Cowboy Bob's Dictionary

Cold Flour

Cold Flour

A batch of Cold Flour cooked as hot mush. Randolph B. Marcy's famous pioneer guidebook "The Prairie Traveler: A Handbook for Overland Expeditions" calls it, "...an excellent article for a traveler who desires to go the greatest length of time upon the smallest amount of transportation." It could also be eaten cold with some water added; mixed with a larger amount of water and drunk; or cooked as thick mush, allowed to stiffen, sliced and fried in a liberal amount of pork grease. For even greater variety, Cold Flour was also occasionaly cooked with strips of dried vegetables such as peppers of carrots.

Folks back in frontier days rarely used recipes because books and even paper tended to be both expensive and hard to obtain. For that reason there wasn't a standard list of proportions to use when mixing a batch of Cold Flour. Here, however, is a recipe that has worked well for me....

Mix until the lumps are gone and the ingredients are well-blended:

To prepare as Mush, heat to boiling 4 times as much water as the amount of dry Cold Flour you will use. Stir the dry Cold Flour into the water, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Try to keep the mush just under the boiling point, because it tends to make little volcanoes that spit painful specks of mush onto your hand! When it is cooked, you can add a little butter, lard, or margarine, if desired. (Lard would be more authentic.)

Photo by Bob Lemen. All rights reserved.