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Old 05-06-2007, 12:43 PM   #1
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Nomadic Cooking


I am not a good cook. I am just a "typical bachelor" who really doesn't do that much cooking, though I can cook a few things. In the relatively near future I am going to be changing my lifestyle to begin a journey that will last for quite some time and I need to learn to prepare my own food, so I want to start now.

Requirements are that I will have a very small pressure cooker, a camp stove, and a spoon. With the pressure cooker I will also probably carry the little insert that came with it that can be used to raise things off of the bottom about 1/2 inch, and I may also carry a white corning dish that will fit inside the cooker, I think I will need something like that to make rice.

Ingredients have to be things that are easily transported, that means no meat unless it is dried, canned, pickled, etc. It also means I have to limit the canned goods and rely more on things like dried lentils, rice, dried fruits, etc, though canned goods such as cans of tuna are okay and I expect to travel with them. Weight is a real issue, and there won't be any refrigeration available.

So I guess what I am looking for are some simple dishes I can make in a small pressure cooker that can be kind of staples of my diet. I imagine having some lentil and rice dishes with herbs and spices that I can change up to make the basis for most of my meals. Maybe I can make some kind of a simple bread in my pressure cooker too and do something with that.

This is the pressure cooker I have ...

Any ideas you could give me about what kind of dishes to focus in on would be helpful, methods to use, combinations of herbs and spices that would make oatmeal appealing, etc. Actually I really like that "Raisins & Spice" oatmeal from Quaker Oats and would like to know how to make that from just regular unsweetened oatmeal too! Anyway, you get the idea, I am very new to cooking and need to learn how to make some simple good tasting things in a repeatable way using basic ingredients and my pressure cooker. Water will always be available (or I'm in real trouble!)

Thanks so much.


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Old 05-06-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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What will be you mode of transportation? Also your heat souce for cooking?

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Old 05-06-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
What will be you mode of transportation? Also your heat souce for cooking?
Hello Uncle Bob, thanks for responding.

Mode of transportation and heat source will vary. There are four basic "modes".

1) The most basic mode is that I will be on foot with a backpack walking up to 15 or 20 miles a day or hitching a ride or using public transportation when available. This is just your basic hiking and camping, backpacking, whatever you want to call it. When hiking I will have my small alcohol stove and enough alcohol to use it to cook. These stoves are sometimes called "pepsi can stoves" though mine is titanium and a little tougher than a pepsi can stove. I will have that pressure cooker above and all those basic ingredients I listed.

2) The next mode is on my bike. I'll be able to carry a little more and will probably carry my REI white gas stove instead of the alcohol stove with enough white gas to use it as much as I want. I will also be able to carry more ingredients. The bike is motorized and I am able to cover much larger distances on the bike than I would be able to if it was just a regular bike, but in essence this is still just basic biking and tent camping.

3) The third mode is by sailboat. I'll have a stove, oven, real pressure cooker(s), canner, all the canned food I want to carry, possibly fresh fish depending on my luck, etc, and I will even have a bbq grill that mounts on the rail of the boat. I hope to be able to catch the occasional lobster, eel, bait fish, crab, conch, etc.

4) The final mode is by dinghy or kayak. This is basically the dinghy for the sailboat that I might use to get further inland when the draft of the sailboat is too deep to get to places I want to see and explore. Again this is just camping except on a small dinghy, and I would be able to carry more than when I am on the bike or hiking.

The mode I'm most concerned about is the first one, hiking and camping. I don't want food to be the thing that makes long trekking impossible, that is to say I want to come up with enough good meals and methods that I can live while hiking pretty much indefinitely so long as I can stock up on goods occasionally. I figure if I can feed myself while trekking then I can certainly feed myself when biking or sailing because it'll just be the same thing except with more to work with, for example having an oven on the boat gives me more options.
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:24 PM   #4
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Sounds as if you are on a fun journey! You might start here...

Backpacking (wilderness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The only advice I could offer is don't pack Instant Grits!!

There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

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Old 05-06-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Hi, sail away, welcome to DC.

I have to say, when I think of hiking or trekking, a pressure cooker is not the first utensil that comes to mind. It's more weight than is necessary if your objective is to cover a lot of ground. As you say, "I don't want food to be the thing that makes long trekking impossible." You shouldn't want utensils to make long trekking impossible either.

If your primary objective is to cover a lot of ground, consider dried foods and dried meals that can quickly be rehydrated with boiling water.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:53 PM   #6
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Here is my recipe for spiced oatmeal:

Spiced Oatmeal

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup raisins (I like golden raisins, sometimes I substitute dried cranberries)
1 teaspoon salt, optional
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar

Combine all ingredients together in a reclosable plastic bag. Bring 1 1/4 cups water to boil. Add 1 cup of oat mixture to boiling water. Reduce heat and cook stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes.
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Old 05-06-2007, 02:03 PM   #7
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For protein, I might suggest salmon & tuna in vacuum-sealed pouches. Also TVP (textured vegetable protein) is a very versatile and lightweight item to pack.
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Old 05-06-2007, 03:22 PM   #8
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I hafto ask where are you going there may be great food sources along the way.Such as fishing from the sailboat.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:10 PM   #9
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When you're hiking, your basic needs will be water, protein and energy foods. (I'd also put a roll of toilet paper in that category.)

Trying to carry bottled water would be too bulky. I suggest you get a good canteen that you can re-fill when you come across clean water.

I like Foodie's suggestion about the foil packets of salmon and tuna. You can also find chicken packaged that way. Another good source of protein is beef or venison jerky. You can also find packets of instant soups, pre-cooked rice, and noodle dishes.
If you save the little condiment packages you get from fast food restaurants, those will come in handy for making your food taste better, and won't take up much room. You'll also need small ziplocks of salt, pepper, and sugar, teabags or coffee.

For energy, there's trail mix, granola bars, your instant oatmeal, cocoa mix, and packets of cornbread mix. If you're carrying a small camper's shovel, you can make hoe cakes over the fire.
Which reminds me...don't forget matches!

You should also study up on the wild food available in the area where you're hiking. There are all sorts free food in the wild...you just have to know about them.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:37 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the great responses.

Andy M, the pressure cooker weighs very little, less than 2 pounds, the picture is deceptive because it makes it look like a huge thing. When you look at that picture imagine being able to put your whole hand over the top and hold it with fingers reaching down the sides and you have the right idea, you can palm it with one hand and pick it up easily. It's a one meal sized kind of a thing. If you use both hands and try to create the largest circle you can with your fingers that's about how big it is in diameter, or a little bigger. I do own three other pressure cookers that are bigger.

Sierra Cook, thanks for the oatmeal recipe. I tried it out today but I wasn't very careful about measuring out the ingredients so I will try it again before I decide if I like it or not. I like the method though, I put all the ingredients in a zip bag like you said and squished the brown sugar up and shook it, squished more sugar, etc, and it seemed to have mixed pretty well. Mine didn't taste much like the raisins & spice from quaker oats, but maybe it wasn't supposed to!

Foodie, thanks for the idea of vacuum pouches, great thought.

Jpmcgrew, I will be all over, starting in the Bahamas and going south. I can't say exactly where I will be because I haven't decided my route or my destinations, but I would think South America is a real option for me.

Constance, that is a lot of good thoughts from you also. Packaged foods will certainly have their place in my diet, though I don't want to rely on them completely. I like the idea of collecting wild food, and I intend to fish, but I don't know how much wild plant life I could identify in a jungle or in a tropical climate. Around here in the United States I could identify some.

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