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Guidance for quartermasters first appeared in the 1912 handbook. Equipment lists and menu suggestions were basic. For tent equipment: Bucket, lantern and candles, matches, mallet, tin basin, spade, axe, pick, hank of cord, flag, and pole-strap for hanging things on. For kitchen: saucepan or stewpot, fry-pan, kettle, gridiron, pot hooks, matches, bucket, butcher's knife, ladle, cleaning rags, empty bottles for milk, bags for rusks, potatoes, etc. The tents were either ex-army bell tents, or hired ridge tents. For food, suggestions included 'rusks' - stale bread baked until hard, and tinned meat, beans, rice and porridge. Suggested rations per Guide per day were 2 1/2 oz oatmeal, rice or macaroni, 1/2 lb potatoes or 1 1/2 lb onions, 1/2 lb biscuits or rusks, 1/2 lb peas or haricots, 2 oz sugar, 1/4 lb fruit; or 1 1/2 oz jam or syrup, 1/2 oz tea or cocoa, 1/2 lb meat; or fish; or 1 1/2 oz cheese. 2 pints milk, 1 oz butter. Plus salt, pepper, currants, raisins, flour, suet, etc.
Quartermasters were also in charge of general equipment, so there were also hints on how to make a frame of sticks to put over a fire in order to dry wet clothes. Water might be drawn from a stream or pond, boiled if required. Cooking hints included making meat into "kabobs", or wrapping it in either wet newspaper or clay before cooking it - or for poultry, heating a suitable stone on the fire until very hot then inserting it in the cavity so the bird cooks from the inside as well as being grilled on the outside on a spit over the fire. A "billy" or camp kettle could be either stood on the fire logs or among the hot embers of the fire for hot water, or supported by a lashed tripod of green sticks. Eggs, potatoes or buns could be cooked among the embers. Cooking was done on a trench fire, made of sods or logs, channeling the heat of the fire down the channel of the trench to make best advantage of the heat generated. Recipes were given for Hunter's Stew, Bread-Bannocks, Pancakes, Dumplings, Beef Pudding, Bacon and Beans, and Rabbit Bish-Bash (made from a freshly caught rabbit, once skinned and cleaned out). Hence a lot of the cooking was based on either buying produce from the farmer or catching it for yourself, along with a certain amount of goods from the grocer and greengrocer.
In 1921 Guiding published 'Notes on Camping' which advised:
1) Trench Fire and Oven. Dig a pit 2 ft. square and 2 ft. deep. From this dig a trench 1.ft. 6 in. deep, sloping up to 6 in., the width of a spade. Length according to the number of dixies required on at once. Put bars on the side of the trench to keep up the sods, and build up round the chimney 1 ft. high. The chimney should be from 2 ft. to 3 ft. high. A large tin may be built in at the chimney end to use as an oven; in which case try and get the flames on three sides of the oven and on top.
It is advisable to line the trench with flat stones, as this prevents the sides from burning away, and also makes the fire much hotter.
In case of wet weather always roof in your trench fire as follows: Have four upright poles and four roof poles. Put a tarpaulin on the top for a roof, and, if possible, another at the side to keep the wood dry.
2) Hay Hole. Make a hole in the ground according to the size of the pan (which must always have an overhead handle). Make the hole large enough to allow a lining of from 6 in to 9 in. of hay, straw, or newspaper. Fill a sack with same, and place on top, cover with sods. Use in the same manner as a hay box.
1) Cooks should wear clean and washable overclothing, and not make the meals appear unappetising for those who have seen the cooks.
2) Keep all kitchen things off the floor.
3) Baked sand or wood ash is the best thing to clean saucepans.
4) Store keeper is responsible for the ordering, keeping, and distribution of all food.
5) Cooks should be free from all other duties, and are responsible to the store keeper for everything.
6) Waste water should never be thrown on the surface, but into waste water pit.
7) All resuse excepting that for pigs must be burnt in the incinerator.
STORAGE OF FOOD
1) All food must be kept in a ridge tent, or improvised larder, and everything off the ground except tins.
2) Always have plenty of butter muslin.
3) Be careful over milk, and don't keep it over night.
4) Never keep butter or milk near meat or anything strong smelling, as both are easily tainted.
5) Always hang meat, and keep covered from flies; don't let the covering touch the meat. Make a frame with sticks.
6) Never keep meat over leaf mould.
7) Keep water cool and covered with muslin.
8) Larders can be made from packing cases, with holes back and front.
9) If near a stream or fast-flowing water float the milk cans in it, with the lids off or reversed.
10) To keep Milk fresh. Use 1 in 30 solution of medical bacterol in water. One tea spoon added to one gallon of milk as soon as it arrives in camp.
11) Air the store tent every day. Take everything out, brush the floor, and spray with Milton.
RULES FOR MEALS
1) Make the Guides orderly for meals, and allow no one to get up and wait except the orderlies.
2) Most important to have tables of some kind, and, if possible, benches to sit on.
3) Don't let the second helpings start until everyone has finished their first helping.
4) If prayers and inspection are before breakfast, be sure that each Guide has had a biscuit or some bread and butter.
5) Have an inspection of all kitchen utensils from time to time."
At this time cooking was invariable done as 'Company cooking' - one Patrol, supervised by the quartermaster, cooking all of the day's meals, with a rota running through the week so each patrol took their turn.