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What Do You Do with 54 Pounds of Lard?

November 13, 2013

Want to know how to cook for hundreds of soldiers or sailors? While recently searching for a coworker whose grandfather was a Navy cook on the U.S.S. Missouri, I stumbled across these little gems online. Just Google "U.S. Army" or "Navy Cookbook," and you will find out exactly how much it took to feed a unit of hungry fighting men. With minimum portions of about twenty and usually around one hundred or more; the sheer amounts of ingredients are a bit hard to fathom.

Several volumes are available to read online. In 1945, cooking brownies for the twenty-seven hundred sailors of the U.S.S. Missouri took a whopping 54 pounds of lard alone. Cooking ham and eggs for a hundred men took 17 dozen eggs and 25 pounds of bacon. And to think these amounts were used on a daily basis! The logistics are staggering.

They list daily menus, recipes, and preparations as well as substitutions if an ingredient wasn’t available. These cookbooks are the official source for everything you ever wanted to know about food in military service. It also explains why most ex-military mess cooks I’ve talked to never want to cook again…

David J.
Midwest Genealogy Center 

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