Author Topic: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking  (Read 2060 times)

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« on: November 10, 2018, 01:21:16 am »

I wanted to share an easy mid-1800s recipe for cornbread or "Indian Bread". This is the same family recipe I grew up on. Also, most modern recipes are wrong. Cornbread is not supposed to be sweet. The worst is when I go to eat cornbread and it tastes like cake.

Here's the break down. 1-cup of coarse corn meal, 1 cup of corn flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/3 cup oil or warm lard, and 1/2 cup of milk, and one egg. (*Note, the family recipe left the oil to be a little more modest "by feel" (about 1/4 cup) and the milk is at your discretion.  To make things easy, I've adopted the 1/3 oil and 1/2 cup milk off a cornmeal box recipe as a good starting point.  I personally like it better with 1/4 cup oil, and some arrowroot or with almost a cup of milk so that it has the consistency of stiff pancake batter but that is up to you.)

Tonight, I used some blue corn off the Gila Reservation along with a Banny Hen's egg.
If you are preparing it in camp, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, make your volcano and break the egg into it. Beat the egg and then start adding in the milk and oil. Place in a buttered or greased pan and bake it in a bank oven  (or 425 F if at home) and watch it till the loaf rises and browns at the top.

Eat it with butter or lard, honey or molasses.  It's great with coffee.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Online Mogorilla

  • NCOWS
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 1342
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 07:18:31 am »
Sounds tasty and the blue corn looks great.   I like any and all things corn bread.  I am especially fond of johnny cakes with molasses.  Modern people have way too much of a sweet tooth.  It is the true crime of high fructose corn syrup, in that as a liquid, it can be added to a myriad of prepared foods that previously were difficult to add sugar to, as they snuck it in, our taste buds came to expect more sweetness.   I grew up in a very frugal family, we did not do prepared foods, mostly home grown.   It was great, but nearly killed me when I went to college and had my first experience with cafeteria food.  Discovered I am very allergic to soy and had never had it prior.   Sorry, back on topic.   
These are some I have done for years.

Corn Recipe  Corn Dodgers
Corn Dodgers
3 cups corn meal
3 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons sugar
Oil-if you are frying.

In a bowl, combine corn meal, salt and sugar.   Stir to blend.   Bring water to boil.  While still boiling, pour water into corn meal mixture, stirring as you do.   When completed, if the mixture looks grainy, you need more hot water.    When cool enough to work with (helps dipping your hands in ice cold water), shape the dough into 3” long “ropes” about 2 inches in diameter.   You can either bake these on a greased cookie sheet (400 °F until golden ~12 to 15 minutes), pan fry them, or drop them in simmering soup as dumplings (good on chili).    Very versatile.   I have made patties of them and used like an English muffin, eaten like a pancake, used like bread with dinner, taken on the Range while hunting Lucky Ned Pepper, etc.       

Corn and Corn husk Recipe Apache Bread
I have had this recipe for eons, (back into the early 80s when I was running around with a fellow high school buddy really into buckskinning.   We just called them corn dodgers and when you see the corn dodger recipe, you will see the similarity.   These are quite tasty and work even if you bacon grease is not cold.  Where the name Apache bread comes from is the internet.   A buddy who has eaten mine sent me this from the internet, which was exact except used slightly less water.  That is a personal call and as you cook them, you can get the feeling for how wet or dry you like it.   One thing I can say if you are using Green husks, that means there is corn nearby, or where did the husk come from.  Add the corn, and scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get all of the corn milk out and into the cornmeal.  The final bread will taste even better.   For this and the dodger recipe, white/yellow meal is your choice.   I think white was probably eaten more in the 19th century, but I personally like yellow better.  Maybe just shows my poor background.   
Apache Bread

2 cups Cornmeal
1 teaspoon Salt (to taste really)
1/2 teaspoon Red pepper (I prefer ~1/2 teaspoon of ground dried ancho chili)
1/2 cup Bacon drippings (cold)
1 ¼ cup Boiling water
Green corn husks, or soaked dry corn husks.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Carefully add boiling water, stirring while you do.   When mixture is cool enough to handle, stir in the bacon drippings. Form into small
rolls and wrap in green corn husks, or dry corn husks soaked in hot water for several hours.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes 12 individual breads.
Depending on your fireside talent, these can be cooked in the coals of your campfire.   


 

 
NCOWS #3297

Offline Blair

  • NCOWS
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 2402
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2018, 12:57:48 pm »
A simple or easier method of cooking corn meal into a type of field ration is, a sheet iron skillet, lard (bacon drippings are better), corn meal and heated water.
The heated water helps to the ground grain to stick together.
This can be formed in the hand into small patties or cakes. About silver dollar in size and about 1/4 to 3/8" thick.
Dropped into the greased skillet, over coals, they cook up quickly. (Salted to taste.)
These store and travel well and can be made up using small fires, and minimal water.

You can experiment with this at home using hot water from the tap.
My best,
 Blair
A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
Life-C 21

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2018, 02:15:47 pm »
Both replies are excellent for corn pones, corn dodgers, and johnny cakes that anyone calling themselves a primitive outdoorsman should try.

Thank you for the input gentlemen.  I'll add another to the mix. If I am traveling real stripped down, I will use my sagamite (corn flour & mesquite bean flour or sorghum) and either mix with cool water for a good drink, or mix with warm water and cook up as corn pones.

Recently, I have been getting hit up for more "homestead-style" fare for the pioneer travelers. Notice that I included eggs in my recipe. When someone asked, how a frontier traveler got hold of hen's eggs, I cited a couple of sources from that book project I'm working on. Take raw eggs straight from the coop and immerse them in a solution of water, salt, and unslaked lime. When done properly, they will keep for months while some frontier accounts cited "years". They would then be planted in a cask on a layer of tallow or lard. Another layer of eggs would be laid over the grease and then another fresh layer of grease is applied. 

Keep the camp cooking input coming.  We have a new generation of would-be outdoorsmen who are bringing canned goods because they simply don't know basic camp cookery.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline LongWalker

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 114
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 09:26:37 am »
Keep the camp cooking input coming.  We have a new generation of would-be outdoorsmen who are bringing canned goods because they simply don't know basic camp cookery.
Nothing new about that.  I seem to recall a group at the Vail Rendezvous in '83 who ate the same thing every night (stew or chili, don't remember).  Meantime we were dining on real food, with pies or cobbler for dessert. 
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline Blair

  • NCOWS
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 2402
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 02:49:58 pm »
I had one fellow on an ACW site that was very pleased to say they had persons glad to rummage through their garbage dump because they had left such a large amount of historically authentic trash behind.
This group had painted all their cans with colors known to be from the period for different types of food stuffs in the cans.
I asked him how they kept the food from being contaminated by the paint when they opened the container?
It made no difference to me the method of opening, historical or modern ring pull.

All I wanted to do was suggest a way of covering the containers without the use of paint. Like you can find on Deviled Ham, some Corned Beef and some Sardines with paper labels.
I was banned from the forum for my efforts because I butted heads with the head honcho.
My best,
 Blair 
A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
Life-C 21

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 12:00:18 am »
I have an idea who that group might be Blair and if I'm right about it, I have called these guys "glam-paigners" before.
Painting up a modern canned good just makes it a dressed-up modern item in camp.  Although canned fruits taste wonderful on hard campaign, and the provenance for tin cans in the War of the Rebellion is high, I'm with you on the notion that it's a pretty greenhorn move to lay down the heavy load of tin cans instead of making use of the more common rations of beef, pork, flour, coffee, beans, peas, corn meal, sugar, pepper sauce, etc.

Here is a good source for reproduction tin-cans at a good price. https://www.dixietinworks.com/kitchenware.htm
Here is a good book from 1857 on food preservation in general. https://archive.org/details/preservationoffo00abel/page/n3
Check out chapter 4 of this 1888 publication https://archive.org/details/CAT11003941001/page/n11 This is a more modern description but home tin canning was fairly common.

I think swapping tips and perfecting camp cooking is a much better experience than knocking the cap off a can of Dinty Moore.

-Dave




« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 11:53:40 am by Tsalagidave »
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline Jeremiah Jones

  • Very Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2018, 08:40:29 am »
Quote
Cornbread is not supposed to be sweet.
Shut your Yankee mouth!  ;D  Cornbread, like tea is supposed to be sweet.  Add a little sugar cane syrup to your recipe and you will have some fine eating.

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2018, 11:29:43 am »
My family is from Arkansas and the Carolinas. That "Reb" enough for you?
Sugar is for cake and dandies. ;D

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline Oregon Bill

  • American Plainsmen Society
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 875
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2018, 09:14:07 am »
Good thread gentlemen. Dave, you got me on sagamite. Had to look it up. Do you make your own blend?

Offline Slamfire

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 675
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2018, 08:45:27 pm »
 Dang Gumit ! just finished a early Thanksgiving Dinner ( so all the kids could be here ) I'm 3lbs. over full ,,then I started reading this thread ,,, I can smell the fresh corn bread cooking ,,, I'm gon'a have to stop read'n ,,, think I just put on another lb.

 coffee's ready ,, Hootmix.

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2018, 12:24:43 pm »
Good thread gentlemen. Dave, you got me on sagamite. Had to look it up. Do you make your own blend?

Thanks Bill, I typically use a more Southwestern recipe.  I use fine ground blue cornmeal off the reservation. (Often called corn flour due to its fineness.) It is mixed with either maple sugar or sorghum and cinnamon.  This is and some pemmican or jerked beef is the best "MRE" for the frontiersman.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2019, 01:36:37 pm »
Dang Gumit ! just finished a early Thanksgiving Dinner ( so all the kids could be here ) I'm 3lbs. over full ,,then I started reading this thread ,,, I can smell the fresh corn bread cooking ,,, I'm gon'a have to stop read'n ,,, think I just put on another lb.

 coffee's ready ,, Hootmix.

I know the struggle brother. Especially at thanksgiving, it's just too much good stuff.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2019, 01:33:57 pm »
The Mesquite bean pods are forming and there are forests to harvest from here in the Southwest. Plenty of natural sweetness as the ancient people here have been doing for ages. Now I can put something a little more traditional in the sagamite.
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Online Mogorilla

  • NCOWS
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 1342
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2019, 02:54:45 pm »
Pictures please!!!!!!

I was just reading about mesquite bean flour.    Was sorely tempted to purchase some from the web, but have not done so yet.   I get that bug every time I see the neighbor's oak tree dropping acorns and remembering just was a pain in the tuckus it was to prepare those to be edible, then finding that korean markets sell acorn flour.   It makes a good bread not to dissimilar to cornbread at the camp.   We pretty much used the acorn flour like cornmeal.   
NCOWS #3297

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2019, 01:17:00 pm »
Challenge accepted my friend.  I need to go take some photos. I am also past due on visiting the Tono Oohodam and getting schooled on desert edibles.  I know the beans pound into a fine flour and the pods are sweet but there is a lot more to this plant than that and what it does for BBQ meat and a lot of these farmers still know the old ways despite all the high-tech farm equipment they have now.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline DeaconKC

  • Retired Predator Hunter
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 554
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2019, 08:05:11 pm »
Sugar goes in the tea, not the cornbread! That is called corn muffins and they are good, but they ain't cornbread. You don't crumble corn muffins in the beans!
Yup, I'm that DeaconKC from Surplus Rifle
The Deacon AZSA
BOLD 1088

Offline Tsalagidave

  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 725
  • Dave Rodgers
Re: Cornbread - A Quick Recipe for Camp Cooking
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2019, 04:45:12 pm »
Sugar goes in the tea, not the cornbread! That is called corn muffins and they are good, but they ain't cornbread. You don't crumble corn muffins in the beans!

Agreed. The old folks on the southern side of my mom's family used to say that only the reconstructed used sugar and flour in their cornbread. Corn muffins though, haven't had one in a while. You just made me hungry.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.