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Hardtack: MRE substitute

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posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:44 PM
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My friend and I have just learned about and made this biscuit like food referred to by many names, but I prefer hardtack. It's an old Civil War food given to the soldiers when there wasn't anything else.

It tastes horrible by itself, but when eaten with peanut butter it is not half bad at all. I would would even go so far to say that it tastes good and the best part is that the stuff lasts for quite sometime.

With that being said we are definitely going to make more so as to stock up for the upcoming NWO situation. When the new stimulus plan is the straw that breaks the camels back here in America and the shtf in a few months.

Anyways here's the recipe and process:

4.5 cups of flour
~4 tsp of salt
1.5 cups of water

-preheat the oven to 375
-combine everything
*if the dough is too sticky keep adding flour till it almost isn't sticky at all*
-then mold into the polygons of your choice and poke holes into both sides of them with a fork
-place on pan with no oil, the oil causes the shelf life to go down
-pop it in the oven then let it heat for 30 min. and then flip them to cook for another 30 min.
-take them out of the oven and let them sit outside for a day to harden
and there you have it hardtack

Note: if you want them to last longer leave them in for an additional 30 min. after you flip them and experiment with toppings other than peanut butter to suite your tastes and nutritional needs




posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:38 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by Zephyr-Chills
 


There are many, many more effective foods than this stuff. Jerky would be far more energy dense whilst supplying a great deal many more nutrients, being more filling and more palatable. That is only one food. Along with chocolate, nuts, dried beans and many more. Sorry but this is an awful food based on a time when supplies of decent food weren't available due to war.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:25 PM
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I've considered this option myself based upon it's amazing shelf life. Though not very nutritious it could serve as a great backup food source to stave off hunger pangs and total physical prostration when other rations are in short supply.

I think looking backward to what worked for people before modern day preservatives is a great idea. This is also a very cheap, easily made item that will probably outlast the user in the end. The trick to eating it is to soak it sufficiently in your coffee, tea, bacon grease, etc. prior to consuming it.

Thread starred and flagged!



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by LLoyd45
 


Thing is that if you know enough about survival you should not need this stuff. It was based in a time when knowledge of preservation was rather bad. There were natural methods but they weren't well understood, just we knew they worked.

There are many things which are better than this stuff. This food would be a starvation food, something to stave off the pain and distraction of severe hunger. If you know a little about survival however then you don't need this stuff.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:30 PM
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www.bentscookiefactory.com...

the company that made them during the civil war still makes them



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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It never hurts to have a backup food source regardless of your survival skills. If you were injured and unable to trap, snare, shoot, or forage for green stuffs, it would definitely keep you alive.

There are also occasions when there is absolutely nothing to be had. Consider areas that have been ravaged by wildfires where all flora and fauna are devoid.. That hard, flavorless biscuit might start looking pretty good after awhile. Just a thought..



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by LLoyd45
It never hurts to have a backup food source regardless of your survival skills. If you were injured and unable to trap, snare, shoot, or forage for green stuffs, it would definitely keep you alive.


I have to admit i would prefer jerky over this stuff. Protein is the most filling food. Most people think it's fat that fills the stomach but protein lasts the longest in the stomach. So a decent amount of beef jerky would fulfill all the purpose of this hardtack whilst also giving large amounts of nutrients, calories, protein and some fat. It also tastes great.

Smoked jerky, nothing like it.


Originally posted by LLoyd45
There are also occasions when there is absolutely nothing to be had. Consider areas that have been ravaged by wildfires where all flora and fauna are devoid.. That hard, flavorless biscuit might start looking pretty good after awhile. Just a thought..


The thought is a good one, however in areas suffering from wildfires you can usually find tubers underground if you know the area you are in. To have these biscuits you would no doubt be in the country you belong to and so learning about the area is a good idea. Again though i state jerky is a more compact and nutritious substance than this stuff.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
Smoked jerky, nothing like it.

I'd prefer jerky to it as well, but I'm talking strictly from and economical standpoint. Good jerky cost good money to buy or even make, whereas you could whip up a batch of biscuits in no time, for under a buck, and they'd last forever with minimal care.

Maybe a lit of both would be a good idea. They don't taste all that great all by their lonesome.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by LLoyd45
 


Well i've always made my own jerky and have spent a few years learning to make some seriously nice stuff. The biscuits i think were based in a time where crops weren't that varied and manufacturing them was a last resort sort of food. We have better knowledge now that's all i'm saying.

Using both may be great for some, but i prefer the jerky option. If you live by the sea then you also have the salted fish option. Simply catch a ton of fish (netting mackerel is easy in the UK), take a load of sea water and boil it down until all the water is gone. Now use the salt to salt the fish. It will last a very long time.

There are just so many other choices i couldn't use this hardtack stuff.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 02:19 PM
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Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
reply to post by LLoyd45
 

netting mackerel is easy in the UK


It is?

As it turns out I inadvertently made this Hardtack stuff nearly 20 years ago when I was struggling to feed myself.

It sucks.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by Nirgal

Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
reply to post by LLoyd45
 

netting mackerel is easy in the UK


It is?

As it turns out I inadvertently made this Hardtack stuff nearly 20 years ago when I was struggling to feed myself.

It sucks.


It's easy, if you know how. Isn't that the key point of it all? I haven't been able to recently but for years i netted mackerel just off the coast of barnstable in Devon. Less than 20 meters out to sea and you can net a decent amount i promise you that. I always had friends to help and we netted enough to take home and feed us all for a while. However there are netting methods to be used when on your own and static line methods that can be used easily.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 02:44 PM
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Good post. Anything that's cheap and easy to make with a long shelf life sounds good to me. There might be better stuff out there to eat but "I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it" At the least, it would be filling and help stretch out your other supplies. Nobody said survival had to be a banquet.



posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 04:13 AM
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i think this was a cool post, i hope others start posting things like this as well. i realize there are better options, but i would nab a few biscuits to throw in the pack, if all else fails its cheap bait for squirrels, chipmonks, birds ect. actually it might be very usefull for that just because of its shelf life and cost.



posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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For me I like this hard-tack thread!

Until this thread I only thought hard-tack was some form of ships biscuit! The ways and means of making arcane and strange!

I might try making some now just for the hell of it


I also say that beef jerky is nice, BUT getting hold of it isn't exactly as easy as getting flour, salt and water


Fish is fine, if you like fish, which some people are suited to.
I know in survival situations needs must. But I know that my body stomachs wheat-based foods a lot better than fish.

Is everyone still stocking up? Or am I the only one ??



posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 07:43 AM
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Hate to bust your bubble here. Hardtack might have been ok back in the day when the flour was unrefined and unprocessed and had many times more nutrients (which still isnt saying much).

Todays processed flour is almost completely nutrient free, not to mention its bleached and the germ is removed which contained most of the goodness. Hardtack from our dilapidated flour will do nothing more than give the feeling of something in your stomach. Your physical need for sustenance will not be allayed to any measureable degree.



posted on Feb, 10 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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Ill admit the storage life of hard tack makes it a survival food worth entertaining. However, this is one of the worst substances Ive ever consumed. If you are going to prepare your own long term survival fallback, I would reccommend Pemmican. Tastes good, relatively easy to make, lasts forever. And unlike hard tack, it provides a pile of nutrients, vitamins and fats.

Follow this link for a recipe so I dont have to type the entire thing out.

Good luck.



posted on Feb, 11 2009 @ 02:44 AM
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Hey guys, who knows if this will get posted or not cause ATS doesnt seem to like my anonymous posts.. but I digress..

As some have said before, this is not the best thing out there, but lasts a while and is good filler (vital for survival, mostly for psychological purposes)

Being mountain man in the heart, I always keep an eye out on good cooking methods outdoors. Things lots of people have forgotten. How to cook over an open camfire / on heated rocks/ smoking/ curing ect.

One recipe I LOVE when out on my adventures (pick an area, tell my family if Im not back by day X to call fire department, head out to some desolate area on my fourwheeler) is what we call Aboriginal bread AKA Bush Bread. Its a recipe I found on one of my great great grandmothers oven mitts. There are many different recipies, but ours is more of a basic bread with some grains and some yeast for rising. BUT what my Grandpa taught me to do was to carry multiple ration sized ziplock bags of the dough pre-made (which will last suprising long that way) When you get hungry, at night as your doing your evening fire, dig a pit about 7 inches deep, rake some coals in there and wrap the douch up in tinfoil and put it down, and cover it up with dirt. you can put lots of coals there to have a meal in a couple of minutes, or dig two and only put enough coals there to cook it then keep it warm overnight so you have something ready in the morning. Dig it up and enjoy! This is best if you get a good bread recipe that isnt void of protien or taste, and the other thing I constantly take with me are a variety of nuts. Thats my input for the day....



posted on Feb, 11 2009 @ 03:38 PM
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I recommend using wheat flour for this for added nutrition. That's all I've got. Sorry if this counts as a one liner.



posted on Feb, 14 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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Better long term survival food is pasta - comes in 100 different shapes
(rods, tubes, elbow, bow ties, sheets, etc). Very nutritious, easy to
make and tastes better than hardtack.

Cheap - can buy in bulk for less than dollar a pound, stores well if kept
dry.

Can be prepared infinite ways - pasta with garlic oil is simplest. Cook pasta, stir with vegetable oil (olive is best, canola good, other oils work)
and minced garlic (powdered garlic works). Hit it with some grated chese
parmesan or romano and makes great meal.

If have garden then add sauteed vegetables - zucchini, green beans,
tomatoes or greens(swiss chard, spinach, arugula)

This is what I eat all summer, pasta with vegetables from my garden



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