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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.

The Young Mr has aged suddenly, in Don Draper’s kitchen.

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.

Too fancy! From the Complete Housewife.

Too fancy! From the Complete Housewife.

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.

Saturday Morning
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.

Saturday Lunch
Bread, cheese, ham, cookies from home

Saturday Dinner
Beef stew and bread, strawberries, cookies from home

Sunday Morning
Bread, cheese, fruit, eggs

Sunday Lunch
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?