Trail Recipe By Maeve Kim

My dad was a native Vermonter who grew up in Morrisville, Elmore and Jeffersonville. He started hiking as a child, spent thousands of hours roaming around on “his mountain” (Mansfield), and eventually earned a Long Trail End-to-End badge. A Depression child, Papa was always careful about money. Even if there had been an REI or an EMS close by, he never would have filled his pack with expensive freeze-dried food. He always sent away for just one or two packaged meals and then filled out his menu with readily-available favorites such as Spam and beef jerky, Minute Rice, ramen, canned stew, and Jell-O (which he mixed with boiling water and drank for a warming energy boost).
A day or two before he started a backpacking trip, Papa would make hardtack to munch as he hiked. No one – not even Papa – ever described the stuff as yummy. But Papa’s hardtack provides energy and nourishment and lasts forever!

Papa’s Hardtack
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
1 cup corn meal
1 cup soybean flour
8 ounces honey
2 ounces corn oil
1 tablespoon salt
enough water to make a workable dough

Knead until all the ingredients are mixed. Roll to an eighth of an inch. Cut to desired shape. (Papa usually cut the hardtack in squares to fit neatly in one of his waterproof plastic containers.) Place on lightly greased and lightly floured cookie sheets and bake at 225 degrees for an hour and twenty minutes.