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The Lookout Stove

By Mae Schick

It’s June 1943. All you see from your lookout is a wall of fog. Your cab hangs on the edge of a cliff overlooking Glacier National Park, and on a clear day your view is one of ridges, peaks, and green forested valley floor. The rain hasn’t stopped for a week, and cabin fever has set in.

Why not fire up the wood stove if you can get it to draft enough to make Baking Powder Biscuits? First, haul in an armload of that wood you chopped up a few days ago. While you’re at it, collect a pot of rainwater from the barrel.

If you still have some bacon remaining from the 30-day supply the packer hauled up, how about adding it to Tomato Soup?


Baking Powder Biscuits (use less baking powder at your high altitude)

1 cup flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup or less milk or water

1 tablespoon shortening

Mix dry ingredients. Do not melt the shortening. Mix shortening into flour with fingers. Add only enough milk to pick up the flour. Roll to ¼ inch thickness. Use a piece of canvas or flat board and a large (tomato) can to roll. Bake in hot oven for 15 minutes.

To prevent your biscuits from turning out like cow patties because the oven is too hot, put a piece of bread or white paper in the oven first. If it turns brown quickly, the oven is too hot for most things. If it turns brown in about 5 minutes, you have a moderate oven.

Tomato Soup

1 can tomatoes 1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon soda salt, pepper to taste

1/2 cup canned milk lump of butter

Heat tomatoes. Add soda and stir. Add milk, water and seasoning, and heat. Add butter.

Chopped onions or bacon fried in hot fat may be added if desired.

Good luck, and let’s hope the sun comes out soon!

— Mae Schick is author of The Lookout Woman

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