AMOUNTS & A GOOD COMPARISON
much is one serving, here’s a relatively easy
way to judge size of what you need when visiting
friends or preparing a meal without having a
measuring cup, spoon or scale.
SERVING LOOKS LIKE (size-wise)
3 oz of
red meat/poultry/fish deck of playing cards
apple/pear/peach 2 1/2" cannon ball
1 oz of
cheese one thumb length
of homemade ice cream 2 1/2" cannon ball
of pasta/rice/vegetables 2 1/2" cannon ball
1 oz of
nuts/candy one handful
medium potato 2 1/2" cannon ball
homemade cookie musket cap box
of cereal/broccoli/milk a tight fist
of butter/lard/grease first joint of your thumb
muffin/cinnamon roll a doorknob
camping people frequently complain that the
portion sizes are hard to figure, our eyes have
grown so used to monster-sized fast foods, we’ve
have forgotten what single servings look like.
old Chinese proverb - goes something like
only if it is an improvement upon silence"
Clark. M. M. Quaife in his 1913 book, "Chicago
and the Old Northwest, 1673-1835". Quaife
has many good references to forts and players.
Kaskaskia, its taking by the Hannibal of Kentucky
(which was a county of Virginia) Clark, and its
history are fully covered.
Forsyth is pleading the case for a Factory at Ft.
Clark, so the Pottawatomies can receive goods
"as cheap in this was as they formerly did in
the factory at Chicago". They were bemoaning
the high prices at the sutler's store.
is an excellent text in some ways, and the
fact that the map shows many forts and
settlements and pointedly does not show Fort
Clark in relationship to Kaskaskia may or may
not shed light. We have found some recipes
used at some of these locations and are shown
start with the measurement for: a "cupped
hand full" = ( 1) measuring cup.
This doesn't sound like much, I agree, but
remember most dried edibles do swell when water is
added. Rice, barley and peas will double in size
or mount prepared. Most of us (not all) can go
with less food from a few days to several weeks
without any problem - doctors will tell you that
the amount we eat regularly is a mind-set in most
cases, we can do with less and would probably do
better weight and health wise.
We try to eat two small regular meals daily,
gathering or foraging for edibles in our short
trips around camp when scouting game or looking at
the area. When you get in a mind-set of watching
for edibles as you make your scouts, it's
surprising what you find, even if not hunting for
squirrel, rabbits or flying foul. Wild edibles are
everywhere it's just the problem of figuring out
what your looking at.
Working around water is always a good place for
small plants that are edible, as well as the
little crayfish, fish and small animals getting a
drink. I think you are getting the idea or already
do this in your normal outing experiences.
I have a good friend that I wrote an article about
a few years ago in the T&LR journal Jerry
LaVelle, he's an expert at foraged edibles in the
Rockies, takes a small frying pan, buffalo grease,
period fishing kit and he's off for the weekend.
His wife gets a little rattled about his limited
resources, but he uses what is available at hand,
cat-tail flour for bread (bannock), has different
plant leaves for a salad and so on, she's good for
about two weekends like this a year. But it can be
done, so she goes to prove that she's a tough as
he is !!!! I wish I had the mind-set, the ability
or guts to believe enough in myself to do this as
much as he has.
Morning meal: corn meal w/ Havana Brown sugar,
(Havana Brown is an old sugar [less costly than
white sugar in the colonial days] have switched to
blue corn - better taste) 1/2 cup per person with
water, a few small pieces of fruit and small
amount of tea (save the tea leaves), corn flour,
use a 1/2 cup per person of flour to make
"bannock" bread (will produce a loaf per
say the size of a regular hot dog). Surprisingly
this will satisfy you, no matter what your brain
Afternoon snack: some parched corn, a little
fruit and whatever you may find in your travels.
Evening meal: with a little testing you will be
able to judge the amount of rice or barley needed
to make a small portion, and not waste anything.
We have used mixed small amount of wild rice,
barley pearled, split peas and a little jerky
(changing the meal of one or two items) to make a
stew, use a little more water than what your wife
would use - fills you up with the broth. Use your
used tea leaves for a mild tea flavor. Use any
left overs and try and eat late in the evening
(going to bed on a full belly).
Don't forget what you have foraged during the day
that can be prepared to supplement your evening or
morning meal. Our biggest problem seems to be
mind-set that we are going to starve, hell you'll
die from lack of water long before you'll starve.
The chance of you doing great harm on a weekend or
a week from the lack of food is really not a major
problem according to most doctors, unless you have
medical problems, special medication, etc. that
may require you to use with food. But do make sure
you keep liquids in your system, plus a good drink
of water is somewhat filling by itself.
This all sounds great, right. Well it's easier to
write or tell it - than when packing for that
adventure, you'll find yourself cheating and
adding this and that - just in case. You'll stop
and think and remember that first hunting trip (a
day long) and all the extra stuff you took that
Dad told you wasn't needed, (well just in case).
The big thing is do some testing the night the
wife had to work late, make up a meal, simple -
small in amount, bottom line is testing. With your
experience you'll have NO problem, it's just that
mind-set that we all fight with. I'm always
packing and unpacking different amounts, if you
take just so much - small amount of food, and
leave out "the just in case" factor,
then your options are get along with what you got
and start foraging.
daily rations are taken from the French and Indian
War's period records:
or oats 2 handfuls, Peas or beans 2
handfuls, Parched corn 2 handfuls, Dried meat 3-6
pieces (venison, beef, fish), Dried fruit 1-2
handfuls (apples, peaches, raisins, pumpkin or
combination), Small red potatoes 2-3 each, Small
onions 1 each, Maple or muscavado sugar 1-2 Tb
Salt 1/2 Tb, Peppercorns 4-10 each, Coffee 1-2
handfuls, (Alternate) Chocolate 1/2 - 1 full cake
or tea 1-2 Tb.
daily rations from the Fur Trade period are much
corn meal (per person) mixed with Havana sugar
(2 cupped hand fulls), corn flour (2 cupped hand
fulls), wild rice (cupped hand full), barley
pearled (cupped hand full), split peas (cupped
hand full), fruit [dried apples or peaches] (2
cupped hand fulls), dried meat strips broken into
3" pieces (2 cupped hand fulls), parched corn
w/ local nuts (3 cupped hand fulls), tea (same
measurement per person, lasts for 3-4 days -
cupped hand full) a little on the weak side last
day or two.
Until next time, we leave as friends and followers of
those that went before us.