Here again, we meet Samuel Baker and his wife Florence amongst the Hamran Arab tribes of Eastern Sudan, giving us a lecture about cooking equipment and how we should prepare our freshly-killed game meat while on safari.
Also, some frank information about flying and crawling bugs (there was no Deet then…).
With or without the bugs, it could be a recipe for an on-the-road Thanksgiving.
Baker, Samuel – The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia and The Sword Hunters of the Hamran Arabs, 1864 (travel = 1861)
Having a gridiron, and pepper and salt, I made a grand dinner of liver and kidneys, while my men ate a great portion of the gazelle raw, and cooked the remainder in their usual careless manner by simply laying it upon the fire for a few seconds until warmed half through.
There is nothing like a good gridiron for rough cooking; a frying-pan is good if you have fat, but without it, the pan is utterly useless.
With a gridiron and a couple of iron skewers a man is independent:–the liver cut in strips and grilled with pepper and salt is excellent, but kabobs are sublime, if simply arranged upon the skewer in alternate pieces of liver and kidney cut as small as walnuts, and rubbed with chopped garlic, onions, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. The skewers thus arranged should be laid either upon the glowing embers, or across the gridiron.
… Not a man closed his eyes that night — not that the dinner disagreed with them–but the mosquitoes! Lying on the ground, the smoke of the fires did not protect us; we were beneath it, as were the mosquitoes likewise; in fact the fires added to our misery, as they brought new plagues in thousands of flying bugs; with beetles of all sizes and kinds:
These, becoming stupified in the smoke, tumbled clumsily upon me, entangling themselves in my long beard and whiskers, crawling over my body, down my neck, and up my sleeping-drawers, until I was swarming… [they] emitted a perfume that was unbearable.
The night seemed endless; it was passed in alternately walking to and fro, flapping right and left with a towel, covering my head with a pillow-case, and gasping for air through the button-hole, in an atmosphere insufferably sultry…