Wednesday, 12 January 2011

So how does one go about re-labelling cans?

The first step is to create new Syldavian canned food labels.  Since food will have originated from several regional military supply centers the labels should be similar, but with some variation.  Labels should be olive, off white or light brown with simple black lettering noting the contents.  For example:
 Baza, 300 grams
Klobaza, 200 grams
 Krajek, 300 grams
or  you could even run it through a fake cyrillic generator
You should then keep these in a handy folder, either as hard copies or electronically.  Whenever a label is needed, either travel down to the local office supply or have your original colour copied. Another option is to print reproduction labels from computer files such as jpg or PDF files. The original label should be scanned at 300 dpi or better and then printed on a laser printer. For those without their own laser printer your files can be saved to a datastick/flashdrive and again taken down to an office supply/Kinko’s and printed on the laser printer. Once the reproduction label is created, remove the modern label from the can and apply the reproduction to the can – it’s that simple.  At some point in the future I intend to post several examples of these labels in this section.

Processed beef was probably the most common form of the meat ration, and was packed in 12-ounce trapezoidal cans. Similar items are available in any grocery store in the canned meat section from companies such as Libby, Armour or the store’s own brand.

The soldier’s bread ration usually came in one of two possible forms – hard bread and loaf bread. The best approximation of this hard bread is the German knackebrot and is available in most stores. Like the crackers hard bread was issued to the soldier in cardboard boxes.  It might seem odd with the concerns over spoilage and contamination; however, it was fairly common for soldiers to receive loaf bread (again usually with food coming from the mobile kitchen). Loaves of bread from these kitchens varied by region and style, to replicate this choose a wholemeal loaf weighing one pound, un-sliced, these are commonly available at most local bakeries and specialty grocers.

Canned Fruits, Vegetables and Soups
Fruits and vegetables received by the soldier were most often of the canned variety. When using canned fruits and vegetables stick to the staples and avoid the exotic products.  Soups and stews were also frequently issued to frontline troops.

Salt, tea, coffee
There is no need to do anything special about tea, coffee, or salt. We all have it in our home kitchen. Condiment tins were issued and permitted the soldier to carry several days’ ration of these.

Local Foods
While the army provided the bulk of soldiers’ food, the local population serves as a possible source of food available for purchase. The soldier was sometimes able to purchase such items as eggs, cheese, breads, fresh meats, fresh vegetables, and wines.

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