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Old 05-30-2020, 08:04 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Proposal: Food Stuffs

I’ve been doing some thinking (quite your whining!) about what sort of foodstuffs would be available in the post whoops world of 150 years. With the sort of die-off of the population and supporting infrastructure, what would be available for home use and for trade? And what forms would some of this food take?

First of all, why include 18th Century food storage? The answer is simple, this is a very basic, easily understood and fairly simple means of preserving and serving food. It may not be the latest tech, but it does work surprisingly well!

Listed below are several items for consideration…..sources include ‘Feeding Nelson’s Navy’ by Janet Macdonald and ‘The Lost Super Foods’ by Art Rude, Lex Rooker, Claude Davis, and Fred Dwight. Enjoy!
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:05 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Ship's Biscuit (Hardtack)

This is easy to make by hand if you don’t mind spending the time to knead the flour sufficiently. It can even be done through the use of relatively simple hand-made equipment. You can use white flour for a better quality or use wholemeal for a common type.

Ingredients:

1lb (454 grams) (5 cups) plain (all-purpose) white or wholemeal flour.

1 teaspoon salt (not necessary for long term storage).

Approximately ¾ pint (15ml) (1 ½ cups) water.

Instructions: Place the flour and salt into a large bowl, add the water, a little at a time, and mix until you can pull the whole together into a ball of dough. Sprinkle a little flour on a level work surface, turn the dough out and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Flour your hands and knead the dough for as long as it takes to make it smooth and silky (about 30 minutes).

Heat an oven to 160oC/325oF. Roll the dough out until it is approximately ¼ inch (6mm) thick. Cut it into 3-inch (7.5cm) squares or rounds, prick the surface with a fork. Lay the biscuits out on a lightly greased baking sheet, not quite touching, and bake for about 60 minutes. They should not be too dark. Place them on a wire tray to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:06 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Salt Beef

Beef can be preserved with no more than salt. To help prevent the meat from becoming tough, sugar is often added.

Ingredients:

2-3lbs (1-1.5kg) beef (rolled and tied silverside or brisket)

1lb (450 grams) sea salt plus another 2-3lbs (1-1.5kg) sea salt for the brine

4oz (100 grams) brown sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Your choice of ground spices: ginger, coriander seeds, cloves, nutmeg

If using the sugar and/or spices, mix these into the first lot of salt. Rub some of the mixture (or plain salt) into one side of the beef, place it salt-side down in a large bowl or plastic bag, and rub more mixture into the top surface of the beef. Close the container and leave it for a day. Next day, rub more of the mixture into both sides of the beef and place it back into the container with the liquid that it has generated. Continue to do this for two more days. Now drain off and throw away the liquid, put the beef back into the container and shake more slat over both sides. Leave it for another day, then drain it again.

Prepare a strong brine of water and sea salt. You will need about 2 ¼ lbs. (1kg) salt to 1 gallon (4.5 liters) water, but the real test is that when the brine is strong enough, the meat will float, so mix the brine in the tub you intended to store it in, stirring until all of the salt has dissolved, then place the meat in and if it does not float, add more salt until it does.

However, the meat must stay below the surface of the brine, so once the brine is strong enough, put a weight (in a plastic bag so it does not contaminate the brine) on the meat. Seal the tub and leave it in a cool place for as long as you feel inclined. This can be left for up to 15 months and will remain perfectly tender and edible (if a little on the salty side). Check the tub every week; if it has thrown a white deposit on the surface of the brine, just skim this off and top up the brine mixture. Your nose will tell you if all is well.

When you are ready too eat the beef, remove it from the brine, rinse it off under a running tap and place it to steep in plain cold water. The longer it has been in the brine, the longer it should steep (approx. 1 hour steeping time for each month it has been kept). And the more times you should change the steeping water. Finally, place the beef and fresh water into a cooking pot (with a bay leaf, but no more salt!) bring it to a boil, skim if necessary, and simmer for 4-5 hours until tender. You can add some onions and carrots for the last half hour, or some dumplings (or both). Eat it hot with its gravy or cold.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:07 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Salt Pork

Salt Pork is prepared exactly the same as for beef. It can also be prepared in the modern French way of curing petit salè (dry cure), although with keeping, the dry salt runs to brine anyway.

For the classic petit salè, start by making flavored salt:

2 ¼ lbs. (1kg) sea salt

12 peppercorns

4 cloves

4 bay leaves

1 teaspoon juniper berries

1oz (25 grams) white sugar

The leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme

Crush the pepper, cloves, bay leaves and juniper berries and mix well with into the salt with the sugar and thyme leaves. This gives sufficient for up to 12lbs (6kg) of pork. The classic French pork meat is belly, but if you consider this to be too fatty for you, you can use chops.

Place several handfuls of the salt mix into the bottom of a large container. Rub more into the pork and layer it into the container with plenty of salt between the layers. Cover it and leave it in a cool place for at least a week, but for anything up to two months.

When you want to eat the pork, take out as much as you want, rinse it off and boil it in plenty of unsalted water for 40-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. Taste the water after 10 minutes; if it is over-salty, throw it away and refill the pan with fresh. If the pork has been in the salt for more than two months, steep it for a couple of hours in fresh water before changing the water and cooking it. Serve it how with sauerkraut or cold with salad.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:08 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Sauerkraut

This is, quite simply, cabbage which has been preserved in salt. Start with a tight cabbage (the white or pale green sort), cut it into quarters and remove the thick center core and any damaged outer leaves. Shred the cabbage thinly and pack it into a large container with plenty of sea salt between the layers, pressing each layer down well. Find a plate that fits inside of the container, sterilize it by pouring boiling water over it and place it over the cabbage, adding a weight on top to keep the cabbage compressed. Cover the container but check it daily, skimming off any scum from the brine, then re-sterilizing the plate and replacing it. The cabbage will ferment and the brine will bubble; when this stops (after about three weeks), the fermentation process has ended and you can eat the sauerkraut. Most aficionados think it tastes better after another three to four weeks. Expect it to smell while fermenting and when you open the container to remove some.

When you want to eat some, remove a sufficient quantity from the container and rinse it well before boiling it in unsalted water. You can add a chopped apple and/or some caraway seeds.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:09 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Pease

Meaning the hard dried pease has always been one of the staples foods. The oldest, the Carlin pea (Pisum sativum ssp arvense), is a small, dark brown pea which is traditionally eaten during Lent in some north-eastern counties of England. Also known as grey peas, these are a sub-species of the green garden pea. Pease is the term for the dried form, while pea is the soft fresh form. Dried pease are either whole, green and wrinkled (still in their skins), or yellow, ‘split’ (separated into their two halves), unwrinkled and skinless. The whole green variety takes longer to soften (usually an overnight soaking) and cook (requiring several hours). Yellow peas can be cooked in a pudding bag during which they will swell and form a mass which is soft enough to eat.

Pease can be cooked in plain water, but has a better flavor if the water was first used to cook a ham, as long as it is not too salty. The trick with cooking and of the dried pulses is not to add salt until they are tender, early salting may prevent their even becoming tender. Purchasing a bag of dried green peas, you will often find a soaking tablet, change the water after soaking and before cooking.

One pound of dried pease will serve four people. Start by soaking the pease overnight (7-8 hours) in about three times their volume of water. Use a very large pot, as the swelling peas can end up spilling over the top. Rinse, return them to the pot, add lots of water, bring to a boil and then cover them and simmer for a couple of hours or until tender. Then drain them, add salt and pepper, plus butter and eat.

Pease Pudding
1lb (450 gm) (2 good cups) dried split pease (preferably yellow)

2oz (50 gm) butter

1 large egg

Salt and pepper

Start as above, soaking and then cooking the pease until just tender. Mash them with the butter, egg and seasoning and place the result in a muslin bag. Tie one end of the bag to the handle of a saucepan, either containing ham or salt pork, or plain water. Bring to a boil and cook for at least one hour. Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate and serve in slices with the meat, alternatively, allow it to cool completely before slicing, then it makes a tasty snack.

Pea Soup
Start as though making plain cooked pease, ideally in ham water, but using a larger saucepan. When the pease are tender, mash them and stir in a lot more water, bring them back to the boil and continue cooking until they have turned into a thick soup. Add morsels of cooked ham or pork or bacon crumbs before serving. Expect any uneaten soup to set solid when cold. Reheat it carefully, adding a little more water to prevent it sticking and burning.
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