Join Date: November 2, 1998
Amateur bakers do a brisk business, until overcome by their own success! Read it here at Rambling Anecdotes.
Two of the boys (of Eastern Shore celebrity in mischief) procured about a bushel of flour, and some sugar and saleratus (Gary's note: baking soda), borrowed a sheet-iron kettle of one of the officers' servants, obtained a lot of fat salt pork, and went into business. They first washed all the salt from the pork, dried it out, mixed their flour with sugar and saleratus, let it rise, and then made some of the finest doughnuts, as they supposed, that were ever served up; at all events they were 'done brown.' When they had made a great pile of them, they opened shop, and never before was there such a rush to procure some of those elegant doughnuts. The pile was soon gone at five for twenty-five cents, and the demand soon exceeded the supply. Occasionally a man was found who had the temerity to express the opinion that they were rather tough, and were good specimens of home-made India rubber; but he was immediately frowned down as a barbarian, and a man devoid of epicurian tastes. The sale kept up so briskly that by night the batter was almost exhausted, and the firm closed up their business for the day, estimated their profits, and talked over their plans for the future. But they were in a quandry. The batter was nearly gone, and no more flour could be obtained within range of their guns. Suddenly the contracted brow of H. relaxed from its thoughtful aspect, and his face lit up with a genial smile. He had struck an idea, and was like a goldminer when he pans out a rich lot of 'pay dirt.' 'Eureka!' he exclaimed, quoting Archimedes. They had still on hand a quantity of saleratus, which up to this time was looked upon as dead stock, but now it was worth its weight in gold. 'What idea have you struck, pards?' asked H.'s colleague. 'Why, you noodle-head, its very plain - put in more saleratus!' 'That's the cheese! Why didn't you think of that before?' The saleratus was added in generous quantity, and they turned in and went to sleep, probably dreaming of light doughnuts for the million - so light, in fact, that a piece of dough the size of a walnut would turn into a doughnut the size of a pumpkin. At all events, they must have dreamed on promiscuous subjects, for they had partaken of their own stock in trade to show their faith in home manufactures. I am not positive that this was the identical night that the whole camp was aroused by fearful screams, and the men gasped their rifles, and the officers rushed out of their tents clad in Georgia costumes (Gary's note: undergarments), swords and revolvers in hand, supposing at first that then enemy had captured the camp and were bayonetting the men in their tents, until it was discovered that a somnambulist of Company F had jumped up in a nightmare and was trying to climb a tree before he was awakened, having dreamed that one of Hood's Texas Rangers was trying to scalp him. At all events this was the camp where this identical thing happened, and this naturally ought to have been the night, for never before were the men's stomachs so full.
In the morning the firm were roused from their dreams of wealth by reveille, and jumped up in a hurry. But what a sight met their eyes! Dough, dough, dough everywhere! The fact of it was, their stock had risen about one hundred and fifty per cent, above par, and kept on rising. The floor of their tent, blankets, rifles, cartridge-boxes, and everything else, were covered in layers of dough, and they could be traced out to the line for roll call by a string of dough. This was something that had not entered into their calculations. They, however, did well in business that day, and added saleratus, as their batter decreased, until the compound was so sour that all the sugar they could beg, borrow, or steal was not sufficient to sweeten it enough to suit the most depraved taste. Accordingly one night, after a very dull day's trade, they buried what remained of their stock in a hole outside their tent, in the company street. But their astonishment was great in the morning at the finding that the stuff refused to stay buried, and had burst through the crust of earth over it, and, like a fountain, was sending out its streams, whereupon they were obliged to heap several bushels of dirt over the spot to prevent its ressurection. The next morning they looked out of their tent with anything but confidence, expecting to see a new eruptoin. The were agreeable disappointed, and thus ends the long, but true story of the 'Zouave' doughnuts.
Thus concludes our story of a misadventure on the Yorktown Peninsula. D*mn Yankees.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!