Saturday, September 29, 2012

Civil War Hardtack

This morning I don't have to work until noon so I have the whole morning to catch up. I slept in a little (very little)...did dishes and laundry...and now I'm making some hardtack for my full moon hike tonight.

Hardtack is an unleavened bread that was used in the Civil War. Soldiers were always traveling so they needed food that would be easy to carry and not go bad. Hardtack is made from flour, salt and water, then baked "to the consistency of a brick." I found the recipe here.

My first batch was way too bland--I didn't add enough salt! The 2nd batch was a lot better. This will be my 3rd batch for the year and probably the last until spring so hopefully it works.

The full moon hikes start at the museum. I do a short introduction, then we head down the hill to the Officer's Quarters. At the Officer's Quarters I talk about the history of the fort and about the quarters themselves. Then we head to the barracks and then the mess hall. At the mess hall, I talk about food the soldiers would have been given, then I pass out the hardtack...after I warn people that it is really hard and to watch their teeth! Other names for it are "jawbreaker," seabiscuit," and "tooth-duller." Hm.

Anyway tonight is my last full moon hike for a while, probably until May or June so hopefully it goes well!

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