Monday, May 14, 2018

Home Front: "pocalypse stew"

Having a hot meal is a simple way to both bolster morale but also provide much needed nutrition and energy, especially in adverse conditions. Being able to reliably produce a meal can be as good as magic in the field. I had the chance to do so at a recent post-apocalyptic Live action role playing camping trip, whee we had to set up themed camp with a deadline, and a pot-luck dinner had been planned. There was a total-fire ban in place so no campfires were allowed, but portable gas burners were allowed if supervised. I had brought along my SOLIDteknics AUS-ION Noni pot and some apocalypse themed austere ingredients.

2 x cans corned 340g Hamper Corned beef
1 x can 822g Edgell potato tiny taters
2X McDonalds tomato sauce
2x instant noodle sachets bumbu & fried onions

The corned beef cans come with a key to open them by twisting the top off. The Tiny Taters can didn't have an easy open option, however, I had my trusty p-51 opener and made quick work of the can. I up-ended the cans of corned beef, which had the texture and appearance of cat-food and set it to sizzling. when the fat had rendered, I poured in the whole can of tiny taters, water and all (waste not, want not) and then stirred it through. This made for a very wet stew so I was glad I had the noodle sachets to add. in they went and then the McDonalds / KFC ketsup. (I save everyone of these I get for just this reason.)

After a little cooking down, I served it up into the mugs and mess-tins of my compatriots and we had cooked, adult meal to go with the tear-aparts and dips we had combined. It was quite salty (the noodle-bumbu is mostly salt) but palatable and by the next day, there was only half scoop worth at the bottom of the pot.
Not a pretty meal by a long shot, but it was fast, (taking less than 10 minuted from pile of ingredients to edible food in mugs).

Different spice and sauce mixes could change the palatability if available but could even be skipped entirely. Canned corned beef has an approximate shelf life of 2-5 years but who knows how long it could last and be safe to eat? Certainly worth considering if outfitting that cabin-in-the-woods or bunker. I certainly keep a couple of cans in my bug-out food crate and you should to!

Some additional variants that would make improvements to an otherwise very plain meal. A handful of rice, or oats would give additional body, as would dry beans or split peas. Some jerky or even fresh meat scraps would be additional and offer a delightful surprise in some mouthfuls. Bear in mind to soften beans, rice and jerky additional cooking time (and water) will be required. As well as the Bumbu powder sachets saved from ramen noodles, I also save the sauce and oil sachets which can add flavour and body to just about any meal. Remember that fats and oils are an important dietary requirement and energy rich as well as carrying flavours. They also aid in the cooking process if you fry things, so keeping some in your supply is multifunctional.
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