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 Posted: Mon Nov 24th, 2008 11:47 pm
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pamc153PA
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We've had quite a yummy time here lately talking about comfort food and Thanksgiving stuffing and the like. I've put on a few pounds thanks to our culinary rambling.

I was wondering, though, about foods of the Civil War time period. What foods/drinks sound interesting, delectable, or disgusting to you? Any favorites? Anything that sounds totally unpalatable to you? Any foods you wished were still around? Anything authentic you've tried and liked/disliked?

I once read this long, complicated article on how to make your own authentic salt pork. I'm not sure why I read the whole thing, but when I finished all I could think of was, "Yuck!" No salt pork for me, homemade or otherwise (can you still get salt pork??)!

Pam



 Posted: Tue Nov 25th, 2008 12:04 am
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Dixie Girl
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oh i love salt pork, only thing is my family has really high blood pressure so i cant eat much of it.



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Tue Nov 25th, 2008 01:11 am
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ole
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Oh yes, you can still get salt pork. These days it's used more for flavoring. Can't make a Boston Clam Chowder or Baked beans without it. But Dixie has called it: super salted, you might as well drink a cup of melted lard.

We still take comfort in what was made in civilian homes: Country ham, potatoes, sweet potatoes, anything smothered in butter, pies, cakes, pork chops, pot roast. Your average agrarian had a root cellar. Turnips, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, parsnips and other root crops would keep all winter. Some apple varieties store well, and those which didn't could be put up as apple butter and various sauces.

Poultry was a matter of grabbing the excess rooster or played-out hen -- with a decent-sized flock, there was always one or two of those. If you had the funds, barrels of oysters were not uncommon; melons and more fragile greens were available during the summer. And then, of course, there was bread.

I'm certain that in some communities, sausages and cheeses were made, although I can't recollect reading where these were widely distributed. Plenty of incidents of home-brew and hard-cider, though; and fresh, raw milk.

Some of what they ate is obviously out of favor with board members: head-cheese, haggis, scrapple ... but I suspect that we would be quite comfortable with the dinner table at any reasonably well-off person.

Just a thought.

Ole

Last edited on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 01:12 am by ole



 Posted: Tue Nov 25th, 2008 01:36 am
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susansweet
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At the Huntington Beach Reenactment this year I was invited to joine "General Pickett and his wife" hosting a dinner for "President Davis and his wife" It was period food except instead of wine we had sparkling cider. We ate under a tent fly with a lantern hanging above . The meal included the most wonderful acorn squash soup , a roast beef and fresh green veggies . Desert was Robert E. Lee's lemon cocoanut cake. All the food was prepared by women who work over outdoor fires in the camp. They provide meals for the reenactors in the evening .

We also played some period parlour games after dinner and after the men had retired to smoke their cigars and drink their "brandy"

It was such fun. I am hoping I get to experience this again.
Susan

Oh they also arranged to have a period photograph taken of each one of us that could be purchased later.



 Posted: Tue Nov 25th, 2008 12:34 pm
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Johan Steele
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Any place that carries Hormel brand foods can order Salt Pork... it's probably most popular in areas w/ large Russian immigrant communities.

Actually salt pork is excellent if properly prepared. Soak it in water overnight remove from the water and use the water to poison a nearby tree. Then toss in the oven w/ a couple of freshly... acquired sweet potatoes. Bake until done. (time depends on thickness of salt pork and size of potato) So simple even a dumb batcheler like me couldn't mess it up.

My wife makes an increadible salt pork and apple dish. I'm more than a little happy that my wife enjoys history as well. She's the culinary and fashion expert.

I learned a long time ago... no matter how disgusting it sounds I'll try it. As often as not I've been pleasently suprised.



 Posted: Tue Nov 25th, 2008 01:17 pm
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ole
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Grocery stores here always have salt pork on the shelf near the bacon. You'd think in a land where lutefisk has shelf space, you could find salt pork. But I guess stranger things happen.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Nov 26th, 2008 01:55 am
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The Iron Duke
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I would like to test if hardtack could really stop a bullet.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 26th, 2008 12:59 pm
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Johan Steele
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A spent bullet. If a pocket testement can; hardtack can.



 Posted: Thu Nov 27th, 2008 07:59 pm
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Kernow-Ox
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Heh. I picked up some hardtack at Pamplin - it survived the flight and the rough treatment of the baggage handlers. I must make up some of my own one day.

Thanks for the tip about getting saltpork from Eastern European outlets: I might investigate a few round here. I'm still not 100% I know which part of the pig it's supposed to be, mind.



 Posted: Thu Nov 27th, 2008 11:35 pm
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ole
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It's really just bacon cured differently.

Ole



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