A good man to have in camp

Posted Oct. 22, 2010, at 8:02 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:20 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The Best of Bud is a compilation of some of the advice and recipes gathered by the late Ralph W. “Bud” Leavitt who retired as the Bangor Daily News executive sports editor and outdoor editor in the fall of 1988. He continued to write a weekly column for the paper until his death on Dec. 20, 1994. During his nearly half-century as the BDN’s outdoor columnist he penned more than 13,000 columns and one book, “Twelve Months in Maine.”

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Jack Smart of Readfield is one of those people no camp should be without. He never runs short on enthusiasm or good-naturedness.

Smart has fished, hunted and skied all his life.

He has trout and salmon fished in nearly every known piece of Maine’s prime waters and traveled the woods far and wide in search of deer, caribou and moose.
A frequent companion of Jack’s is Leon A. Gorman, the imaginative president of L.L. Bean, Inc.

Gorman says he enjoys accompanying Jack not only for his skill in the field, but, “I’m frankly, a lousy cook, outdoors or indoors, so I’ve had to rely on Jack Smart’s ability. I have enjoyed a number of Jack’s favorite recipes and heartily recommend them to be among the best for camp cooking.”

I’ll second Gorman’s views, having been in the company of Leon and Smart one spring for salmon fishing at East Grand Lake.

Quite frankly, we were fortunate to have Jack in camp, otherwise, had we depended on salmon and tongue from East Grand, we might have expired from hunger.

The three of us failed to land a fish.

Following are four of Jack Smart’s favorite recipes, which have been a lifelong secret and disclosed here for the first time, he says:

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Umcolcus Chicken Wings
(Serves 4 Hungry Souls)
Use and Put in baking pan
5 lbs. chicken wings
½ cup vinegar
½ cup water
½ bottle Worcestershire sauce
1 small bottle soy sauce
garlic, minced, sprinkled on wings

Bake 90 minutes in 400 degree oven.
“I usually include a package of Rolaids alongside the plates of guests. While being eaten, though, I’ve never heard any complaints,” says Jack.

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Round Mountain Pond breakfast
Bacon, cut in small chunks. Fry out.
Boiled potatoes, chunked
Green pepper, chopped
Onions, chopped
Eggs, mixed with the above and cook
Add several dashes of Worcestershire
Salt and pepper

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Smart’s comment: “Looks like hell, but tastes good.”

Snuff Box Duck
Saute 2 onions, large, in bacon fat
Dredge duck breasts in flour
Salt and pepper
Brown duck breasts in fat and onions, slowly
¾ cup dried or fried bacon bits
¼ cup orange marmalade
1 cup white wine

Place birds back in pan, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
Smart: “Make sure not to cook birds beyond pink and rare stage. I want to say ‘Crony,’ that’s first class eating after a day of Merrymeeting Bay gunnin.’”

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Camp bread in a hurry
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup shortening
1 cup canned milk over water until dough is thick or lumpy

Mix dough until it starts to come loose from the sides of bowl.
Take chunks of dough about the size of an egg, flatten out to 1 inch thick and drop onto hot grease in skillet, until bottom side is done.
Turn and cook second side.
Comment: “It’s the only bread I’ve ever eaten that comes close to matching our own.” Richard (Dick) Cohen, Bangor Rye Bread.

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