Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Nineteen Weeks Down That Road Again"-Hardtack & Johnnie Cake!!!

Getting to that point where I don't want to diet any more and it is getting harder for me...I always have trouble in the summer...Get busy outside and forget to eat lunch or it gets to late to prepare a proper supper...You must know what I am talking about...I did lose .5 pounds last week....Mowed the grass today, cleaned out the pond and got it set up and then planted flowers & tomatoes...I have 20 tomato plants in containers (Black Walnut tree kills them if I put them in the ground)They are all heirlooms and different varieties....Also have some grape & cherry tomatoes...It was so hot here today..Got up to the high 90's and my face and arms got sunburned a little....Will have to get the pond plants out of the basement and into the water tomorrow and then restock my fish....Always something going on....
This is my 2 year old great-granddaughter Evelyn at her birthday party Sunday

< and her 3 year old brother Ethan


"'Tis the song that is uttered in camp by night and day,
'Tis the wail that is mingled with each snore;
'Tis the sighing of the soul for spring chickens far away,
'Oh hard crackers, come again no more!'

'Tis the song of the soldier, weary, hungry and faint,
Hard crackers, hard crackers, come again no more;
Many days have I chewed you and uttered no complaint,
Hard crackers, hard crackers, come again no more!"

Hardtack was a biscuit made of flour with other simple ingredients, and issued to Union soldiers throughout the war. Hardtack crackers made up a large portion of a soldier's daily ration. It was square or sometimes rectangular in shape with small holes baked into it, similar to a large soda cracker. Large factories in the north baked hundreds of hardtack crackers every day, packed them in wooden crates and shipped them out by wagon or rail. If the hardtack was received soon after leaving the factory, they were quite tasty and satisfying. Usually, the hardtack did not get to the soldiers until months after it had been made. By that time, they were very hard, so hard that soldiers called them "tooth dullers" and "sheet iron crackers". Sometimes they were infested with small bugs the soldiers called weevils, so they referred to the hardtack as "worm castles" because of the many holes bored through the crackers by these pests. The wooden crates were stacked outside of tents and warehouses until it was time to issue them. Soldiers were usually allowed six to eight crackers for a three-day ration. There were a number of ways to eat them- plain or prepared with other ration items. Soldiers would crumble them into coffee or soften them in water and fry the hardtack with some bacon grease. One favorite soldier dish was salted pork fried with hardtack crumbled into the mixture. Soldiers called this "skillygallee", and it was a common and easily prepared meal.
Would you like to make some hardtack to display in your primitive home? It's very easy to make and here's the recipe…

2 cups of flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon of Crisco or 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 1/2 inch on a non-greased cookie sheet. Bake for one-half an hour 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 one-half hour. Turn oven off and leave the door closed. Leave the hardtack in the oven until cool. Remove…It should be very hard and dry….If it isn’t then turn the oven on to 150% and leave the hardtack in till hard & dry…These look nice in old jars with a waxed calico covering tied with grungy butcher string…


Does your taste lean more to the southern side? Then try a "Johnnie Cake” that the Confederate soldiers enjoyed with their meals. The recipe is also very simple:
two cups of cornmeal
2/3 cup of milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Mix ingredients into a stiff batter and form eight biscuit-sized "dodgers". Bake on a lightly greased sheet at 250 degrees till brown and hard, and you have a real southern Johnnie Cake to display in your primitive home….You can spray the Hardtack & Johnnie Cakes with matte clear acrylic sealer if you are worried about bugs getting in them….
If you want to make the Johnnie cakes to eat, then you… Mix ingredients into a stiff batter and form eight biscuit-sized "dodgers". Bake on a lightly greased sheet at 350 degrees for twenty to twenty five minutes 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!
My Mother use to make these and she called them “Kentucky Dodgers”….We loved them with pinto beans, butter beans & fried potatoes….No wonder I have a weight problem!!!

Here is a label for your old Jar!

I got this label from a blogger, but I don't remember who it was...It was in a widget box, so someone please let me know....It is A Primitive Journey that has this label plus some more for you to grab...Just click on the name to go there...Thanks Diane for letting me know!


LoveThePrimLook said...

Hey Sue, I dont know how you do it all ???? Love your blog!!!
Hugs, Ang

Diane B said...

the label is from my blog Sue.. Glad you liked it..