May 25, 2007 at 11:03 am #1223400
@sdwhiteyLocale: Smoky Mountains
In the most recent print issue (#7) of the BPL magazine Ryan Jordan wrote a short article titled "Seeking Simplicity in Your Trail Diet." This article really resonated with me. In the article he states "If your idea of a good time is spending (to me, it's wasting) time shopping for complex recipes across five specialty foods markets in three townships, then my advice is not for you." He gave a great sample menu of simple trail meals that can be made using ingredients purchased at any local grocery store for a very affordable price.
So, yesterday I tried one of these meals at home to see how I liked it. It was Ryan's dinner suggestion:
-brown gravy mix
-dried bacon bits
I think this meal has great potential. I used a little too much of the gravy mix and so it ended up being a little too salty for my taste. But, I think with a little adjustment to the gravy mix I'll have a winner.
By the way, thanks to some sale prices at the local grocery store, the total cost of these ingredients (enough to make 4 meals on the trail) was $2.57 plus tax.May 25, 2007 at 12:43 pm #1390318
@jjpittsLocale: Midwest US
I'll bet if you read the ingredients on the labels it wouldn't be so simple… the gravy mix prolly reads like a chemistry experiment! Haha.
I used to feel the same way as Ryan. I went "no cook" for a while as well. Then I started to watch some of the veteran cooks out there (I won't name names of my culinary heroes) and discovered that it only needs to be as complex as I want to make it. Some of Sarah's "freezer bag cooking" recipes are as simple as Ryan's gravy noodles and are really, really tasty!
Also, a good friend of mine actually got me cooking (not just dehydrating/boil-in-bag stuff). To Ryan's point it did take a little messing around to get all the junk together but now I have my "backcountry meal box" full of the stuff I assemble my meals from. Getting ready for a trip is a 1-2-3 process now. My friend has a table in his basement dedicated to this purpose… the smells of the food he produces is simply amazing. I swear he eats better on the trail than he does at home. On the rare occasion I have dined at his house indeed he has often served many of his trail meals as entrees to his guests.
In the end, I think food is such a personal experience that it is only natural to expect there to be an entire spectrum of ideas and approaches to trail food. If you want to dine on Thai Curried Chicken and home-made energy bars have at it. If you are satisfied slugging down safflower oil for days on end more power to ya!Jun 27, 2007 at 7:27 pm #1393690
I'm with Ryan on that one. I hate shopping for a bunch of small things at multiple stores. If I can't find most everything at one store and fit a whole days worth of food into a quart freezer zip lock, I don't want it. Andrew Skurka's food list is fairly simple, mostly bars and then a hot meal at night. I would never cook in the morning either…a waste of time to me.Jun 28, 2007 at 1:32 am #1393721
@miguelmarcosLocale: Middle Iberia
See? The experience is different for everyone. I love going to a market and picking and choosing from different stalls. I like thinking about and preparing pleasurable enough foods and meals for the trail and the nutrition it will provide. For that reason I will avoid practically all packaged food with the exception of some like miso soup.Jun 28, 2007 at 6:31 am #1393737
Part of it for me is I'm a procrastinater. Over July 4th, I'll go to the Sangre de Cristo mountains with a local group, leaving tomorrow. I find out last night that the Kellogg's granola cereal I like for breakfast and have used for a couple of years, isn't to be found at the local grocery store. So now I have to go searching. I did see something similar at a local Kroger's I think. So it's the yucky scrambling around tonight to throw some food together ;DJun 28, 2007 at 7:05 am #1393739
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
For me, I guess planning isn't an issue-I usually have a kitchen full of hiking type foods, so all I have to do is think "how many meals" and start bagging up. I can do a trip up in a couple minutes to a half hour. Then I note what I am missing and get cracking on it ;-)
Then again, I do dehydrate a lot, so I have bags of stuff to take from (pasta, mushrooms, beans, meat, etc). That speeds up life.
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