We hope you enjoy this list of Civil War recipes that continue to stand the test of time.
MAIN MEALS & MISC.
Civil War Recipes - Cabbage Stew
- one head green cabbage
- onions (slice the cabbage and onions - approximately ½ & ½)
- salt pork (cut the salt pork into small cubes)
- stewed tomatoes
- salt, garlic salt, pepper, cajun seasoning or ground red pepper
1) Fry the salt pork in a very large, hot, cast iron pot until well browned (do not drain).
2) Turn the heat down (move to a cooler fire area).
3) Add cabbage and cook until wilted
4) Add onions and cook until wilted
5) Let cook approximately 1 hour (low fire)
6) Add tomatoes to more than cover
7) Let cook ...and cook...and cook....simmer is a good word. You can't really overcook this dish - the flavors will blend nicely the longer it cooks.
8) Add garlic salt (small amount), then add salt and pepper to taste.
9) Add a very small amount of cajun seasoning or ground red pepper. Be sure to taste after adding each time. It takes the seasoning a few minutes to make themselves known. Better to add too little than too much.
10) Stir occasionally.
11) After approximately 2-3 hours, start tasting then season/cook more if necessary.
Civil War Recipes - Sausage & Apples
- 1 pound of sausage meat
- 3 apples
- ½ cup brown sugar
- tablespoon of cinnamon
This old Virginia dish is easy and delicious. Start with about a pound of sausage meat. Form into patties and fry lightly in a pan until just browned. Remove the sausage, pour our the fat (not in the fire) and melt some butter in the pan, enough to barely cover the bottom. Core and slice three apples to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and place in pan setting it over a low heat. When apples have softened slightly add a half cup of brown sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon. As soon as the sugar has mixed with the butter and formed a thick syrup add back the sausage and cook for another ten minutes or so.
Civil War Recipes - Confederate Shortbread
Wheat flour was quite scarce in the South during the Civil War so soldiers baked bread from available ingredients such as white cornmeal. Try to find white cornmeal to make this a bit more authentically Confederate. Although this recipe uses baking powder to make the cornbread fluffier, Confederate soldiers did not have baking powder.
- 1 TB butter
- 2 cups white cornmeal (not self-rising)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup oil
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease the 9" square baking pan with the butter. Combine the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl whip the eggs with a fork and combine with the milk and oil. Stirring only until all the dry ingredients are wet, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and then pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Civil War Recipes - Onions & Apples
- 1 qt of water
- 1/2 pound of salt pork
- 4 apples( use the tart green ones)
- 2 large onions
Cook diced salt pork in a heavy iron skillet until crisp, and set aside the salt pork. Core the apples and slice into thin rings. Slice onions into thin rings also, fry in salt pork fat until brown. Add 1 qt of water and cook until apples and onions are tender (about five mins. and add water as needed). When tender add in the salt pork, and season to taste. This a easy dish to prepare in the field.
Civil War Recipes - Hard Tack
This staple hard cracker like bread made of flour and water must be dipped into milk, tea, hot chocolate before eating as it is so hard you could break your teeth eating it dry!
- butter for greasing the baking pan
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 TB baking powder
- 1 TB salt
- 1 2/3 cups water
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Grease the baking sheet. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and water. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. With freshly washed hands, squeeze the flour mixture with your fingers, this will be a very stiff dough. Flatten the dough to about 1/2 inch into a large rectangle. Using a knife, lightly trace lines into the dough to divide the pieces into 3 X 3" square pieces.
Use a toothpick to prick holes across the entire surface in neat rows 3/4 of an inch apart. Be sure the holes go all the way through the dough to the baking sheet. Bake the dough about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Remove the hardtack from the baking sheet with a metal spatula. Makes about 9 hard crackers.
Civil War Recipes - Johnnycakes
Johnnycakes were popular particularly in the Northeast but eaten across the United States since the 1600's. The recipe is very simple and fun to make.
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups ground yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 TB butter
- syrup, molasses, or preserves for topping
Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Combine the cornmeal, salt, boiled water, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well. Melt the 2 TB butter in a skillet or a cast iron griddle over medium heat. Pour 1 TB of batter into the skillet, pancake style to cook. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until edges are lacy and lightly browned using a spatula to turn. Serve hot with molasses, maple syrup and butter.
Civil War Recipes - Navy Bean Soup
Soak the beans overnight or for at least 8-12 hours before beginning the recipe. Cook in cast iron for better flavor and an authentic re-enactment.
- 1 cup (8 oz) dried navy beans
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 pound salt pork or slab bacon
- 2 large carrots or 1 cup chopped
- 1 large onion or 3/4 Cup chopped
- 1 large potato, unpeeled, but cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
Wash the beans in a colander and pick out and discard any discolored ones or pieces of dirt.
Place the beans in a large stock pot or Dutch oven covered with water at least 2 inches above the beans and allow to soak overnight. Drain the beans. Add 5 cups water, salt pork, carrots and onions to the beans.
Stir the mixture. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer the beans at least 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add the chopped potatoes salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook about 15 more minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Civil War Recipes - Washington Pie
Two layers of fluffy butter cake with a layer of jam in-between and coated with powdered sugar.
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- raspberry or apricot jam
- powdered sugar
"First cream butter until light. Then beat in sugar gradually. Add eggs, well beaten. Combine sifted cake flour with baking powder and salt, and sift again. Combine vanilla and milk. Add
dry ingredients and milk to first mixture alternately. Turn into two 8-inch greased layer-cake tins and bake in moderately hot oven (375 degrees F.) about twenty-five minutes. When cold put together with jam and dust with powdered sugar.
And notice this smart trick: Lay your wire cake-cooling rack lightly on the top before giving the heavy sifting of powdered sugar. When you lift the rack off, the cake surface is marked into powdered sugar squares, with the golden crust of cake showing between."
Civil War Recipes - Ginger Bread
Gift boxes sent to Union soldiers from home might contain the traditional gingerbread along with items such as socks, soap, and other foods.
- 1 TB butter
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/4 cups molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1 cup very hot water
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9" square baking pan with the butter. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, soda and spices, and cut in softened butter to the flour mixture with a fork. Combine molasses, egg and water in a small mixing bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well. Pour the batter into a baking pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 9 servings.
Civil War Recipes - Fried Apples
Tart apples cooked with butter and sugar make a wonderful side dish or dessert.
- 5 tart cooking apples such as Granny Smith, MacIntosh, Golden Delicious, or other
- 4 TB or more butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Wash, core and slice the apples into 12-16 narrow wedges, do not peel. Melt the butter in a skillet or cast iron pan and add the apples. Cover the skillet and cook the apples 5 minutes over medium low heat. Stirring continuously, add the brown sugar and the nutmeg. Stir well. Continue cooking the apples covered for 10-12 minutes or until the apples are tender, check every few minutes while cooking. Add additional butter or water if needed to prevent the apples from sticking.
Civil War Recipes - Tea Cake Cookies
- 5 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease the cookie sheets with butter. Combine flour, soda, and nutmeg together in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 Cup milk, 2 eggs, and sugar. Pour into dry ingredients. Stir well.
Wash hands and lightly coat your fingertips with butter. Shape the dough into 1 inch round bowls. Place the balls on baking sheets. Dip a fork in flour and use it to glatten the balls in a criss/cross pattern like you might do for peanut butter cookies. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 5 dozen.
Civil War Recipes - Ginger Cakes
These crisp, sugar-coated cookies are sure to please your sweet tooth.
- 3/4 cups shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tsp. soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 2 cups flour
Combine cream shortening and sugar. Add the egg and molasses and mix well. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the shortening mixture. Mix until combined. Roll into walnut sized balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 - 10 minutes.
TEAS & MEDICINES
Civil War Recipes - Relaxing Tea Blend
This blend will help you relax after a long day.
- 1/4 cup dried spearmint
- 1 cup dried lemon balm
- 1/4 cup dried lemon grass
- 1/2 cup dried catnip
- 3/4 cup dried chamomile flowers
- 2 tbs. dried lavender flowers
Combine the herbs and store in an air tight container in a dark cool location. Make tea using 2 teaspoons of herb blend for each cup.
Civil War Recipes - Blackberry Tea
Ingredients: Blackberry leaves
Pick the blackberry leaves and dry them. When you want to make tea, just crumble a couple of teaspoons of leaves to one cup of boiling water. Steep for five to ten minutes then enjoy.
Civil War Recipes - Blackberry Cordial
Mash and strain blackberries; put the juice on to boil in a brass or bell-metal kettle (you can use a glass or enameled pot) and skim it well. To each gallon of juice put three pounds of sugar and a quart of spirits (brandy works well). Bruise some cloves (can add a cinnamon stick) and combine. This is valuable as a medicine in summer and in small doses it is very good and warming in cold weather.