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Crown Pilot Crackers

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ray
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 3:29 PM
Subject: Going Crackers

I belong to a male-only  organization, "Hunters' Garden," which is maybe 150 years old, 
and whose only function is to meet twice a year (May and October) in the woods of Long 
Island to eat eel and clam chowder.  For many years (I can't speak for more than a decade) 
the chowderfest was accompanied by "Crown Pilot Crackers."  Well, Nabisco (it's complicated) 
stopped, re-started, and then stopped producing them in the last year or so.  They were 
clearly a kind of "hardtack," (what could have simpler ingredients?) but "commercial," 
and not actually tooth-breakers in nature.  Is there any recipe out there that's a sort 
of "copycat" for them that you can find?  Hardtack is one thing, but the cracker form 
would be more welcome, and it'd be nice to have something "like" for the next fest in 
the woods, come noon on the third Thursday of May, 2010.


Hello Ray,

A few points of interest here. I briefly touched on the topic of pilot crackers back in 2006. Pilot crackers are a form of hardtack, which was a popular staple eaten on sea voyages. They became popular in the Northeastern U.S. from New York to Maine as an accompaniment for soups and chowders. They're also popular in Hawaii and in Alaska. See:

Pilot Crackers
There is a basic hardtack cracker recipe there, as well.

The issue of Nabisco discontinuing "Crown Pilot Crackers" turns out to be as big as the issue of Nabisco discontinuing "Royal Lunch Milk Crackers".

Crown Pilot Crackers


hardtack crackers
Couple of hardtack recipes there, as well.

The G.H. Bent Company still sells hardtack crackers. See:
G.H. Bent Company

Diamond Bakery in Hawaii sells Pilot Crackers. See:
Diamond Bakery

Mechanical Baking Co., in Pekin, Ill is another source for them, but their website is no longer online. Contact information:

Mechanical Baking Co
2026 Broadway Street
Pekin, il 61554-3826
Phone: (309) 353-2414

So, you can either try one of those hardtack recipes, or buy the alternative brands.


Salt Rising Bread

----- Original Message ----- 
From: AL
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 11:39 AM
Subject: Salt Rising Bread

Dear Sir:

I take exception to your remark that the second recipe is "probably better."   It sounds 
as if you did not make the breads yourself, and apparently not a connoisseur of salt-rising 
bread either, you do not know whereof you speak.   I grew up on this bread, and like the 
lady who requested the recipe, I long for its distinctive taste and texture.   When I lived 
in California, I regularly bought Van deKamp's S. R. bread, as it was exactly as I had known 
it in my childhood.  I believe the first recipe to be the authentic one, and because it is 
very hard to get right, the second recipe may be easier to get a good---but not authentic--- 
result.   Where I live now, people offer S. R. bread, but I suspect they make it with potatoes, 
not the cornmeal mash.   The give-away words are "smooth and elastic."   Salt-Rising should 
not have any gluten developed; the bread is firm, the texture has holes, more like a pound cake.

I have tried twice to make the bread, and failed miserably both times.   Edible, but hard as 
a rock!   I may be tempted to try again after seeing your recipe [I was hoping to find Van 
deKamp still making the bread; sorry to hear they no longer exist].

Thanks for your efforts,

Hello AL,

Well, your second sentence is basically correct. As the disclaimer on my "Instructions" page states, I do not try the recipes on my site. I am a "recipe finder", not a cook. I locate recipes based on the information given by the requester. I take no responsibility for the results produced by those recipes.

As for Van de Kamp's salt rising bread, you are correct - like millions of people who never lived in California, I never had it. Therefore, making the recipes would not have made any difference - I wouldn't know whether they were similar to the Van de Kamp's bread or not. That doesn't prevent me from offering them to those who are searching. I would be remiss if I didn't offer the possibilities that I have found - recipes that claim to be like Van de Kamp's. It's been 5 years since those two recipes were posted, so it is asking too much for me to remember for sure exactly why I said one was "probably better". However, I believe it was on a message board and people who had tried it praised it as being close to Van de Kamp's. Did you try the other one? If I ever come across a recipe for salt-rising bread that describes the finished product like you describe it above, I'll certainly post it, but most recipes do not contain descriptions of the resulting bread.

There are numerous salt-rising bread recipes posted on various message boards by people seeking to imitate Van de Kamp's salt-rising bread. Read the comments of those who have tried the recipes. See:

Salt Rising Bread

Salt Rising Bread

Salt Rising Bread

It's too bad that Van de Kamp's went out of business when they did. If they could have held on another decade or so until the Internet was well-established, then more people might have created good copycat recipes for their products and posted them on the Internet.

There are some tips on making salt-rising bread here that might help with the texture:

Salt Rising Bread Tips


----- Original Message ----- 
From: al
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 8:08 PM
Subject: Re: Salt Rising Bread

Dear Phaed,

Thank you for the additional links to further messages about S. R. bread. 
I shall certainly check them out.  By the way, my childhood S. R. bread was 
in southern Ohio and I now live in western NC, so it is not just a California 
bread.  Irma Rombauer's book Joy of Cooking has the recipes which I tried 
previously.  If you care to do more detective work, it would be interesting 
to know the ethnic origin of this bread.  In southern Ohio, the immigrant 
culture would have been a mix of New Englanders, Scots-Irish, and German. 
In North Carolina mountains, it is predominantly Scots-Irish.



Hello AL,

I am aware that salt rising bread is not just a California bread. You misunderstood. What I was saying was that Van de Kamps Bakery was only in California. How could I think salt rising bread was only in California when I said my Grandma made it in Mississippi?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: AL
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:54 PM
Subject: Re: Salt Rising Bread (again)

One of your links had links to the best site yet: SRB

Nobody seems to know the source of this bread.


Hello AL,

Making bread without added leavening and making it rise by letting it sit in a warm place to catch airborne yeast goes back thousands of years to the Egyptians.

However, since salt-rising bread calls for adding cornmeal and sometimes potatoes, it must have originated in the Americas. Both corn and potatoes are native American plants, unknown to the rest of the world before Columbus, just as wheat flour would not have been available in America before Columbus.


Good point!


Siebenfelder Bread

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Christie 
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:29 AM
Subject: Recipe Request

Good morning :)

I have been searching the internet for a recipe for what I used to buy at Cub Foods 
bakery called Siebenfelder bread (roughly translates to 7 seeds bread I think).  Do 
you have any suggestions :)

Thanks in advance and happy New Year!


Hi Christie,

I can only find "siebenfelder" or "sieben felder" bread as a bakery product. See these sites:

You can buy siebenfelder bread online here:
Bavarian Inn

Commercial bakery mix for siebenfelder:

There are, of course, a number of recipes for "7-grain bread" or "seven-grain bread", but these recipes don't seem to have any obvious German connection. They are often made with molasses and seven-grain cereal, although a few are made from scratch. If that's what you want, then let me know.

Searching for a German language recipe or "rezept" for "siebenfelder" or "sieben felder" or "siebenfelderbrot" was not successful, nor did I find any 7 grain bread recipes on German recipe sites.

"Siebenfelder" might, therefore, be a bakery creation rather than a traditional German or Austrian bread, which could make it difficult to find a home recipe.


Unknown Fruit - Guava?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Brad 
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 12:37 AM
Subject: Unknown fruit or nut from Florida, used in old recipe

My mother has often talked about her grandparents' annual trips to Florida, and the fruits 
they brought back with them and used in a recipe for a Fig Newton type cookie.  We have never 
been able to figure out what these fruits were.  She said they were fig-like, in a lumpy 
brown outer shell and had many tiny seeds like a fig, but with a slightly different flavor. 
We would love to know what these were, so we can find the recipe again.  I have looked online 
but with no luck, because without the name we don't know what to look under.  They were not 
lychee nuts, and not mission or calimyrna figs.  Is there such a thing as banyan fruit?  Or 
some exotic type of date or fig?


Hello Brad,

Well, that's not much to go on. They might have been some variety of fig, but the first thing that comes to my mind is guavas. Guavas have long been a popular fruit for pies and jellies and cookies in Florida. While they are not cultivated commercially in Florida as they are in Mexico and South America, they are grown in many back-yards for their fruit. Years ago, when your grandparents would have been visiting Florida, they actually grew wild in some parts of the state. If you look for pictures of guavas on the web, you'll see lots of photos of a green fruit with red flesh that is filled with tiny seeds. Dried guavas, which might be what your grandparents bought back, have a tan or brown skin and a reddish or reddish-brown flesh. Guava paste, which is the preferred form for cooking, is reddish or reddish-brown. Guava desserts are very popular in Mexico and Central & South America.

In fact, Nabisco actually sells "Guava Newtons" in some countries. See:
Guava Newtons

There is an excellent article about guavas and guava paste here:
guava paste

In Brazil, there is something like a guava cookie that is called "goiabinha". There is a recipe for it below in Portugeuse and English.

If you would rather stick to something more like newtons, use this "homemade fig-newtons" recipe, but use guava paste or guava jam instead of the fig:
homemade fig-newtons

Goya sells guava paste in the U.S. Your supermarket might have it. If not, you can buy it at Food Service Direct:

You can purchase it in smaller quantities from

Guava jam or preserves, though sweeter than the paste, might work in a pinch, and are fairly common.



Ingredientes: Ingredients 
2 xícaras de chá de farinha de trigo 2 cups of flour 
3/4 xícara de chá de manteiga sem sal 3 / 4 cup of unsalted butter 
1 1/2 colher de sopa de açúcar 1 1 / 2 tablespoon sugar 
150g de goiabada cremosa 150g guava paste
1/2 xícara de chá de açúcar 1 / 2 cup of sugar 

Modo De Preparo: How To Prepare: 

Misture a farinha com a manteiga, o açúcar e amasse bem. Mix the flour with the butter, 
sugar and knead well. Faça bolinhas, achate no meio e coloque um pouco da goibada cremosa. 
Make balls, flatten in the middle and put a little of guava paste. Leve para assar em 
forno preaquecido a 180ºC por 20 minutos ou até que dourem. Bake in preheated oven at 
180 º C for 20 minutes or until golden. Retire, deixe esfriar e só então polvilhe o açúcar. 
Remove, let cool and only then sprinkle the sugar.  


The search engine registry indicates that someone has searched for this:

Albondigas  Soup  (Mexican Meatball  Soup)

1 lb. ground beef round
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. chili powder (I use 1 tbsp.)
1 sm. onion, grated
1 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. pine nuts or 1/2 c. raw rice
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 (10 1/2 oz.) cans condensed consomme
2 cans water
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. dry sherry

Mix together ground round, salt, chili powder, onion, bread crumbs, pine nuts, 
and eggs.  Shape into tiny meatballs about 1 inch in diameter or smaller.  Pour 
consomme, water, and bay leaf into a saucepan; cover and bring to a boil.  Add 
meatballs, a few at a time so that boiling is constant.  Reduce heat, cover, 
and simmer for 30 minutes.  Just before serving, remove bay leaf and stir in 
sherry.  4 to 6 servings.  
Caldo  De  Albondigas  (Meatball  Soup)

1 lb. ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 canned pimiento, chopped
1/3 c. loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
2 qts. beef broth
1 med. onion, chopped
2 med. carrots, diced
2 med. zucchini, diced
1/3 head cabbage, sliced

Mix beef, eggs, pimiento, cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in large bowl. 
Mixture will be very soft.  Form into balls about 1" in diameter.  Heat broth in 
large pot until boiling.  Lower meatballs gently into broth a few at a time. 
Bring to boil again.  Skim foam from surface.  Add onion, carrots and zucchini. 
Bring to boil; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered 25 minutes.  Add cabbage. 
Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Taste and add salt if needed. 
Serves 8. 

"First, the [banana pudding] crust had been made from oreo chocolate cookies. The bananas had been sauteed in Etta's own berry brandy. The meringue contained flecks from at least three vanilla bean pods."
The Witches Grave by Philip DePoy

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