American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Monday, March 31, 2008

Camp Cooking Practice

Practice makes perfect.

I like to use my camp cooksets to prepare lunch from time to time just to keep current on the quirks of each piece of gear. Some of my billy cans have hot spots, some don't have a good seal between the lid and the pot, and some are harder to clean after years of use than others.

In today's case, I'm preparing some rice using my 12cm Zebra Billy, a mug/measuring cup from GSI, and my Light My Fire spork.

1c of rice to 1.5c of water is a good ratio and makes quite a bit of cooked rice. I like to tone it down just a bit but for a basic recipe this is a good formula. I might, if rationing my rice, go to .5c of rice to 1c of water.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and wait about 15 minutes. Then remove the billy can from the heat and wait another 5-10 minutes before fluffing up the rice and eating.

If I salt the rice at all I'll do it right before eating. Other seasonings can go in earlier but I like to just make my rice as simple as possible.

As it's an easy staple to prepare, seems to last indefinitely in dry storage, and is easy on the digestive system, rice is almost always found in my pack. I carry it in a 1L Nalgene bottle with a stainless mug. Rationing it to .5c I can get 8 meals out of the bottle and that's more than enough to take the edge off my hunger. Supplemented with edible plants I can make it last even longer and/or eat better.

Practicing a skill like camp cooking in a more controlled environment prevents potentially costly mistakes like burned rice. When your food is rationed like this you don't want to waste a meal because of a simple mistake.

Tomorrow I think I'll do some work with potatoes--another staple that packs well for a trip to the field.

Thanks for reading,



At 5:50 PM, Blogger Mungo said...

That's a great idea... think I'll brush up on my cooking prior to getting out in the field this spring. Rice can be tricky, so practice makes perfect!



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