How to feed an army

My grandfather was perhaps the only person to gain weight when he was in army.  He loved army food, and for the rest of his life he wanted to eat like he was in the army (apparently, this involved eating creamed corn almost every night).  This week, I got a closer look at my grandfather’s army diet when I came across two army cooking manuals.

Army Food and Messing: The Complete Manual of Mess Management is exactly what its subtitle says.  This 450 page book explains everything from kitchen management (both in garrison kitchens and field kitchens), inspection and storage of foods, mess sanitation, and recipes.  It has illustrations of army cooking tools like this army field range.

field range

There are also several animal diagrams.


There are also several pictures of food that has gone bad, but I won’t put them up here.


Along a similar vein is the War Department’s Baking Manuel for the Army Cook.  This guide is heavily illustrated including a picture of a loaf of white bread:


Here’s some of the instructions on making biscuits.


The recipes are of course for large quantities, like 300 doughnuts and streusel for 100.  Most of them look pretty good to me.


Here’s the army recipe for gingerbread:


Let us know if you try the recipe!


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