Make your own free website on










*   Sugar Buns (colonies)

Take 3/4 of a pound of sifted flour, (2) large spoonfuls of brown sugar, (2) spoonfuls of good yeast, add a little salt, stir well together and when risen work in (2) spoonfuls of butter, make into buns, set to rise again and bake until a golden brown on tins.

Mrs. Berkshire, New Lady’s Cook Book, 1731


*   Soda Biscuits (F & I War)

(1) Quart of sour milk, (1) teaspoonful of soda, (1) teaspoonful of salt, a piece of butter the size of an egg and enough flour to make them roll out. Bake on a clean rock or flat plate until they are brown.

(un-named) 17xx ?


*   Yeast Biscuits (Rev. War)

Take (2) quarts of flour, (2) ounces of butter, half pint of boiling water, (1) teaspoonful of salt, (1) pint of cold milk and half cup of yeast. Mix well and set to rise, then mix a teaspoonful of saleratus in a little water and mix into dough, roll on a board an inch thick, cut into small biscuits and bake twenty minutes.

Sgt. Major A. N. Berwyn, Paoli News, 1776


*   Tarter Biscuits (War of 1812)

Take (1) quart of flour, (3) teaspoonfuls of cream of tarter, mixed well through the flour, (2) teaspoonfuls of shortening, (1) teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in warm water, of a sufficient quantity to mold the quart of flour. For the large families the amount can be doubled.

un-named, New York Regulars, 1810


*   Reb Bread (Civil War)

(1) Quart of butter milk, (1) quart of corn meal, (1) quart of coarse flour, (1) cup of molasses, add a little soda and salt. Bake until tan in color. 1862

Lt. Samuel L. Brown, Pennsylvania Regulars


*   Yeastless Bread (Indian Wars)

Mix in your flour sub carbonate of soda, (2) parts, tartaric acid (1) part, both finely powered. Mix up your bread with warm water, adding but a little at a time and then bake until brown.

Mr. John Cottingly, Kansas City News, 1881


*   Johnny Cakes

Popular with troops of most every war that has been in N. America , William Clark wrote about them at Fort Osage years after the westward movement started.

Take (1/2) a cup of sugar, (1 1/2) teaspoonfuls of soda, butter the size of an egg, (1) cup of yellow corn meal, (1) egg, (1) cup of white flour, (1 1/2) cups of sour cream or buttermilk and a pinch of salt. Grease a flat pan, bake in a field oven, medium heat, check when they start to brown.

The Book of Recipes, 1837


*   Buckwheat Cakes

(1) Quart of buckwheat flour, (1) gill of wheat flour, (1) quart - less (1) gill of warm water, (1) gill of yeast, (2) teaspoonfuls of salt. Mix the batter at night in order to have the cakes for breakfast; if very light, an hour before they are required stir the batter down and let it rise again. Bake the cakes on a smooth, nicely-greased griddle and send them to the table the moment they are baked, piled regularly in the middle of the plate. Left over batter will serve as yeast for the next baking; store in a cool place, but don’t let it freeze if in a winter camp. Bring it out at night, add buckwheat, etc., and leave it to rise. With a little care no fresh yeast will be necessary for the winter.

Recipe origin is unknown. 18xx ?


*    Camp Bread

Below is a recipe from an 18th century cookbook for Keepsake Biscuits. KS biscuits were intended to keep long enough to provide bread for the extended journeys of the time. I have kept KS biscuits for several weeks but after the first day or so they are better if they are heated over a fire. They can also be broken into chunks the size of the last joint of your thumb and cooked with meat for dumplings or cooked with fruit for a cobbler.

It is unlikely that even one KS biscuit ever got baked in the rocky mountains but it is remotely possible that someone fresh from his mama's kitchen could have hauled some a couple of thousand miles to the mountains. Let your conscience be your guide.

Regular biscuits are very easy. Mix about 1/2 cup of any liquid fat...bacon

Grease, melted lard, butter, cooking oil... with about 1 1/4 cups liquid...water,

Milk, beer... and add to about 3 cups self-rising flour and stir into a damp dough. Pinch into balls about the size of golf balls and flatten between your palms. Cook them any way you a Dutch oven if you brought such a thing to the mountains, in a skillet over a slow fire (turning as needed), in a skillet inclined before a fire (turning as needed), or even on a flat rock before the fire. They can even be cooked in a regular house oven at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

A rope of dough can be curled around a stick and toasted over the fire but I have never had very good luck with this method...making the rope not much bigger than a pencil might help. Somebody help me on this.

I hope this helps.

Lanney Ratcliff, expert biscuit chef


*   Keepsake Biscuits  Lanney Ratcliff, expert biscuit chef

1 quart milk or cream - I use half and half

1 & 1/2 cups butter or lard

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 heaping teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

10 cups all purpose flour - NOT self rising

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, reserving about three cups of the flour. Add the milk and mix in enough of the reserved flour to make stiff dough.

Roll out between 1/2 & 3/4 inch thick and cut into biscuits - or roll into balls the size of small eggs and flatten into biscuits.

Place fairly close together (they hardly raise at all) and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, or only until the bottoms are lightly browned. If you cook them until the tops look like regular biscuits they will be hard as Chinese arithmetic. The excessive fat will make them look (and be) gummy, but they will be fine when cool. This recipe makes about 40 biscuits.



*   Bannock   Concho Smith “The bannock man”

This bannock recipe makes up a batch of bannock for 24 persons.

Ingredients 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup baking powder 1/2 cup and 1 teaspoon butter, melted 3 cups and 2 tablespoons water.


#1 Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball.

#2 Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

#3 Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning.

The word 'bannock' referred originally to a round unleavened piece of dough, usually about the size of a meat plate, which was baked on the girdle and used by the oven-less Scots/Irish workers.




(Serves 8)

2 cups dry pinto beans

5 cups water

2 small, fresh, onions, chopped (or equivalent dehydrated)

1 cup stewed potatoes, or tomato sauce (or equivalent


1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

Add pintos to water. Cover and simmer until tender, 2 to 3 hours. Add other ingredients and simmer until tender and tasty.



(Serves 6 to 12)

3 cups cooked pinto beans, mashed

1 dozen whole wheat flour tortillas

1 tablespoon oil

2 small, uncooked jalapeno peppers, chopped (or equivalent dehydrated). Heat a skillet. Add the oil and the chopped peppers and saute 5- minutes. Add the beans and cook them until almost dry. Then put 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture in a tortilla and roll. For a different taste dip the tortilla in hot oil. Then fill with the mixture and roll.



(Serves 6)

3 cups cooked pinto beans, mashed

1 fresh clove garlic, minced (or equivalent dehydrated)

1 small fresh onion (or equivalent dehydrated)

1 teaspoon salt

1 pinch of oregano

1/2 cup grated cheese (or equivalent dehydrated)

Mix all ingredients. Cook in top of double boiler over hot water until cheese is melted. Also makes a good filling for tortillas.


*   Soups

*    Portable Soup

Portable soup seems to have lots of discussion on it contents, after doing some research this is what I found documented.

In the book "Lewis & Clark - The Journey of the Corps of Discovery" by
Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns -ISBN 0-679-45450-0 on page 10 (half way down
the page).

"Besides these crash courses in science, Lewis spent his time in
Philadelphia acquiring supplies-and going through most of the $2,500
Congress had appropriated. He bought compasses, quadrants, a telescope, and a chronometer (costing $250) needed to calculate longitude. For the camp supplies, he purchased 150 yards of cloth to be oiled and sewn into tents and sheets; pliers, chisels, handsaws, hatchets, and whetstones; an iron corn mill and two dozen tablespoons; mosquito curtains, 10-1/2 pounds of fishing hooks and fishing lines, 12 pounds of soap-and 193 pounds of "portable soup", a thick paste concocted by boiling down beef, eggs, and vegetables, to be used if no other food was available on the trail."

" "The Journal of Lewis & Clark" by DeVoto, "Lewis & Clark; Pioneering Naturalists" by Cutright, "Lewis & Clark's Return" by Nasatir, "Lewis & Clark & the Image of the American Northwest" by John Allen, "An American Journey - Lewis & Clark" by Thorp and "Lewis & Clark's Plans & Preparations" by Jones.

"In all of these books I found only two of them that made reference to
"portable soup", those being "An American Journey - Lewis & Clark" by Thorp and "Lewis & Clark's Plans & Preparations" by Jones.

With the answer to your question according to these sources are:

1. "An American Journey - Lewis & Clark" - [150 pounds (68kg) of "portable soup" - a dried or condensed soup - as emergency rations, ....]

2. "Lewis & Clark's Plans & Preparations" - [carried a "portable soup", a paste concocted by boiling down meat, bird eggs, and foraged vegetables,].

I will still look at the "Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition" by Arno now that you have started my interests again after
leaving the subject lie for several years. I will also check my files when I still owned "Clark & Sons Mercantile"

"One of the best research books on this time period is straight from the
horses mouth; "Thomas Jefferson's Garden Book" by Edwin Morris Betts - published by the American Philosophical Society 1944, covers from 1766 - 1824."

As a last resource I looked in "Only One Man Died" [Medical Aspects of the Lewis & Clark Expedition] by Eldon G. Chuinard, M.D. Ye Galleon Press, Fairfield, Wash. [23] Now I have hit pay dirt for the term "portable soup", no wonder I could not find it's substance, Lewis only listed the amount and how it was carried, he or Clark DID NOT give any list of the substance or recipe to make this item. Seems what others have written is what the military of the time used under the direction of "Nurses and Orderly Men". "An important purchase also made by Isabel Wheelen for Lewis was "193 lb.. of Portable Soup." This portable soup was contained in lead canisters [24] and may have been either a dry powder or a thick liquid substance.

There is no known record to the portable soups used by armed forces at the time. Cutbush describes the preparation of a portable soup, or "Tablettes de bouillon (Under Direction to Nurses and Orderly Men for the Preparation of the diet, &c. for the sick.)":

"Take calves' feet, 4; the lean part of a rump of beef 12 pounds; fillet
of veal 3 pounds; leg of mutton 10 pounds. These are to be boiled in a
sufficient quantity of water and the scum taken off. When the meat becomes very tender, the liquor is to be separated from it by expression; and when cold, the fat must be carefully taken off. The jelly-like substance must then be dissolved over the fire and clarified with five or six whites of eggs. It is then to be salted to the taste and boiled down to the consistency of paste, when it is poured out on a marble table and cut into pieces, either round or square, and dried in a stove room. Then perfectly hard, they should be put up in close vessels of tine or glass. Powered rice, beans, peas, barley, celery, with any grateful aromatice may be added; but for the use of the sick it should be made plain. It may be simply made either of beef, mutton, or veal". [25]

Lewis wrote from Fredricktown on April 15, 1803, to General William Irvine regarding the preparation of portable soup for the Expedition. [26] The soup was prepared by Francois Baillet, cook at 21 North Ninth street, Philadelphia, who presented a bill on May 30, 1803, for 193 pounds of Portable soup in the amount of #289.50. [27] The soup was ready in plenty of time and Lewis receipted for it [28] and took it with him overland to Pittsburgh, where he was to embark on the Ohio River. DeVoto [29] called the portable soup an army experimental iron ration. hardly a correct description; iron was contained in the meat...
[23] Chuinard "Only One Man Died", pp. 160-161.
[24] Lewis specifically mentions the portable soup being contained in
"canisters" in his note of Sept. 18,1805; also in his list of supplies he
includes "32 cannisters of P. Soup," Thwaites, Journals, vii, p. 239.
[25] Cutbush, "Preserving the Health, pp. 314-15.
[26] Gen. William Irvine (1741-1804) was a physician and supt. of military
stores with headquarters in Philadelphia.
[27] Jackson, "Letters", p.28.
[28] "Ibid.", p.82.
[29] DeVoto, "Course of Empire", p.505.

This is interesting as to which source is correct, several got the amount
the same, as far as to its real content - guess thats up to what book you
use as reference> This should close the matter of "portable soup".



(Serves 8)

2 tablespoons Oil

1-1/2 cups Pearled Barley

2 fresh Onions, chopped (or equivalent dehydrated)

2 stalks fresh celery (or equivalent dehydrated)

4 cups Water

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (or equivalent dehydrated)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or equivalent dehydrated)

Salt or Soy Sauce

Saute barley, onions, and celery for 5-minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer for an hour or so. Saute mushrooms and add to soup. Season to taste with soy sauce or salt. Garnish with parsley.

Buck Conner



(Serves 8)

5 cups boiling Water

2 cups dry Pinto Beans

Add the beans to the water. Cover tightly and simmer on low heat 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until tender. Beans should not be seasoned until after they are tender. Then add salt, chili powder, chopped onions and a little oil. Simmer a little while longer.



(Yields 6 cups)

4 cups cooked beans, and thick juice from cooking

2 cups water or stock

2 Tablespoons lime juice (if available)

4 Teaspoons oil

2 small fresh onions, chopped (or equivalent dehydrated) 1 to 2 teaspoons salt. Simmer all ingredients until thick. Garnish just before serving with chili powder.


*    Johnny Soup

This was a common soup and a favorite of the "Bucktails" of Pennsylvania and Gen. A.Wayne’s Lennie Lenape (Delaware) scouts.

(8) oz. dried lentils, (3) cups water, (1) chopped onion, (1/2) teaspoonful of black pepper and (2) cloves of garlic. Salt to taste, fry bacon pieces - add to taste. Johnny cakes or biscuits cut into small cubes for a filler. Add nuts, rye or rice to make it go farther. Wash and clean lentils, put in a large pot to cook with (3) cups of water (cover lentils by an inch). Medium heat / add garlic, onion and pepper, let simmer for one hour. Add bacon pieces and salt to taste. Put cubes into broth at time of serving. If adding rice or rye cook until they are soft.

Sgt. John Yellowman,Lenape,1761 Pennsylvania Gazzet,1765


*    Smith Bean Soup

Smith bean soup with red onion strips and a tart apple (sliced into small pieces) work great. The Rev. War cooks used Granny Smith or Winesap apples, when available, in many of their dishes, an attempt to break up an otherwise bland diet for Officers and the Enlisted men.

Lenape Cookbook,1781


*    Gourd Soup (Civil War)

The gourds should be full-grown, but not those with hard skin; slice three or four, and put them in a stew pot, with (2) or (3) onions and a good bit of butter; set them over a slow fire till quite tender (be careful not to under cook). Stir to keep from sticking to sides of pot and make sure the soup is well done, season as needed.

Mrs. Ellet, The Practical Housekeeper,1857


*    Court Bouillon (F & I War)

Court Bouillon is used for boiling fresh water fish or others which are without much flavor. It may be prepared before hand and used several times, or the vegetables may be added at the time the fish is boiled.

Fry in (1) tablespoonful of butter, (1) chopped onion, (1) chopped carrot, (1) stalk of celery. Then add (2) quarts of hot water, (1) cup of vinegar or wine, (3) peppercorns, (3) cloves, (1) bay-leaf and (1) teaspoonful of salt. This is a good base for seafood soup according to the local tavern owners.

*    "MEAT'S MEAT"

Interesting thoughts from some hard times.

Who said; "meat’s meat", many people in the "know" claim that Bridger made the statement on a return trip from the shining mountains. You may be suprised to know that was a very common term made by many, famous and not-so-famous starving men....

George F. Ruxton wrote "meat’s meat, is a common saying in the mountains", and "from buffalo down to rattle- snake, including quadruped that runs, every fowl that flies and every reptile that creeps, nothing comes amiss to the mountaineer.

Moses Schallenberger was snowbound in the Sierra Mountains in 1844, he wrote after trapping a coyote. "I soon had his hide off and his flesh roasted in a dutch oven. I ate this meat but it was horrible. I next tried boiling him, but it did not improve the flavor. I cooked him in every possible manner of my imagination, spurred by hunger could suggest, but could not be eaten without revolting my stomach." On another occasion he wrote of catching two foxes, roasted one and found "the meat, though entirely devoid of fat, was delicious."

Lewis & Clark remarked "on October 2, 1805, nothing except a small prairie wolf killed that day" they did not comment as to the flavor. Merriweather Lewis’s journal entry of June 3, 1806 states "our party from necessity having been obliged to subsist some length of time on dog have now become extremely fond of their flesh; it is worthy of remark that while we lived principally on the flesh of this animal we were much more healthy and more fleshy than we had been since we left buffalo country...."

Charles Larpenteaur wrote of nothing but dog to eat, which the squaws cooked. Some of the group cried out "Mad Dog! Mad Dog! sure enough, he did look like a mad dog; his head sticking partly out of the kettle, with his fine ivories, growling as it were, and the scum was frothing about his teeth...."

James Clyman while camped on the Sweetwater River in 1825 became separated from his companions, he wrote "after having killed two badgers, I skinned and roasted them, making a suitable meal with parched corn..."

Thomas Becknell while on the Santa Fe Trail in 1821 wrote "I killed one small prairie dog, roasted it, but found it strong and unpalatable..."

John R. Bell, on the Arkansas River in 1820, complained that "Our hunters came in having killed a skunk, which we must keep for our dinner tomorrow." The next day "boiled the skunk, which tasted skunkish enough..." Joe Meek had similar remarks for eating polecats..."

Osborn Russell reported that "beaver feeding on wild parsnips were poisonous and those that ate of the meat, within a few hours became sick at the stomach and the whole system became cramped..."

Rev. Samuel Parker said "that while flesh of the beaver was usable, the fore part is of a land animal while the hind part is of the taste of fish like..."

Joseph R. Walker and his party considered all eggs edible regardless of their age or condition, embryos well deve- loped, and small birds only a few days old, would be cut into small pieces and used in soup or stews. The same group had a feast with Indians on the Sierra Nevada range to find that "pounded fish was really not fish but worms, which suddenly was rejected by our stomachs when found out..."

Buck G. Connor’s journal stated that "ants and snakes when cleaned and roasted were eaten with flour cakes for evening meals while in the employment of the Mexican Army...." and "was probably one of the better meals available at the time" a reporter for the hometown newspaper, the Phila. Evening News wrote.

Joe Meek wrote of the Indians of the Great Salt Lake area pulverized grasshoppers which they mixed with a jam of service-berries and dried in the sun to form a "fruitcake". "Fried grasshoppers, caterpillars, wood-boring beetles, termites and spider bodies were disguised in stews.." "Rattlesnake was occasionally eaten by these people as a special treat.." Nuts; hazel, walnut, pinion and acorn were favorites of these travelers.

William Ashley’s journal of May 28, 1824 records that "during the last two days we have lived on fish we caught with hooks and lines..." Hooks and lines were often mentioned on lists of supplies by traders.

John C. Fremont, Benjamin Kern and Jed Smith have written of eating "mule meat, making minced boiled mule meat pies for New Year’s treat... and mentioned that the pies were very good..."

These early travelers made good use of any provisions available showing great resource fullness for the situation and location they were put into.


Saw an article in the local paper about "Talking Turkey", how appropriate this close to the Holiday’s to write about our American Holiday’s and our American Bird.

Before European colonization of North America there were no turkeys outside the Western Hemisphere. There are only two species of turkeys in the world, and several sub-species off of them several centuries later - originally there was our familiar wild turkey in the United States and Mexico, and the smaller ocellated turkeys in subtropical lowlands of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.

When the Spanish colonized Mexico, they discovered the wild turkeys kept as domestic animals by the Indians of Mexico. Archaeological evidence found in Anasazi ruins in the Four Corners region told of people of the Southwest having domesticated turkeys at least 1,300 years ago. The Spanish were intrigued by these big meaty poultry birds and shipped them to their homeland in early 1500's, along with other native American foods that have become world dietary staples, such as tomatoes, chiles and onions.

The Spaniards soon found the habits of the big bird were predictable and their liking for and being nut-eaters, making trapping them in the oak brush of the Southwest easy. Although being wary and secretive, their roosting habits made capturing them easy for these early explorers.

feather.gif (1878 bytes)


*    Boiled Duck or Hare (colonies - 1812)

Use a good deal of water and skim it as often as anything rises. Half an hour will boil them. Make a gravy of sweet cream, butter, add flour, a little parsley chopped small, salt and pepper, and stew until done, and lay them in a dish and pour the gravy over them.

Mrs. Owen, New Lady’s Cook Book,1759


*    Roast Rabbit/Hare (18th-19th century)

Rabbit or hare was an esteemed dish in the 18th and 19th century, so much so that cooks occasionally doctored beef to try to make it taste like hare.

After casing (skinning & gutting) two rabbits, skewer their heads with their mouths upon their backs, stick their forelegs into their ribs, skewer the hind legs doubled (this approved position in which 19th century rabbits appeared at the table); next make a stuffing for them of the crumbs of half a loaf of bread, a little parsley, sweet marjoram and thyme-all cut fine, salt, pepper and nutmeg, with (4) ounces of butter, a little good cream and (2) eggs; put it into their bodies, and sew them up; dredge and baste them well with lard; roast them about an hour. Serve them up with butter and parsley. Chop the livers, and lay them in lumps around the edge of the dish. (serves 4-6).

Harpers Barzaar Magazine,1853

Note: a rabbit and a hare are different, according to Harpers Magazine, a rabbit being raised and a hare being wild. Wild hares in some areas are reported to have a disease and may be harmful if eaten. Harpers’ 1853.


*    Bear Hams (Indian Wars)

Bear meat is best roasted and may be treated the same as pork, cooking twenty minutes to every pound. Prepare the hams in the usual manner by rubbing them with common salt and draining them; Take (1) ounce of saltpeter, half a pound of coarse sugar and the same quantity of salt; rub it well into the ham, and in three days pour a pint of vinegar over it. A fine foreign flavor may also be given to the bear hams by pouring old strong beer over them and burning juniper wood while they are drying; molasses, juniper berries and highly-flavored herbs, such as basil, sage, bay-leaves and thyme mingled together, and the hams well rubbed with it, using only a sufficient quantity of salt to assist in the cure, will afford an agreeable variety.

Mrs. Roper, Phila Cook Book,1886


*    Venison Steaks

Take nice size steaks from the neck or haunch while having your griddle well buttered, and fire clear and hot (cook in a hot frying pan). Lay steaks on the bars and boil rapidly, turning often not to lose or a drop of juice. They will take three or four minutes longer than fine beef steaks. Have a chafing dish, a pinch of salt, a little pepper, a tablespoon of currant -jelly for every pound, and a glass of wine for every (4) pounds. This should be liquid, and warmed by boiling water under a dish, heat in a saucepan. Lay each steak in the mixture and turn over twice. Cover closely and let all heat together, with fresh hot water underneath -serve in an ordinary dish, covered.

Mrs. Webster, The Improved Housewife,1854


*    Lenape Pemmican (makes 1 1/2 lbs)

(5) oz. of chipped beef, (1) 6 1/2 oz. of roasted peanuts, (1) cup of seedless raisins, (1) 8 oz. bar of beef suet, make a quick trail lunch / high energy.

Dry beef on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes @ 140 degree oven, chop nuts and raisins up into small pieces, melt suet in a large skillet - low heat. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (beef cut in 1/4" shreds), add melted suet - mix thoroughly. Spread mixture in half inch layer in shallow pan, refrigerate until the layer is hard and then slice into squares. Wrapped in foil, bars stay clean and fresh, will keep for a year in freezer.

This was rewritten in the 1930’s for use in a hunting camp in Pennsylvania, the original 1840’s recipe has been lost in the passage of time.

L N Conner, Jr., Milroy, Pa. 1937


*    Boiled Fish (colonies)

Take the nicer fish, more simply it should be prepared. A long , narrow fish skillet with a rack is the best to boil fish in, but even a deep frying pan and a cheesecloth sling, which lets you remove the fish from the water without breaking, will do. Start the fish in cold water, with salt and vinegar in it, or in cold court bouillon. Bring it slowly to a boil and simmer gently until just done, 8 to 10 minutes to the pound. Serve hot, with lemon wedges or a tart sauce.

Mrs.North,Home Cook Book,1721


*   Fish Moultee (Rev. War & War of 1812)

Take any nice fish,(roll it in) egg, bread crumb and fry it with a little turmeric and butter, after cutting it to a nice fillet. Scrape half a fresh coconut, take the milk from it (or soak dried coconut a couple of hours in a little warm water, then use the water), cut some green gringer, green chilies in slices, boil them with the coconut milk and a little water. Add the fish and let stew until the sauce is slightly thickened. Send to the table with rice.

Col.John Johnson,N.England Gazzett,1782


*   Fry Fish (Civil War) Pvt. S. B. Boyer, Union Army, Ohio, 1866

Fillets of fish may be rolled in corn meal, dredged in flour, dipped first in beaten egg and then in fine bread crumbs, or fried plain. Small fish or small pieces of fish may be dipped in batter and deep fried. For deep frying, the fat should be moderately hot; for sautéing, the pan should be hot but not smoking. Lay the fish in and fry it according to size and thickness, about 10 minutes per pound. Turn it only once. Serve it with slices of lemon.


PARCHED CORN - Lanney Ratcliff

Some folks use a skillet and grease, but you can just buy Korn Nuts at 7-11 if that will suit you. Traditionally dry corn was cooked by throwing kernels in hot ashes for a while.

I use a sheet cake pan ( a glorified cookie sheet, if you ask me) and place a single layer of dried corn kernels in it and place it in a 350 degree oven. After a few minutes you will hear the corn "popping". The corn doesn't make popcorn, rather it "snaps and cracks" and will turn a light brown color. Remove from the oven and cool. The corn can be eaten as is and will store pretty much eternally. Or the corn can be crushed to powder (a blender or food processor works well for this, or use a metate or a mortar & pestle) to make pinole, also known as rock hominy and other names. A small handful consumed with the help of a big drink of water or eating a large pellet made by mixing a handful of pinole with a little water will stick to your ribs better than you can imagine. Some folks season or flavor the pinole with salt or sugar and, sometimes, cinnamon. Suit yourself here, but remember that salt tends to draw moisture.

Buy your corn from a health food store or a VERY well stocked grocery store. Feed store corn might have additives that you may not want to eat and seed corn will almost certainly have some additives, including pesticides and fungicides and God knows what other "cides". The health food store will possibly have blue corn or "Indian" corn. Even better.

Remember this; plain pinole is bland to the highest degree. It can be counted on to feed you but it is best relegated to "iron ration" status. A steady diet of the stuff will soon have you eating tree bark.


PARCHED CORN - Roger Lahti'

This is how I do it. And remember I use hard Indian corn. Sweet corn works too but it hardly needs sweetening as I later explain. Start out with dry kernels rubbed off the cob not cut off.

I like to use a cast iron skillet but I also have a popcorn popper that swirls the kernels around on a hot "plate" under a clear bowl/lid and it works well too. Any thing like the above will work.

Use fairly high heat but watch out for scorching, gives the finished product a very bad taste. In a skillet, cover the bottom with a layer or two of kernels and no oil if you want it to keep without going rancid. Stir constantly to keep from scorching and to continually expose all sides of the kernels. Listen and watch for the snapping and splitting open of the kernels. When you don't hear those sounds or see the kernels splitting open anymore you are done.

You can do the salt brine wash at this point and turn the parched kernels out onto a plate, etc. or you can turn the heat down and while they are still hot add some brown sugar, maple sugar or molasses to the skillet to coat the kernels with a bit of sweetness. A quarter cup of brown sugar to a batch of kernels in a 10" skillet is about right. Continue to stir the mess until the sugar melts and sticks to the kernels. Turn the mess out onto a plate to cool. Sugar coated parched corn usually doesn't last long after everyone finds out you have it but it does draw moisture and thus doesn't make for a very good trail food in moist weather. Anything you don't understand just let me know. I remain......


Until next time, we leave as friends and followers of those that went before us.

Buck Conner  

"One who trades”

"Uno quién negocia"

“Unqui commerce”