The story so far…

As I was drawing this panel, I decided that for the sake of verisimilitude, I should actually try some authentic sailing food before I put it in the comic. So I decided to make some hard tack. If you don’t know, hard tack is the incredibly long-lasting cracker/bread product that fed sailors at sea and armies at war for hundreds of years. It’s very easy to make, so you should totally try it yourself! Here’s the recipe:

Preheat your oven to about 375 Fº

4 cups of flour
4 teaspoons of salt
Just enough water to bind it all together into a leathery dough, though not enough to make it sticky. (Maybe 2 cups?)

Roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut it up into 3 by 3 inch squares. Take something pointy, and poke dents into the squares in a grid, on both sides. Just dents, don’t go all the way through.
Bake for 30 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flip them, and bake the other side for 30 minutes.

Since this was just for taste-testing purposes, I made about 1/3 of the recipe for myself, which came out to exactly 3 1/3 pieces. Here’s how it looked:

You’re really supposed to let them dry for at least 24 hours (until they’re hard as “fired bricks,”) but we ate them right out of the oven, when they were just slightly more squashy then your average rock. Be very careful of your dental work! In Ye Olden Dayes, sailors and soldiers would soak these things in coffee, soup, or just plain water for a good bit before attempting to eat. We ate ours with butter and jam.

They were edible!