Tea Chronicles Pt.12 – Charles Dudley Warner

 Charles Dudley Warner - In the Wilderness, 1878

Charles Dudley Warner - In the Wilderness, 1878

A charming piece about food and tea in the outdoors, taken from "In the Wilderness" written by  Charles Dudley Warner in 1878. It is a collection of his essays about living in the mountains.

By the time, twilight falls, the cook has prepared supper. Everything has been cooked in a tin pail and a skillet,—potatoes, tea, pork, mutton, slapjacks. You wonder how everything could have been prepared in so few utensils. When you eat, the wonder ceases: everything might have been cooked in one pail. It is a noble meal; and nobly is it disposed of by these amateur savages, sitting about upon logs and roots of trees. Never were there such potatoes, never beans that seemed to have more of the bean in them, never such curly pork, never trout with more Indian-meal on them, never mutton more distinctly sheepy; and the tea, drunk out of a tin cup, with a lump of maple-sugar dissolved in it,—it is the sort of tea that takes hold, lifts the hair, and disposes the drinker to anecdote and hilariousness. There is no deception about it: it tastes of tannin and spruce and creosote. Everything, in short, has the flavor of the wilderness and a free life. It is idyllic.
— Charles Dudley Warner - In the Wilderness, 1878

This is one of those scenes that I wish I could jump into. Sitting down after a hard days slog and feasting on what, at the time, is the greatest meal you ever had. "In The Wilderness" is still in print and is also in the public domain for download.

Posted on June 14, 2013 and filed under Tea.