Just Some Recipes Way Back When

Sweet Potato Coffee

Sweet potato coffee is easy to make.
Just peel the sweet potato
slice in about 1/8" slices.
Dice the slices into cubes.
Allow the cubes to air dry.

I used the oven by leaving it off, but leaving the oven light on.

Shake the pan occasionally to expose different sides.
The cubes will shrink quite a bit.
After they are thoroughly dry, you need to parch them.
You can either brown them in the oven or on top of stove. Either way, you will need to watch them carefully so they don't get too brown, but make sure they are brown enough (the color of dark chocolate).
After they are cool, the chunks can be ground in a coffee grinder. You can either use an old fashioned grinder, or a modern grinder, but use a course grind.
Use the ground sweet potatoes just as you would use coffee.
The sugar in the potatoes carmelized and provide sweetener for the coffee.


Hardtack has so many different variations that I hesitate to even begin to describe it to you. I have a repro mould which cuts it 3 x 3 with 16 holes. Here is my routine:

Take 3-4 cups of regular white flour. Add just enough water so the dough feels dry, but all the flour is used. Use a tablespoon of salt, although this was not always done. Knead it lots and lots or it will develop inclusions which resemble #1 steel shot to your 20th century dental work. I usually knead while watching the History Channel or A&E to take my mind of the drudgery.

Roll it out about 3/8 thick, no thicker unless you are planning to use it as deck plating on your 1/4 life size model of the CSS Virginia. Cut it into 3 x 3 squares with a butter knife and poke holes with a nail. Make sure the holes go all the way through or the inside will trap air and the piece will swell up and look real bad. As you put each piece in the pan, be sure to squish down the points on the corners or they will turn into little knives after being baked.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then pull it out, turn it over, and bake it for another 15. This is what works for my oven. When you pull it out, be prepared to get hit in the face with a blast of hot, moist air. Set the finished hardtack on the shelf for a few days to dry and harden.

Before you eat the hardtack, give it the rock treatment as you would your coffee issue. And when you're at a reenactment, never ever sling hardtack like a small frisbee. No one is supposed to use live ammo.

Washington Artillery Punch

Submitted by Russel Madere, Jr.

It consists of 10 charges, each having a special meaning to The Artillery.

The first charge is Napolean Brandy since all Artillery Punch included Brandy and Red Wine.

The second charge is Everclear representing our clear victory in the Mexican War.

The third charge is Burgundy representing the blood shed on both sides of the War Between The States.

The fourth charge is Grenadine Syrup because after the War, The Artillery reorganized into a non-military organization.

The fifth charge is Rum representing our service during the Spanish-American War, where the unit created the Cuba Libra, now known as the Rum and Coke.

The sixth charge is French Wine to honor our French Artillery brethren and our skilled Redlegs during World War I.

The seventh charge is Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Mix representing our State mission, past, present and future.

The eigth charge is wines from Italy, France and Germany representing our service during World War II.

The ninth charge is Bordeaux Wine honoring February 10, 1971, when The Artillery was authorized it's official title to be the traditional titel of "Washington Artillery."

The tenth charge was Hot Ice representing the "Essence of Fort Hood," the wonderful weather we experienced while training for desert warfare during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

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