Alison got it into her head that she needed to make a Civil War recipe. Her AP US History class is deep into the Civil War and she's getting into it. Over the years, she's made French macaroons and creme brulee for French class and rainbow cupcakes or her GSA group and assorted other themed delights.
So for next week's history class, she made these things called "Beaten Biscuits." Ingredients are sparse, as befitting an army on the run or folks with highly limited resources: flour, sugar, salt, shortening and ice water. You make this into batter and then beat it flat for 20 minutes before you bake it.
Personally, I think it was the beaten part that attracted her to the dish. So she had more fun than she should have pounding that thing flat. They look like a thick sugar cookie or a flat biscuit. A generous sprinkle of confectioner's sugar saves them, I think. Just out of the oven they're not bad.
So she was finishing up the cookies when her father wandered by. "Hey Dad. Did you ever have hardtack when you were in the Army?" she asked, totally serious.
He looked at her. Took a breath and said: "No, Alison. I was not in the Civil War. Or the Continental Army for that matter."
I just laughed.