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Civil Culinaria

We need Food; A variable that supports life. Come out to History Bites at the Mariners museum, located at 100 museum Drive, Newport News, 6 pm, Saturday night, March 8th, an incredible food tasting event for the peninsula commemorating 152 years since the Battle of the Ironclads. Top restaurants and caterers will be competing with their best interpretations of 19 th century dishes from the north and south. Tickets are 35 dollars before event and 45 dollars at the door. Includes tasting from all participants and one Drink ticket. There will be cash bar offering wine and beer, Barbados punch and grog. Go visit www.battleofhamptonroads.com
Participating restaurants include-
Boxwood Inn
The Catering Company
Cp Shuckers- Shore Drive
Culinary Institute of Virginia
Fin
The Grey Goose
Miss Mary’s Catering
Schleisingers/opus9
Smoke BBQ
Proper dietary needs were sparse for soldiers in the north or the south during the American civil war. Choices for what to provide troops were limited, modern conveniences of preservation didn’t exist. Proteins were salted or smoked, fruits were dried or canned of course, proper nutrition was misunderstood, neither fancy or in variety. Rations consisted usually of meat, coffee, sugar, and a dried biscuit named “hard tack” about 3 inches long and half inch thick, characteristics of concrete. Maybe pair with a local beer such as an oatmeal stout?
The following recipe from 1862 US ARMY BOOK OF RECIPES-
HARD TACK
• 5 Cups Flour (unbleached)
• 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
• 1 Tablespoon Salt
• 1-1 1/4 cups Water
• Preheated Oven to 450
In a bowl, combine the ingredients to form a stiff, but not dry dough. The dough should be pliable, but not stick a lot to your hands.
Take this mound of dough, and flatten it out onto a greased cookee sheet (the ones with a small lip around the edge...like a real shallow pan...), and roll the dough into a flat sheet aprx. 1/2 inch thick.
Using a breadknife, divide the dough into 3x3 squares. taking a 10-penny nail, put a 3x3 matrix of holes into the surface of the dough, all the way thru, at even intervals (Village tinsmithing works sells a cutter that does all of this...works great!).
Bake in the oven for aprx 20 Min., till lightly browned. Take out and let cool.