Michael C. Horowitz (mhorowit@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Wed, 9 Feb 1994 20:32:58 EST
Steve - Yep, those Lipton pasta/sauce packets are great! Try dropping
a can of chunk chicken into the pot as the pasta cooks. Hope the following
is of use:
No Clean-up Recipes
by Mike Horowitz, T681
On my first backpacking trip with T681, here in Falls Church, VA,
I ended up at Hawksbill Gap hungry, tired and cold. I had planned
a meal of soup, some main course, a warm drink and maybe a dessert.
I barely had the energy to fix the soup and hit the sack. From this
experience, I've generated what I call my "I'm-cold-I'm-tired-I'm-
hungry-I-wanna-eat-and-go-to-bed" recipes. Feel free to distribute
as you wish; if you have some you'd like to contribute, I expect I'll
be around SCOUTS-L for several years, or you can reach me at
Some notes: HDZB= heavy-duty zippered freezer bag (oops, I almost
mentioned the brand name). It's not a bad idea to write down the
cooking instructions and place in the HDZB with the ingredients.
It is recommended you remove the instructions before adding water.
These are for one serving. I've never tried feeding more than myself
with these meals. Try it, maybe it will work.
Before we go too far, go make some beef jerky. Why? Because it's
so simple, you'll be thrilled by the results, and then you'll believe
everything else I tell you! Also, you'll see how simple it is to dry food.
In fact, dried beef isn't in any of these recipes, we just need to get
you use to the idea that drying food is simple and easy.
Go to the market, ask for two pounds of the cheapest cut of beef available,
insuring only that it is LEAN, and get the butcher to cut it in strips for
you, 1/8"-1/4" thick, either with or across the grain (next time you decide
which gets less meat strands between the teeth). Salt and pepper both
sides (if in the end it's too salty or peppery, use less next time!), and
drape the strips (or not) over the oven rack. Prop open the door so moisture
can vent, and set the temperature to 120-140 degrees. About 8 hours later
(not brain surgery here) take a piece and bend it. Should bend like a piece
of leather. Take a bite. What do you think? Don't offer any to anyone else,
or it will be gone in a grab. Let a few pieces dry several more hours so you
can decide if you like it drier, and more brittle.
Successful? Good - I got the idea from the Scout Fieldbook. Oh, by the way,
how much did you pay per pound for the meat? Go check out how much beef
jerky sells for per pound. And read the list of chemicals.....
A book you will need is Gretchen McHugh's "The Hungry Hiker's Book of
Good Cooking". I'll mention some ideas from her book. She talks in
just the right length about drying foods. I'll refer to her book, so
go to the nearest outfitters and BUY THE BOOK (or go to the library).
Let's start off with our new Scout's favorite, and messiest dish,
Go to Gretchen's book and see how to make a fruit leather. OK, you
haven't bought the book yet, so I'll let you slide JUST THIS ONCE.
Buy a jar of any ready made, tomato based spaghetti sauce. Spray a
baking sheet with cooking oil, or apply a thin layer with a paper
napkin. Trowel the sauce onto the baking sheet, 1/4" thick. Place
in oven 120-140 degrees, door propped for about 6 hours. It's done
when it peels off the pan, and doesn't look wet. If it tastes burnt,
you went too long. Cut into 3 parts. Take one part and chip into 1/2"
squares. Place them in a HDZB. Take a package of Ramen noodles, remove
the bouillon package and crumble the noodles onto a plate. Pour the
noodles in the same HDZB. Squeeze out the air in the HDZB and seal.
In the field, add one cup of boiling water, reseal, and massage the bag
gently until the water is absorbed. Bingo. If it's too wet, the humidity
must have been too high, because neither of us could have made a mistake.
Always blame mistakes on the humidity. AVOID THIS ERROR: Never try to
crush the noodles in the HDZB; you'll end up with a sieve.
Now you have a pasta foundation. I made the mistake of boiling noodles,
then trying to dry them. My wife caught me in time......
Since we're on the subject of making fruit leathers (weren't we?),
try drying a can of applesauce like we did the spaghetti sauce. Don't
bother re-constituting it; rip off pieces with your teeth! Feel the
testosterone! Wild man applesauce!.
Rice is a good carbohydrate foundation. Instant rice in this case,
same technique as with the noodles. Commercial dehydrated chili is
made in the pouch, so why not pour rice and chili in a HDZB, add boiling
water and try it?
Another outstanding carbohydrate is Stovetop Stuffing. Add a packet
of dehydrated (commercial) chicken. Same drill with the HDZB. You
know, there is nothing keeping you from trying this trick at home,
a week before you go camping; you can mess up and no one will know,
and beside, you won't go hungry!
Here is a cold weather breakfast: Parboil a potato you've diced. Then
saute it in oil with a chopped onion and several pre-cooked beef
sausages you've cut into small pieces. When the onion is cooked,
season to taste and spoon into a HDZB. Squeeze out the air and freeze
solid. Wrap in bubble-wrap or some other insulation if you're worried
about it thawing and possibily spoiling. Boil water in a large pot
(I use a large coffee can from the office, #2 1/2) and drop the HDZB in to
heat. Don't let the bag contact the hot sides or bottom or else you'll
get very wet potatoes. This is an outstanding cold weather breakfast.
Use the boiled water for boiling an egg or making hot cocoa. Be sure
to wash socks AFTER boiling eggs and making cocoa!
Oatmeal: by itself it tastes like wallpaper paste. Try this. Put the
following in a HDZB: 2 packets of instant oatmeal (you could empty the
packets into the HDZB), powdered milk, 1/2 handful of raisins or
chopped dried fruit (ha - you thought I was getting away from the
drier business didn't you?), pinch of allspice, tablespoonful of brown
sugar. In a separate insulated bag, place two brown and serve beef
sausages. In the field, boil some water, drop in the sausages for
a few minutes, move the sausages into the oatmeal mix, pour water into
the HDZB, seal, massage. Great for cold hands. In a few minutes, open and
Rice pudding for breakfast! Follow instructions on package of instant
Pancake batter can be mixed in a HDZB and poured easily.
Do you like powdered eggs? Follow the instructions for mixing the powder
with water, doing the mixing in a HDZB. Then spice it up to your taste.
Seal the bag leaving just a little air in it. Drop into boiling water.
Occasionally take out the bag and massage the mixture. If you don't
massage it, it will become an egg lump. If you do massage it, it will
become scrambled eggs. More or less. Dried parsley is a nice touch. If
you like a bit more spice reach for the Tabasco, which comes in small,
one portion plastic "tubes". Look near where your supermarket sells
fresh soup. Offer to buy a few. Or you can get a bottle of Tabasco,
and carry it in a belt-holster made especially for this purpose (I'm
not making this up!) alongside the flashlight belt-holster and pocketknife
OK, you're on your own. Look through Gretchen's book. Dry some beans or
hamburger mix like she says, mix with instant potatoes or instant rice,
or noodles, add boiling water. If you're concerned just pouring boiling
water into the HDZB isn't enough to cook the mix (in the winter the
water could cool really quickly) put the bag into the pot of boiling
water! Or, fold a piece of open cell foam around the HDZB for insulation.
Again, try these ideas and your inventions at home first.
Now, here's the challenge. How will you convince the Scouts to try these
ideas? After all, isn't it easier to wait until Friday, then rush out
and buy the pre-packaged dehydrated meals? If you have the answer to
THAT question, let me know immediately!! Unless the Scout is really
cost-conscious why should he bother? Maybe the idea would be to instill
pride in being able to "do-it-yourself"? Independant? Self-sufficient?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City