Cooking and Recipes

By Ashli McDonald and Adrienne Duke

Learning to cook over and open fire is an adventure, but definitely not has hard as it might seem. After you’ve experimented with how long to keep your dish on the fire, and researched authentic recipes, you are on your way to becoming a successful 19th century cook. The most rewarding thing about this experience is realizing, when you are finished baking, frying, or boiling your meal, you’ve just prepared something authentic from the Civil War era. We were fortunate enough to have a few good teachers in the 3rd Texas Cavalry to help me as we were starting out who knew the ropes, and could show us a few tricks of the trade.

Even though cooking over a fire (in which the temperature is never as steady as that of a stove) is unpredictable, most of the meals turn out to be incredibly delicious. It is a custom for us to hand out generous samples of our meals to the spectators that come through our camp. Examples of tasty samples can be seen below:

Hardtack Recipe
• 2 cups of flour • ½ to ¾ cup water • 1 Tbs. Crisco, vegetable fat • 6 pinches of salt

Mix the ingredients together into a stiff batter, knead several times, and spread the dough out flat to a thickness of ½ inch on a non-greased cookie sheet*. Bake for 30 min. at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, cut dough into 3-inch squares, and punch four rows of holes, four holes per row into the dough. Turn dough over, return to the oven and bake another 30 min. Turn oven off and leave the door closed. Leave the hardtack in the oven until cool. Remove and enjoy!** - Recipe from of *In our experience it is best to grease the cookie sheet, then dust it with flour before putting the dough on the sheet, then to repeat the process when you flip the half-baked squares. **When we finish baking our hardtack we wrap them in wax paper, though this is not necessary. They’ll be just as good, if baked correctly, placed in a container all together.

Confederate Johnnie Cake Recipe • 2 cups of cornmeal • 2/3 cups of mild • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil • 2 tsp. baking soda • ½ tsp. salt Mix ingredients into a stiff batter and form eight biscuit-sized “dodgers”. Bake on a lightly greased sheet at 350°F for 20 to 25 min, or until brown. Or, spoon the batter into hot cooking oil in a frying pan over a low flame. Remove the corn dodgers and let cool on a paper towel, spread with a little butter or molasses, and you have a real southern treat! - Recipe from Sausage and Apples • 1 lb. sausage meat • 5 apples • ½ c brown sugar • 1 tablespoon cinnamon • Butter Cut the sausage into patty-like slices. Put it in the pan and cook until slightly browned. While the sausage is cooking, cut and core the apples into small chunks or slices. When the sausage is slightly browned, take it out of the pan and pour out the fat. Melt enough butter into the pot to barely cover the bottom. Put the apples you have cut into the pot and wait for them to soften slightly. Then add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the apples and mix them so that it forms a thick syrup. Add the sausage back into the mixture and cook for another ten minutes or so, based on how much you are making. - Recipe adapted from General Tips: • When making biscuits, grease the pan and dust it with flour • When making soup, you can put all the ingredients into the pan to cook at one time, with the exception of browning the ground beef

Here are some other links that we recommend: