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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Ship History: Food for the Fleet

As it nears the time to start planning for major holiday feasts as families gather for holidays, you might find the following recipes useful, especially since they can stretch your food budget (these recipes are designed to serve 100 hungry sailors):

Creamed Sliced Dried Beef

YIELD: 6 1/4 Gallons or 100 portions, each portion: 1 cup

Butter or shortening
Flour, sifted
2 lb.
2 1/2 lb.

1 qt.
2 1/2 qt.
1 tbsp.
--1. Melt shortening add flour, and blend. Add pepper. Cook 5 minutes.
Milk, hot
4 3/4 gal. -- 2. Add hot milk slowly, stirring to prevent lumping.
Beef, dried, sliced
7 lbs.
1 lb.
1 3/4 gal.
1 pt.
--3. Separate beef into slices. Cook in hot shortening until edges curl.
4. Add to white sauce. Blend.

1. If beef is too salty, omit cooking in hot shortening (step 3), soak beef in hot water 15 minutes and drain before adding to white sauce.
2. If desired, freshly sliced dried beef may be added to white sauce without cooking in hot fat.
3. Serve with toast, baked potato, steamed rice, noodles, spaghetti, or cornbread.

It is my belief that sailors have/had a different name for this dish.

No holiday feast is complete without soup:

Navy Bean Soup

YIELD: 6 1/4 Gallons or 100 portions, each portion: 1

Beans, white, dry6 lbs.3 1/2 qt. --1. Pick over and wash
Ham stock
Ham bones
 7 gal.
8 bones
 --2. Add ham stock and ham bones. Heat to boiling point; cover and simmer 2-3 hours or until beans are tender. If necessary, add hot water.
3. Remove ham bones.
Carrots, shredded
Onions, finely chopped
1 lb.
2 lbs.
2 3/4 cups
4 1/2 cups
2 tsp.
 --4. Add carrots, onions, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Flour, hard wheat, sifted
Water, cold
1/2 lb.2 cups
3/4 qt.
 --5. Blend flour and water to a smooth paste. Stir into soup, and cook 10 minutes longer.


1. If beans are old, soak 3 to 4 hours prior to cooking.
2. Add salt and additional pepper if desired.


Old Fashioned Navy Bean Soup: Add one No. 10 can of tomatoes in Step 4.

Other exciting recipes for 100 can be found in the 1902 U.S. Navy General Mess Manual and Cookbook here. For example:


Soak 25 pounds of codfish over night in fresh water. Boil for an hour and a quarter, drain off water, remove bones, and chop up. Boil 50 pounds of potatoes, and to them add the fish, together with 1 pound of butter, 6 eggs, and 1 ounce of pepper. Mash all together thoroughly, make into cakes, and place in pans in the oven to brown.

(NOTE. - Fish cakes may be fried in the manner described for frying fish.)

Now, haven't I been helpful to your holiday planning?

Update: No. 10 can?. And my wife says you have to soak all dried beans, not just "old" ones.

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