One More…

Here’s another interesting bit about making use of resources.

One Sunday morning at some long-distant re-enactment, the BadGuy camp ( the Confederates ) decided to all pitch in on a communal breakfast because everyone seemed to be running low on stuff, but we could put up a pretty good table if everyone contributed; so ten separate campfires all kicked in together.

All I had to offer was a pound of bacon and four large sweet potatoes. I had used up all my other stuff in making a what-should-have-been a terrific chicken stew the night before in my three-legged pot ( one day old ). But I had thrown in a few cayenne peppers from the garden, and it was so hot that it had to be declared inedible. I tried diluting the broth, but then had to wait hours for it all to reheat. In the meantime, the pale and wan faces of all the battalion’s privates had taken on a truly pathetic countenance. ( Many people will show up for two or three nights of camping with a canteen of tap water and a box of Cheez-its. ) We had one young man whose tent would be littered with Killian’s bottles, pepperoni, and Twinkies wrappers by Sunday; he was often visited by the local wildlife ( the bear, raccoon, and we-hope- that -was- not-what-we-thought-it-was whisperer.

I  cooked the bacon, of course; and then tried frying thickly sliced sweet potatoes in the renderings. This turned out wonderfully, but had heart attack written all over it.

But the discovery ended up being very well-received, and was therefore usually repeated on consequent Sunday mornings. I would typically make something for the camp on Sundays anyway, being a bit of a mother hen; after all, I would likely be leading them once again to their deaths later in the day.

A Yankee contingency even began to make unusual regular Sunday visits; I suspected that the now re-knowned sweet potatoes might have been at the root of this. We would have cups of black camp coffee, bacon, eggs, biscuits, and fried sweet potatoes with the godless Yankees, who once even brought strawberry short-cake; apparently, even a black Yankee soul might yet be redeemed through the whipping of fresh cream for the strawberries.

And then it was off to an open-air church service to see if one’s last functioning artery might still be spared.

On yet another side note, I recall my first Sunday service; the regular pastor was not in attendance, and the senior captain had been called on to conduct the service. After some truly terrible singing, it turned into an impromptu AA meeting.

The best of times.

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