Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Great Bowls of Oatmeal!

Me on the corner of Winslow AZ.
Neat little town.
Hooboy, it's been a while since I popped up here. Well, that's life, and despite this blog's tenacity in producing content, our lives tend to get the better of us from time to time and we find ourselves letting go of projects. Then there are the times when life is just a series of drudgery and WTFs, and we consume our stocks in whiskey and rum while needing a change. Which leads to the main point of this post: Rhi and Evie are riding again!

Yes, OkiRhio and I are once again camping for an entire month, this time in my adopted home state of Arizona. (If you just got a mental image of me rubbing my hands together going "OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!" you're not too far off the mark.) And if you guys are really lucky, we might even do some videos. I'd actually really like to be able to, but with my husband's PI business taking off here in Arizona, he's got the monopoly on the video camera, so I am probably not going to have the camera by that time (unless people are feeling generous and Erin doesn't roll her eyes TOO hard at me shamelessly plugging the Jade Rose Zen etsy shop).

(Nah, that's fine. -- Erin)

One of my goals for the trip was dehydrating a bunch of food. Unfortunately, I don't have a dehydrator anymore, because the wiring burnt out on the one I had and I haven't been able to replace it. So, I've had to make some sacrifices in terms of type of food.

Then it occurred to me that I could make a case for "bugging out" with many of the more common foods that one can find in an American pantry or cupboard. So I pulled together a decent cross-section of such food stocks.

The tuna is from the StarKist brand, which in addition to the normal cans also comes in these convenient packs which depending on where you can find them range in 98 cents to a $1.15. The flavors are Ranch, Lemon Pepper and Hickory Smoked, as well as the standard non-seasoned tuna. The advantage of these packs is that they are foil, which means they are lighter than the tin cans and take up much less space in a pack.

And what camping trip is complete with the traditional Spam Offering? Yep, you are seeing Hickory Smoke, Bacon, Jalapeno and Black Pepper spam there.  (It's a toss up between the black pepper and hickory smoke as to which is my favorite.)

Unfortunately, I'm still a bit sensitive to gluten, so those three flours are going to be seeing some interesting recipe experiments come the trip. And that's instant potatoes in the big container. Speaking of potatoes...

.. why yes, those are five flavors of instant mashed potatoes there. I was looking over the potatoes and thought of "How about a little variety? They are only about a buck each, and they'll feed at least two people if not three." A healthy pantry filler gets some variety, and I don't know about you, but some of those would make for some great experimental shepherds' pie toppings.

Now if you look at the canned goods, you'll see a good cross-section of what my parents' pantry looked like while I was growing up. (We canned our own green beans and tomatoes, so you can ignore those.)  Note that those, plus beef and chicken bullion, are all meal components. I only have around three weeks before the camping trip, and homemade bullion recipes take time that I don't necessarily have.

You'll also note there are the cheap boxes of instant rice that have different flavors, and four bags of the Knorr meal sides bags. Those are fairly cheap (about a buck each) additions that you can find at any grocery store, and the mashed potato bags and Knorr side bags are extremely lightweight.

And yes, my dear cheapskates, there are indeed Ramen and Thai Rice noodles. The rice there on the bottom right are a bit more expensive - 88 cents per pack -but they are gluten-free and safe for most people who have grain problems to eat.

Not pictured is the couple of jars of triple citrus marmalade and canned ground turkey.

You can probably guess by now that there will be a lot of combination cooking experimentation that will come out of this trip, and this blog is going to be flooded with recipes for a while. (Seriously guys, we may need to make a cookbook!) It's all going to be based on playing around with common household foods and the cheap stuff.

We're also going to be keeping track of our water consumption for this month of camping. It occurred to me that this could potentially be an incredibly valuable point of data, because much of what we're eating needs water to prepare, and of course we'll be drinking. Plus there's sanitation and its water use to consider!

This time, I have the experience from my last trip to help me. It will be easy to to stack firewood on top of this spare tub at night to keep critters out. Plus, instead of a suitcase (that had to have been really well made to withstand being squished by a horse), the clothes are all going to be in a tub as well so that if I need to wash anything, I have a tub to wash them in.
I have a much bigger tent this time, and a cot too. The cot was a must as sleeping on the ground for that many nights in a row made my back and hips hurt, and we hadn't even started on the trip on yet.

Next time I'm around, I'll be showing you the tent and campsite set-up, along with some of the other additions to the food regime including dried goats milk and cows milk. Yes, fortunately for me my dairy allergy has let up! I can eat cow dairy again, which gives me more camping options.

And this is just my side of the preps. Rhi has her stuff she's doing, too.

FCC Disclaimer: BCP would like to point out that Evie is NOT sponsored by Winco foods, Maruchan, Knorr, Seakist or Spam. These products were all bought by her and her husband, and are being presented to you on this site because they are inexpensive options. Thank you for understanding.

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