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cooking skillygalee
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Booshway
posted
I am currently reading a fiction novel that has flashbacks to the Civil War and experiences of a Union soldier.
At one point he is cooking his dinner. He is cooking what is called “skillygalee”. It is considered a major treat for ordinary soldiers. Basically it is nothing more than hardtack crumbled into a frying pan with greasy salt pork cooked together over a fire.
Not much of a recipe but interesting.
 
Posts: 1487 | Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas | Registered: 08 October 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Any cooking that involves greasy pork I'm willing to try. I would suppose that given a lot of the conditions this recipe would be a treat. We take a lot for granted don't we?


I never have been much for drinking the kool-aid.It's not in my nature.
 
Posts: 336 | Location: Central Pennsyltucky | Registered: 12 January 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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That's interesting. Smiler Kephart has something completely different though it is forty years younger than the Civil War...

Skilligalee.- The best thing in a fixed camp is the stock-pot. A large covered pot or enameled pail is reserved for this and nothing else. Into it go all the clean fag-ends of game --heads, tails, wings, feet, giblets, large bones - also the leftovers of fish, flesh, and fowl, of any and all sorts of vegetables, rise, or other cereals, macaroni, stale bread, everything edible except fat and grease. This pot is always kept hot. Its flavors are forever changing, but ever welcome. It is always ready, day and night, for the hungry varlet who missed connections or who wants a bite between meals. No cook who values his peace of mind will fail to have skilly simmering at all hours.

I found both recipes repeated, so I wonder how either got the name?

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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I ain't cooking nothing I can't pronounce, specially if it's from a yankee camp.
 
Posts: 332 | Location: South Coast (MS) | Registered: 16 September 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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I assure you the recipe for Skilligalee from Kephart is anything but Yankee. His camping cooking experience came from what is now the area of the Great Smoky National Park, in NC and TN. Big Grin

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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quote:
Originally posted by Loyalist Dave:
I assure you the recipe for Skilligalee from Kephart is anything but Yankee. His camping cooking experience came from what is now the area of the Great Smoky National Park, in NC and TN. Big Grin

LD


OK. I'll concede that fact, even if the thread was started by a "Union" soldier in camp. Perhaps a "Galvanized Yankee".
 
Posts: 332 | Location: South Coast (MS) | Registered: 16 September 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Sounds like whatchagot stew....Anyone that keeps a pot of this going could ,eventually be canonized.


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1911 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
Picture of Fincastle
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Minds me of the "Kitchen Sam'iches" my Father In-Law makes from anything left over in the "icebox".


A nod's as good as a blink to a blind horse
 
Posts: 143 | Location: Indiana Territory | Registered: 22 September 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Greenhorn
Picture of Woodyrock
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My mother in law kept a big pot on the back of her coal range during the cold months. I think all leftovers went into that pot....colour kept changing, but was always welcome, especially when I came in cold, and wet. If you do not know, a coal range is never 'off' even in the summer.
Woody
 
Posts: 36 | Location: Wet side of Warshington | Registered: 30 April 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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Exactly what Kephart was writing in 1908!

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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quote:
Originally posted by Loyalist Dave:
That's interesting. Smiler Kephart has something completely different though it is forty years younger than the Civil War...

Skilligalee.- The best thing in a fixed camp is the stock-pot. A large covered pot or enameled pail is reserved for this and nothing else. Into it go all the clean fag-ends of game --heads, tails, wings, feet, giblets, large bones - also the leftovers of fish, flesh, and fowl, of any and all sorts of vegetables, rise, or other cereals, macaroni, stale bread, everything edible except fat and grease. This pot is always kept hot. Its flavors are forever changing, but ever welcome. It is always ready, day and night, for the hungry varlet who missed connections or who wants a bite between meals. No cook who values his peace of mind will fail to have skilly simmering at all hours.

I found both recipes repeated, so I wonder how either got the name?

LD


Using this premise, would this be a soup or a thicker stew? I could see keeping a soup on or next to a fire all day, but a stew mght burn up. At any rate, sounds like a great idea for an extended hunting camp.

I remember while in the Army, the best cooks always had a huge pot of soup and bread/rolls/crackers on the fire. It sure was good at 2AM after a few hours in the preimeter fox hole.

L8R...Ken
 
Posts: 403 | Location: In the Hardwoods of Eastern Iowa | Registered: 15 November 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Some of those ingredients look about one notch above eating your moccasins.
 
Posts: 507 | Registered: 14 August 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
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Not for nothing but I hate the Yankees sucks posts
 
Posts: 109 | Location: NH | Registered: 05 July 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Speakin' as the descendant of a Yankee family,I suspect every corner of this great land of ours had some variation of this idea.My Mothers' version was called "End of the Week Soup"....Never heard a definitive explanation of Skilligalee before,so I looked it up.I found several definitions,probably the oldest being a thin porridge,or soup of oatmeal fed to prisoners,or in soup kitchens.From this,the definition seems to have wandered through a"whatchagot stew" to end up circling the drain of "crumbled Hardtack fried in saltpork drippings"....This seemed to have been a Northern recipe,but The South had a similar dish called "Coosh" made from corn meal fried in salt pork drippings,or with salt pork depending on how flush the individual was...An interesting aside is that my Family,made up of mostly Yankees,used to treasure the occasional breakfast of cornmeal mush fried in bacon grease.I guess it just goes to show that when you're poor and hungry,you don't stand too firmly on culture.....


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1911 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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quote:
Using this premise, would this be a soup or a thicker stew?


Just depends on how long it's been since the cook added water or added ingredients... for over time even if folks weren't eating from the pot the heat would evaporate the liquid, so the cook would need to add some.

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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and if company was coming!!If they were, you just added water,made more soup and everyone ate,,or so my Grandmother was quick to say ha ha ha
Refrigerator Soup is what we call it,put it all in the pot and add garlic to taste..
 
Posts: 1839 | Registered: 11 February 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Notchy Bob
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Good thread. I had never heard of skillygalee before. It sounds like a good way to avoid wasting some valuable protein, in the form of those unappetizing "tag ends" that went into the pot.

I can also understand the recipe described in the original post. Nowadays, most people try to think of ways to reduce fat in their diets. Back in those days, I suppose a lot of people must have been acquainted with hunger. If you are cold, hungry, and tired, a skillet full of grease might not be unappealing. A buddy and I did a cool-weather canoe camping trip some years back. We paddled all the first day and made camp in the evening. We had brought some pork chops which we fried, but these were not enough. We eyeballed that skillet full of drippings, and then sopped it up with some white bread we had brought along. We ate all there was, and it really hit the spot.

Notchy Bob


"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us. Should have rode horses. Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife
 
Posts: 332 | Location: Florida | Registered: 24 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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True, and you will also note that we didn't have the fat filled meats in the CW era as we do today. Beef was grass fed, and lard was a valuable commodity. Fat contains a lot of calories, and with a higher physical labor content in many jobs, one needed the calories.

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Ya,I've got a fairly physical job,and yet I still struggle with weight....And my wife is a superlative cook.....


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1911 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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