
warehouses for months before being issued it hardened and often became insect infested. Because
hardtack was packed in boxes marked "B.C." (probably for "Brigade Commissary"), soldiers said
they were so hard because they were baked "Before Christ".
The following account from a Yankee invader indicates how much hardtack was appreciated:
"While before Petersburg, doing siege work in the summer of 1864, our men had wormy hardtack,
or ship's biscuit, served out to them for a time. It was a severe trial, and it tested the temper of the
men. Breaking open the biscuit and finding live worms in them, they would throw the pieces in
the trenches where they were doing duty day by day, although the orders were to keep the trenches
clean for sanitary reasons. A brigade officer of the day, seeing some of the scraps along our front,
called out sharply to our men 'Throw that hardtack out of the trenches.' Then, as the men men
promptly gathered it up as directed, he added, 'Don't you know that you've no business to throw
hardtack in the trenches? Haven't you been told that often enough?' Out from the injured soldier
heart there came the reasonable explanation 'We've thrown it out two or three times, sir, but it
crawls back.'"
Hardtack (original 1860's recipe) Use one part water to six parts flour. Roll dough flat and score
into cracker shapes. Bake 20-25 minutes and cool off until completely dry before storing in
canisters. The crackers should be hard as bricks and indestructibly unappetizing. If not consumed
by hungry soldiers, the crackers might last at least until the Lord returns!
The following recipes don't duplicate the indestructible nature of 19th century hardtack, but they
are more appetizing since they are made from more than just flour and water:
1-1/4 cups cornmeal
1 cup water (about)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Combine the above ingredients, using enough water to moisten. Bake in a greased 7x11-inch pan
at 375 degrees for around 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. While still warm,
cut into squares. A modern day cross between hardtack and cornbread, these thick crackers are
actually pleasantly tasty served warm or reheated.
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Swedish Hardtack
1 cup water
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. honey
3 cups rye flour (or 1-1/2 cups rye & 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
1-1/2 tbsp. brewer's yeast (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
Mix liquids together. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Combine the mixtures, stirring to
moisten throughout. Form a ball. On a floured surface, flatten the dough, and roll out thinly. Cut
into squares and prick each cracker with the tines of a fork a couple of times. Transfer to lightly
greased baking sheets. Bake at 425 degrees around 8 minutes, checking to be sure not to overbrown.
Best served warm.
Southern Soda Crackers
2 cups flour (preferably whole wheat)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. oil
2/3 cup sour milk (or buttermilk)
Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and sour milk. With a fork, stir to thoroughly moisten. Form a ball.
Flatten and roll out on a floured surface. Cut into squares and transfer to lightly greased baked
sheets. Prick crackers with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes, watching
vigilantly so as not to burn. Best served warm.
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Red meats are complete proteins containing all of the essential amino acids needed by the body to
build and maintain muscle and other tissues. Most vegetables don't contain all of the necessary
amino acids (although soybeans contain most) and are referred to as incomplete proteins. The
Confederate army marched and fought on a staple diet of cornbread and beans, combining
incomplete proteins to provide good nutrition.
Southern Cornbread
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/4 cups buttermilk (or sour milk)
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 cup melted grease (your choice)
Preheat oven at 425 degrees. Mix cornmeal, salt, soda, baking powder and sugar. Add buttermilk
and egg. Blend well. Heat grease (until it almost smokes) in an 8 or 9 inch iron skillet, then pour
most of the grease into the batter and stir, mixing well. Pour batter into the very hot skillet. Bake
for 20 to 25 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Molasses Cornbread or Muffins
1-1/2 cups bran
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup molasses
Combine dry ingredients. Add liquid and blend well. Pour into a greased 9x9x2-inch baking dish
and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes; or pour into 18 greased muffin tins and bake at 375
degrees for 20 minutes.
Grandma Sarah's Cornbread
1-1/2 cups sour milk or buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
Combine first five ingredients. Stir in cornmeal and flour. Add melted butter. Pour batter into
greased 8-inch square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
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A Lady's Touch Cornbread
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat, unbleached or all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar (optional)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten (optional)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1-1/4 cup milk
Combine the dry ingredients. Stir in the liquids and spoon into a greased 8-inch square pyrex dish.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9x13-inch
pyrex dish.
Country Sunshine Cornmeal Loaves
4 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 cups buttermilk or sour milk
Mix dry ingredients. Stir in butter and buttermilk. Blend well. Pour batter into two greased 9x5-
inch loaf pans. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. (Note: no eggs required
for this recipe)
Johnny Cake or Journey Cake
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp. salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
Stir cornmeal and salt into boiling water. Cook until thick. Remove from heat and add milk. Mix
well. Drop from large spoon on greased hot griddle or skillet. Turn to brown both sides.
Johnny Cakes
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup milk
In a bowl combine the cornmeal, salt and sugar. Stir in water, beating out lumps. Slowly add
milk. Drop by tablespoons full into greased skillet. Cook slowly for 5 minutes. Turn over and
cook 5 minutes more. Makes 10 cakes.
Dixie Corn Dodgers
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp, vegetable oil, melted butter, or bacon drippings
2/3 cup milk (approximately)
Combine the dry ingredients. Stir in liquids. Form eight "bullet-shaped" dodgers. Drop in a
greased and heated heavy skillet. Brown on one side, turn to brown bottom.
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Campfire Cornbread
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix dry ingredients. Stir in liquids. Spoon into a well-greased, heated 10 or 12 inch skillet.
Cover tightly. Cover over a low flame for 20 to 30 minutes, or until firm in the center. When pan
baking over hot coals place the pan on a low grill, on a three rock stand in the coals or directly on
coals. Place coals on top of the lid (like a dutch oven) to distribute heat more evenly. Baked
foods are more likely to burn on the bottom than the top. To prevent burning, check the
temperature of your coals before placing a pan on them. Hold your hand about six inches above
the coals; it should be hot, but you should be able to keep your hand in place for eight seconds.
No-Flour Camp Cornbread
1-1/2 cups cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. sugar, molasses, sorghum, or honey
2 cups buttermilk or sour milk (To sour milk, put 2 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar in a pint
measuring cup. Add milk to make 2 cups. Stir and let sit a few minutes until clabbered.)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp butter or margarine, melted (or other fat)
Mix dry ingredients. Stir in liquids. Spoon into a well-greased hot 10 or 12 inch iron skillet.
Cover and cook over a low flame for about 30 minutes or until firm in the center (or bake in the
oven at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes).
Hush Puppies
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg, well beaten
lard or cooking oil for deep frying, heated to 375 degrees
Mix dry ingredients together and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl mix buttermilk and
beaten egg. Pour in the well all at one time and mix until well blended. Using a heaping
tablespoon for each, form into small cakes. Deep fry only as many as will float uncrowded one
layer deep. Turn several times as they rise to the surface during cooking (do not pierce). Fry 3 to
4 minutes or until well browned. Drain a few seconds before transferring to paper towels. Serve
hot. (Note: At fish frys the dogs would start howling from the aroma of the cooking fish and hush
puppies were thrown to shut them up.)
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