Canned brown bread and other winter foods

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by hot diggity, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I was just looking in the pantry and saw a dozen cans of B&M original canned brown bread. I have to lay off this stuff, because my weight still hasn't recovered from Christmas, and a knee surgery that's limited my running.

    The B&M Brown Bread always makes me smile and brings back pleasant memories of cold mornings in the North woods with Mom cooking up breakfast on the Coleman stove and Dad cutting slabs of the wonderful brown bread for dessert. He didn't skimp on the butter, and usually put on the butter like frosting on a cake.

    Brown bread. I don't recall ever seeing him slice it with a knife. The can was opened at both ends, with one lid left in place to push the bread out, and the other lid to slice pieces off with the end of the can as a guide. It was a most welcome treat in a tent camp.

    Another favorite winter food of mine is acorn squash. I can find them in markets year round nowadays, but as a kid I remember them most in winter. Quartered, and cooked with olive oil and butter. Mom would always put a big hunk of butter on each piece before she brought it to the table.
    The magic was to poke enough holes with your fork to allow the butter to flow all through the squash before it cooled. A little salt & pepper was all that was needed to make the flavor fantastic.
    Like most fruits and vegetables, I eat the skin of the acorn squash. It'll get you funny looks sometimes, but it adds something to the experience.

    For drinks you can't beat hot cocoa with water boiled in a Kelly Kettle. The only drink that brings back older memories is boiled beer and maple syrup. It's probably something like Moxie soda and other acquired tastes, but it was sure welcome after shedding wet winter clothes when we came in from a cold day of sledding or ice skating.

    Anybody else have a memorable winter time food item?

    Hmmm, why isn't there a wilderness/homestead cooking/food forum? Or did I miss it?
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  2. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Yeah, winter time food item that I remember, with a shudder, was a canned Hudson Bay rum fruit cake my Dad would get from Herters every Christmas, and expect us kids to relish it. I remember how a bite would suck all the moisture out of my mouth, all the way down my throat to my stomach, which instantly sealed itself shut when it sensed the presence of that fruit cake in my mouth. It was hack and gag and several big panic gulps of water to get it down until my stomach would finally relent and take it in after my brain told it I was going to drown if it didn't comply. It was even rated below the 1945 green can C-Rats we used to consume on numerous camping trips throughout the year knowing that one of those 20 year old cans would end my young life with food poisoning. My Dad loved that fruit cake, and I never developed a taste for it. Guess I didn't grow up rough enough to appreciate some of the finer things in life. Surviving that wintertime fruit cake was a rite of passage, but I'm not sure where to.
  3. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    You may have just started the Memorable Food Thread .
    Mine are , Yellow squash , stewed with bacon . Fried okra shaken in flour , fried till the edges were black , but not burnt ,, Mom would make that and we'd eat it like popcorn while laying on the floor watching Walt Disney show on TV Sunday nights before bedtime . Grandma's bumpy biscuit's with butter , collards that was seasoned so perfectly that you would bypass everything else on the table just so you wouldn't fill up on anything else and miss out on those collards .
    Thanks for the memories Hot Diggity .
  4. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Yea , but it's the memories that count .
  5. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    The only B&M canned brown bread the local stores have is raisen bread. Pretty good, but too sweet for general use. More like a dessert item.
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  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    There is a recipe section in Back to Basics. It doesn't limit things to primitive camp cooking.
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  7. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Excellent! Thanks for the tip.

    The thread has been moved. :)
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  8. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Brown bread makes me think of Mom. It was a treat and I love it. I do think of it as an old-fashion food. I tried to make my own, adding molasses and raisins to my regular bread dough. It was good. I did not cook it in a can because I keep reading cans are toxic now.

    We really do not have winter foods. When we have a cold spell I do tend to make foods that need re-heating like biscuits and sausage gravy or spaghetti.
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  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Winter foods for us are stews, soups, roasts, things that go in crock pots. Favorites are squash (acorn/Danish, hubbard, and butternut), sweet potatoes, stew, and roasts. Winter is also when well made breads become more appealing. I haven't had B&M brown bread in years... I'll have to have some soon. I have to exercise self control with many of them now to keep carb counts within reason, but on rare occasion will eat my fill.

    Summer foods (now) tend to be things that are more quickly cooked (especially in the BBQ) or raw veggies. Squash becomes summer varieties.
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  10. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @hot diggity I have never had 'B&M Brown bread.'

    What's it taste like or what's it made from?

    Can one still buy it?

    What's its expiration life if remains in unopened can, in cool, dark place?

    I am thinking I will put some away for a rainy day if its longevity is amenable, of course that is only if I can still buy it.
  11. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    In winter, I tend to eat more chili, and drink more coffee and cocoa.
  12. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Check your local Walmart.

    I cut it about an inch thick, toast until crisp and cover in BP&J quite the calories laden breakfast.

    Shelf life of canned foods is variable, to some extent, based on storage location.

    This bread has enough sugar (molasses) to preserve it quite a while. I class it in the same Chow Group as Sailor Boy pilot bread and SPAM
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  13. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @DKR "I class it in the same Chow Group as Sailor Boy pilot bread and SPAM"
    I do stock SPAM, got a case of the Original. I know it has fallen out of favor with many folks but good it's protein and stores well, and I like a slab cooked with eggs, even a sandwich sometimes. I've never had the Sailor Boy pilot bread/biscuits but heard of them. I got to go to the store and return a DVD today so I will look and see if they carry B&M Brown Bread...

    It sounds like it is more of a desert than a bread, yes?
  14. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Having suffered military Chow for decades, I'm omnivorous - that is, I'll eat just about anything - but the brown is IMO a great breakfast food. I think the peanut butter might mask the sweetness of the bread.

    Hot with butter is good as well. As with most things - buy a can and give it a try....
  15. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    You know I looked at local grocery and they didn't have it. Wife will look for it at Wally Mart this weekend.

    @DKR Yeah, me too, I can eat anything if I am hungry, too many years soldiering or being around soldiers to be picky. BTW I'm going to try making your Potato Bread recipe tomorrow...
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  16. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    You from new england area? I grew up eatingn that canned brown bread with my beanie weenies. Living in the mid west now these people have zero idea what it is!

    BTW you can order it online! That is what I do now.
  17. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I grew up in Michigan and spent most summers in fishing camps in Northwestern Ontario. Mom remembers canned brown bread from the 1940's as a Christmas treat. I don't know what sparked my new interest in canned brown bread, but I came up empty on my first few searches as well. Turns out Lowe's Foods stocks it, but not near the beans where I was looking. It was on the top shelf in the gourmet foods section. :)

    If you spot the B&M Original Brick Oven Beans in a jar, the store will likely have, or can order B&M brown bread.

    I'll check my expiration dates. I might have some that's 5-10 years past the best-by date. I'll have to shake a couple cans and see if the bread rattles around inside. I don't have any worries about eating expired brown bread... other than the calories. (Spam? Not so much. My last food poisoning episode was from Hot & Spicy Spam that was just days past the best-by date. To be fair, it had been in an ammo can in the range house for many months of wild temperature shifts.) I suspect the best-by date on the bread cans is more about the can than the bread, and may be adjusted by marketing experts to ensure that dusty old forgotten cans on supermarket shelves get replaced over time.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  18. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I opened a can of SPAM once, well within it's use by date, and it was moldy!! Into the trash.
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  19. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I finally got home and checked my brown bread cans in the pantry. I had three best-by dates. The newest was from 2018, and the oldest July 12 2013. I dusted the can off, noting the $3.49 price sticker. No surprise, the can was perfect. The contents of the older cans moved no more than the newer ones when shaken, so it hadn't dried up or shrunk.

    Out of an abundance of curiosity, and willingness to take one for the team, I got out the can opener and broke the seal on the lid. I was rewarded with a satisfying hiss. :) I opened both ends, pushed out about 1/2" of bread and broke out a kitchen knife... and cut it off crooked. I finished up that first 1/2" absolutely flush with the can by using the cut off can lid. Now I see why Dad used this method. It slices very neatly using the can as a guide and allows a nice even thickness to the pieces.
    My butter was colder than Mom would keep it in the old Coleman cooler with the block of lake ice on one end, so I popped the buttered slab in the microwave for 30 seconds. Moist, delicious, with nothing to indicate that it was more than five years past the best-by date. ;)
    This is the crooked piece with the remaining bit that I cut off square with the lid. The second piece... yes, I had a second piece! It was cut with the lid, and eaten cold, without butter. Yum!

    I'll do another long term test in July 2023, and we'll see how ten year old brown bread holds up.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  20. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey++

    Home-made beef stew, especially the second or third day after my mom made it. She used to put it out in the snow to keep, but sometimes we'd have to have find-it parties, because the pressure cooker she used would be fifty feet away at the end of some dog tracks. The dogs never did figure out how to open it, which amazes me to this day.

    William Warren
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