Now You Can Offer S--- On A Shingle

PrintPrintEmailEmail

In How to Feed an Army: Recipes and Lore From the Front Lines (Collins, $15.95), J. G. Lewin and P. J. Huff survey the solutions to a problem that, as they say, has been vexing our armed forces “from the day Thomas Mifflin took over as the first quartermaster general in August 1775.” Dozens of recipes chart the gustatory history of the American soldier, most of them giving directions on how to feed 100 troops and, should this be beyond the needs of the reader, 10. The offerings include “slow roasted rabbit” from the War of 1812; the famously obdurate hardtack of the Civil War; “Sweet and Sour Frankfurters” from the Vietnam years; and an advanced-sounding delicacy enjoyed by our forces in Iraq, “Zesty Rotini Pasta Salad.” But lest the zest of the rotini beguile us from the bitter realities of war, here is a trio of sandwiches in the War Department’s 1942 TM-405: Technical Manual for the Army Cook: “bean rarebit—baked beans, chopped cheese, chopped onions, salt, pepper, and catsup; nut and raisin—chopped nuts, chopped raisins, mayonnaise; tuna fish and beet—flaked tuna, minced cooked beets, mayonnaise, salt, and also pepper (can also substitute salmon or sardines).”