Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hard Tack

This is a Wyatt with a piece of hard tack that he, Ellie, and I made Thursday. Hard tack is "army food inside of the Civil War time period," says Wyatt. Hard tack is also known as ships bread, sheet iron crackers, and tooth dullers. There are a lot of recipes out there for hard tack. The one we used was "Army Hard Tack" found at Hard Tack Recipes. I felt it was the most authentic recipe because it called for whole wheat flour...which I imagine is mostly what they used back then...and our teacher at the Student Enrichment Day told us that it was just flour, salt, and water. You can learn more about hard tack at Gett Kidz-Civil War Food.

Hard tack was a staple to the military diet and many travelers. Basically, hard tack is a giant cracker or really hard piece of bread. The bread was usually twice baked and could last a very long time without going bad. If you were able to, you would soften hard tack using coffee, soup, or warm grease from cooking meat.

Ellie says hard tack is too hard. Wyatt says hard tack is as good as dirt. Thomas was shocked when he came home and picked up a piece off the stove. He said, "What is that?" Misty thinks it's not too bad; she could travel in 1800's and survive. But she's glad she had the foresight to only make a half-batch of Army Hard Tack.

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