Send a cow Christopher Columbus

For the past few weeks I have been trying out some breakfasts of the greats as found in the Send a Cow The Most Important Meal of Their Lives ebook.

It all started with Jane Austen, then it was all about Winston Churchill.  Next up came Cleopatra VII and today I made the breakfast of Christopher Columbus – Hardtack and legumes stew

Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stew

“Christopher Columbus may have discovered all manner of culinary peculiarities and exotic flavours during
his exploration of the New World, but the dishes he and his crew ate on their voyages across the Atlantic were
distinctly more prosaic. In fact, due to the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables on board, bouts of seafaring scurvy
were common among the crew (it would be centuries until the link between scurvy and a lack of vitamin C was made).
Various records suggest that the typical foods on board Columbus’ ship included water, vinegar, wine, olive oil,
molasses, cheese, honey, raisins, rice, garlic, almonds, sea biscuits (hardtack), dry legumes such as chickpeas,
lentils, beans, sardines, anchovies, dry salt cod and pickled or salted meats. Invariably the food was boiled and
served in a large communal wooden bowl. The recipe below is a modern-day interpretation of the type of foods
eaten by Columbus and his men during their voyages.”

I halved the amount of ingredients required for the hardtack as the quantities seemed very high for just me.  And then I was actually rather lazy with the ‘rolling it out’ and just squashed the mixture down in my palm before placing on the baking tray.

Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stew

I have to say that the frying pan smelt amazing with all the ingredients in place.  I love the smell of frying onion but never fancy it on a hot dog.  Isn’t that odd?!

Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stew




The hardtacks came out of the oven perfect, although to me, they didn’t have a lot of taste when I bit into one for testing.Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stewAnd I was really looking forward to trying the stew.  All of the ingredients were lovely and tender by the time I took it off the stove.Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stew

VERDICT:    The hardtacks didn’t have enough flavour for my liking and I ended up dipping them in a little salt before placing them in the bowl of stew to give them a little extra flavour.  I loved the veg in the stew, but I can’t say I was a fan of the chickpeas.  I’ve never really had them whole before, but rather mushed up as part of a burger, or similar.  This meal was definitely filling though, and it was teatime before I was ready for any more food in my belly!

The free ebook has been launched by charity Send a Cow as part of its new ‘Break… Fast’ appeal and features the breakfasts eaten by the likes of Einstein, Edison, Parks, Mother Theresa and the Apollo 11 crew.  It has been created to raise awareness of the importance of breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential.  In addition to vital donations, which will be doubled by the UK government, the appeal aims to raise awareness of the importance of a nutritious breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential.

To read more about the Send a Cow Break…Fast appeal and how you can help support African children please visit my first post, or head to the website directly

8 thoughts on “Send a cow Christopher Columbus

  1. I’m so impressed at your perseverance for this challenge! Looks tasty for dinner but as breakfast it just seems a little strange, but I guess that’s what’s interesting about the book. I’d never heard of hard tacks before this recipe book – they don’t sound particularly pleasant do they?

    1. I’m getting to the end! Although it’s looking like some of the breakfasts won’t be until we get back from honeymoon now. I’m not getting through them quite as quickly as I hoped. No, I’d not heard of tacks before either. They need some sort of flavouring to make them taste nice.

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