10th Massachusetts, Brigade of the American Revolution, common soldier, food, Monmouth NJ, Revolutionary War, seasonal menus
Food: It is always on my mind, even cataloging. When the tan and brown and black colors of a sampler make me think of Tiramisu, I know it’s time to wrap up work for the day. But food is particularly on my mind this week, as I plan and calculate for Monmouth, hoping to use the lessons I’ve learned in the past instead of just being anxious. I know it’s not a test, but it feels like one, somehow.
Continental rations were supposed to be a pound of beef and a pound of flour a day for man, half that for a woman employed by the army and a quarter of that for a child. The Young Mr (who isn’t really a child and is sort of a soldier) would get more if he was really a drummer… but in any case, we’re looking at 2 + ½ + ¼ or 2 ¾ pounds of beef and the equivalent of flour at a minimum to feed two soldiers, a woman, and a child per day (at a minimum, I expect to feed the adjutant as well as ourselves).
I float out ideas like fire cake or pudding to take account of the flour, but Mr S reels me in and suggests that we should stick to what we know until we can test other ideas on the landlord’s fire pit. We shall substitute bread, therefore, and I probably will not make a nuisance of myself at the bakery or the grocery and ask them to weigh the loaves, as I have my own kitchen scale and can obsess about this in the comfort of our home.
My plan is about the same as every camp dining plan: that’s suitable, given the repetitive nature of Army rations (and the repetitive complaints of the soldiers, echoed in every war).
Pasties. They keep and travel well.
Bread, cheese, strawberries, eggs
Ideally, I’ll find a farm stand where I can buy local strawberries, but we will only get into a discussion of what exactly would have been in season on New Jersey in June 1778, which leads to a discussion of global heating.
Bread, cheese, ham, cookies from home
Beef stew and bread, strawberries, cookies from home
Bread, cheese, fruit, eggs
Bread cheese, ham, and anything that’s left
This is essentially the same plan that I had for OSV last year, with the biggest sticking points being: will I remember the eggs? Will I manage coffee? I’m not very good at anything until I have coffee, or some kind of caffeine, which could be a challenge this time around. There’s an ice truck scheduled to go through the camps, but what I want to know is, when’s the coffee truck coming?
Here is the local orchard. http://www.wemrockorchard.com/market.html
There are probably quite a few in the area, but they also will be selling ice at monmouth.
If you need coffee and you can find your way to the 4LC, there is always plenty in the morning.
Thank you for the link! Those doughnuts will get my kid motivated for something.
Coming back up from PHL two weeks ago, I saw likely places for fruit & veg, just too far west for this trip. I plan to make coffee, but it’s hard to say how well it will go…I just remember how much we wanted it the last morning at OSV.
Nancy N said:
How about biscuits–are you allowed to make some ahead and bring them? My moms basic recipe is from the 1920s… Still way too far in the future, but delicious and they keep.
I believe the tricky part is the leavening agent. Anything that uses baking powder/soda won’t be right. Eggs, and arm power, or emptins, did the lifting. Some receipts call for pearlash, but not only have I not got any, I understand that it has a bitter taste and is tricky to modulate.
I lingered in the jonnycake section at the market last night, and might consider some Kenyon-based concoction. Otherwise, it’s 7 Stars Bakery for us, poor things!
If I don’t have a lot of time to prep I buy pizza dough in the refrigerated section of my grocery store and hide it in a flour sack, then use it to make griddle bread over the fire.
Ha! I like it. And you know, I ogled the pizza dough with that in mind…it’s a good idea.