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02.04.2016 admin
The biggest culinary problem during the Civil War, for both the North and the South, was inexperience. In the early stages of the war, the Union soldiers of the North benefited from supervision by the United States Sanitary Commission. While the Sanitary did their best to provide a reliable supply of food, that didn’t guarantee a tasty or healthy meal. On July 22, 1861, just after the Union’s loss in the First Battle of Bull Run, Sanderson approached the War Department with a proposal. Sanderson believed his efforts were so successful that “no man could consume his daily ration, although many waste(d) it.” This certainly was not the case, as many men still suffered from hunger, illness and death from unsanitary and poorly cooked food. An army is a big thing and it takes a great many eatables and not a few drinkables to carry it along. The following Union army recipe comes from Camp Fires and Camp Cooking; or Culinary Hints for the Soldier by Captain Sanderson.
Cut 2 pounds of beef roast into cubes 2 inches square and 1 inch thick, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put in frying pan with a little pork fat or lard. I have adapted Captain Sanderson’s recipe for the modern kitchen; my updated version of the dish appears below.
Captain Sanderson’s Comissary Beef StewEnjoy a hearty slow-cooked meal with this adaptation of an original beef stew fed to the Union army.
PBS Food – Latest CommentsRe: Make Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes for Breakfastthere seems to be no recipe at the foot of this post?
How to Pick A Campfire Coffee PotThis entry was posted in Campfire Cooking Camping Equipment Camping Tips and tagged camp coffee pot campfire coffee pot campfire cookware camping coffee pot Camping Equipment camping gear tent camping on March 20, 2011 by G.A. If you will be using a campfire for cooking, – a good campfire coffee pot is essential! Even if you use a camp stove to do most of your camping meals cooking, you will need a good camping coffee pot. These might not win any beauty contests, – but you can see they are veterans of campfire use. If you know that you will NEVER be using a campfire to heat your camping coffee pot, then all you need is one with a handle to pick it up. Not only does it give you more control to hold the pot by the bail, and use the side handle to pour, but the bail also allows you the flexibility to hang the coffee pot over the fire instead of just being able to set it in it.
What size do you need – if it is only for coffee, (and not for a large group), then a 9-cup would be fine, but if you plan on using it to heat hot water for other uses, or for a large group, then consider a larger 20-cup size. Since a campfire coffee pot can always be used on a camp stove, but not all camp stove coffee pots will safe to use on a campfire, I would recommend you pick a camp coffee pot style that has a top wire bail handle so that you have the flexibility of both choices. But, except for enameled coffee pots, if your pot is used in direct flames it will eventually blacken.
Folger’s single-serve coffee bags are an easy way to make a great tasting cup of coffee with very little effort. Pour and enjoy, but leave the last cup in the pot or you will be pouring grounds instead of coffee. Even if you are not interested in buying now, they will give you an idea of the choices you have and the prices you can expect. I've recently developed an interest in gardening, in an effort to catch up on the wilderness outside my home that I've neglected for the last four years. We each get a piece of meat and a potato, a chunk of bread and a cup of coffee with a spoonful of brown sugar in it.

Men of this time were accustomed to the women of the house, or female slaves, preparing the food. Considering there were nearly 2 million soldiers in the Union army, the Sanitary did not focus on flavor nor variety. Sanderson, a member of the Sanitary, became concerned with reports of poor food quality and preparation. He asked that a “respectable minority” in each company be expertly trained in the essential basics of cooking.
Union soldiers were fed pork or beef, usually salted and boiled to extend the shelf life, coffee, sugar, salt, vinegar, and sometimes dried fruits and vegetables if they were in season.
Made of canvas, the haversack folded around its contents, basically anything the soldiers would need to survive for a few days on their own, and was held together with buckling straps and completed with two shoulder straps.
It’s a basic recipe (in those days known as a “receipt”) for “Commissary Beef Stew.” This easy meat stew is thickened with flour and filled out with potatoes and vegetables.
Put them over a fire until well browned but not fully cooked, and hen empty the pan into a kettle and add enough water to cover the meat. Tori Avey explores the full story of the challenges of feeding soldiers during the Civil War in The History Kitchen.Ingredients2 lbs.
She explores the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today.
If you are not a coffee drinker, (blasphemy!), you can still use it for your other hot water needs, like hot tea, hot chocolate, and dish washing water.
But otherwise, you should only consider a coffee pot that also has a wire bail-type handle on the top.
The dish soap will allow the soot to wash off, but it won’t stop the blackening, over time, from direct flame contact. Their prices are usually lower than our local camping stores, the free standard 3-5 day shipping is almost always faster than that, and their return policy is even better than Walmart’s. This one would be my choice, because of its capacity, and it’s only about $4 more than the Coleman above.
With a hanger bail and tempered glass percolator top, these conical-shaped pots are made to be heated over an open fire. Even before the start of the war, volunteers in The Sanitary were trained to find and distribute food to soldiers stationed in the field.
Sanderson, who was also a hotel operator in New York, believed that his experience would be of value to the Union.
For every 100-man company, the skilled cook would be appointed two privates; one position would be permanent and the other would rotate among the men of the company. Though his grammar was questionable, Sanderson did describe several techniques, such as suspending pots over a campfire, that made cooking slightly more convenient in the battlefield. Hard tack, a type of biscuit made from unleavened flour and water, was commonly used to stave off hunger on both sides. The flour and added vegetables allowed Union cooks to stretch small amounts of meat into a substantial, filling meal.
Tori’s food writing and photography have appeared on the websites of CNN, Bon Appetit, Zabar’s, Williams-Sonoma, Yahoo Shine, LA Weekly and The Huffington Post. We settle down, generally in groups, and the meal is soon over… We save a piece of bread for the last, with which we wipe up everything, and then eat the dish rag.
Thrust into the bleak reality of war, soldiers were forced to adjust to a new way of life—and eating—on the battlefield.

They were expected to be knowledgeable in determining which foods were available during each season, and how to preserve food items for transportation and storage. When food deliveries were interrupted by weather delays or other challenges, soldiers were forced to forage the countryside to supplement their meager diets. Boiled in an open kettle, and about the color of a brownstone front, it was nevertheless… the only warm thing we had. The skilled cook would be given the rank of “Cook Major” and receive a monthly salary of $50.
While many wartime stews were made from salted preserved meat, this recipe appears to be written for fresh beef. Cover and simmer slowly over a moderate heat for 3 ? hours, skimming any fat that rises to the top. Zucchinis carry a lot of water in them, but how much water depends on their size, freshness, and a bunch of other factors. I thought I’d upload a few more photos from yesterday when we went walking up Canon Hill. Dinner and breakfast are alike, only sometimes the meat and potatoes are cut up and cooked together, which makes a really delicious stew. It was the responsibility of The Sanitary to schedule and maintain a constant supply of food to soldiers at war. Morgan, Sanderson set out to visit soldiers in the field, in hopes of teaching them a few simple cooking techniques.
It would be the Cook Major’s responsibility to ration the food, prepare it, and delegate tasks to the company cooks. Here is the original recipe, as transcribed in A Taste for War: The Culinary History of the Blue and Gray. Add the meat and saute for a few minutes, stirring frequently, till well browned, but not fully cooked. You can certainly take some shortcuts with this recipe, just something to Kitchen VignettesRe: Skip the Noodles: Zucchini LasagnaSounds and looks great, but why all the zucchini squeezing, when you can salt and par-bake the slices to sweat the excess moisture away? He started with the camps of the 12th New York, as they were deemed “most deficient in the proper culinary knowledge.” He reportedly saw a significant change in just three days.
Other vegetables available, such as leeks, turnips, carrots, parsnips, and salsify, will make excellent additions. Lee MyersRe: Flourless Peanut Butter CookiesWhen I added egg it got very loose so I beat it a little by hand and the egg and fat in PB emulsified and got thicker really quick. This happens when you make your own mayonnaise so I thought I would try that before putting in fridge Shirley CampbellRe: Quebec-Style Yellow Pea SoupMy mother would use the ham bone with meat on it, then remove it from the soup, put it through the meat grinder and return it to the pot. Nothing better, even for dinner, with a salad and a slice of Grandmere Fauchere's homemade bread.
Though they did not follow his instructions specifically, Sanderson did receive a commission—he was named Captain in the Office of the Commissary General of Subsistence from the War Department. If the stew becomes too thick over time, you can add additional liquid to thin it out as needed.At the end of cooking, the meat should be very tender and the sauce rich and thick. DoreenBRe: Flourless Peanut Butter CookiesBaking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a chemical and therefore cannot be a genetically modified organism.

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