What's cooking, doc?
From the Hystery of the 7th New Hampshire:
The writer will never forget his first attempt, after having completed the chimney to the hut in which he was quartered, at cooking in the new fireplace. We had hunted around and found enough money with which to purchase a few Irish potatoes, some onions, and a little butter at the sutler's, and at once became oblivious of everything except the preparation of a good square meal. We had the potatoes and the onions nicely done, using a tin plate with a split stick for a handle, which made a good frying pan; had just finished seasoning with salt and pepper, and had also added a small bit of butter, [Gary's note: All these ingredients took quite a bit of $ or hard foraging to procure. It's a better feast than what the soldier got in the field so you can understand how eagerly they looked forward to supper] and was about to take the dish away preparatory to making an attack upon it with knife and fork, when there was an explosion as of a two-thousand-pound shell, the atmosphere seemed suddenly to change, daylight turned to darkness, and we could hardly breathe or see for ashes. Our first impression was that we had inadvertently built our chimney directly over a volcano; but somehow it didn't seem exactly like an earthquake, but it came so suddnely that we were conscious of being the least bit bewildered. As the smoke cleared away and the ashes settled enough to allow us to see clearly, we found the plate in one corner, the handle in another, and fired potatoes and onions, our salt, pepper, and butter, together with half-burned brands, about as evenly scattered over our eight-by-ten floor as could well be imagined. Our uniform was on fire in half a dozen places, and a look in the fireplace revealed about a peck of metallic cartridge shells. Then we at once divined the cause of the trouble. Some person outside, just for pure 'cussedness,' had deftly tossed a bag of those cartridges down our chimney from the top. Of course the circumstances attending the case did not allow of our getting out quite quick enough to detect the culprit, but if we never got square with him, it was because he left the service before we did, for we had our suspicions down pretty fine. Anyhow, we dined on hard-tack and cold water that day, and we have been shy of fireplaces ever since.
Please don't try this at home or at camp.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!