Recipes for the Field
The best piece of beef to use is a chuck steak. Take a chuck steak (about 1-2 lbs) put it in a pan with about 1-1 1/2 qt of water. Add about 4-5 tablespoons of salt and boil slow until the steak is completely done and tender (about 1 hr at low to medium heat). Make sure it gets completely done since it will be carried in the haversack. Let cool and wrap the meat in brown paper. This will result in a very pleasant tasting slightly salty meat that can be carried without worry. I carried this for 4 days at Gettysburg until it was completely consumed and had no problem at all. It can be eaten on the march and doesn't have to be warmed. This also goes very well with pre-boiled potatoes and is a lot healthier and convenient than salt pork. I highly recommend it.
-Jeremy B. Mazur, a.k.a. "Brother Maynard"
Austin Mess, 26th Illinois Volunteer Infantry
Recipe for Johnny Cakes
1 cup Corn Meal
1 teaspoon Raw Sugar (turbinado)
1 tbsp. spoon Salt
½ cup Water
1 lb. of Bacon
In a bowl, mix the corn meal with the salt and sugar. Add water and mix until you get a nice paste. Form the paste into patties and set aside. Then fry the bacon. Keep the cooked bacon for your rations and fry the cakes in the bacon grease until golden brown.
Wrap the patties in brown paper and then again in brown wax paper and you are ready to go.
Recipe for Brown Wax Paper
Paraffin Wax (Gulf wax from Kroger)
Brown Lunch Sacks
Melt the wax in a double broiler. Do not melt in a pan without the double broiler as wax is easily ignited when heated too much too fast. Cut the bags up to make 8x10 sheets or whatever sizes you need. When the wax is melted simply dip the paper is the wax. No need to let the paper sit in the wax. Just dip and let drip-dry. It will be dry, with a thin coat of wax, in a few seconds.
It is advised to first wrap food in brown paper and then again in the wax paper to keep the wax off the food and to absorb any grease. Tie closed with the string.
Note: Keep your haversack and canteen out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Too much heat can melt the wax coating and shorten the life of the food.
Recipe for Griffin’s Parched Corn
Fresh Corn on the Cob
1 tbsp. Lard
Using a canteen half, plate or small skillet, melt the lard. Cut the corn off the husk and place in the pan. Fry until the corn is soft, then eat.
This is a tasty little dish. You can add a bit of excitement by frying onions or potatoes with the corn.