Canoe trip foods - ideas needed
I am planning a 2 week canoe trip to the boundary waters canoe area and need some ideas for lightweight (portages between lakes) meal ideas for two. We will have a one burner stove for cooking, no refrigeration, and are not allowed to bring bottles or cans. This is such a creative group and I imagine you will have some wonderful ideas for us on this adventure. While I know there are boil in camping foods, these are not to my chowhound standards. Please help with some creative ideas you may have used or can think about to prepare for a tasty trip.
Here's what I would consider bringing:
Water (and water purification system such as a SteriPen or purification tablets)
Coarse ground cornmeal (for grits or a breading)
Various dried herbs and spices, including pre-ground black pepper
Beef and/or chicken bullion cubes
Crackers (can crush for breading)
Sharp cheddar, block (remove from plastic and wrap in cloth)
Box macaroni and cheese with powdered cheese packet (re-packed to conserve space)
I am bringing a nesting set of pots, knife, spatula, spoon, cutting board, one burner stove. If I can convince my partner, maybe a frying pan for the supposed fish we will catch. We are going rather minimalist as we are both in our sixties and want to be able to portage without too many aches and pains. The less we have carry, the further we can travel into the wilderness.
It depends on the temperature it's going to be kept at. In a hot climate, a few days. In a cool or cold climate, a few weeks or more. The more the cheese is eaten, the better it's texture because it will begin to harden after a while since it's not wrapped in plastic. Frequent eating or simply lightly shaving the hard places off solves this issue.
The drier/harder the cheese, the better it will keep without refrigeration. It's best stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.
Cloth prevents moisture from building up on the cheese. Plastic would hold this moisture right up to the cheese accelerating its spoilage, while the cloth will allow the moisture to evaporate, thus extending its life.
I learned this method from a mega cheese expert who works at a cheese house up in Wisconsin and who knows WAY more about cheese than I do. His biggest emphasis was on re-wrapping the cheese in a new, clean wrapper every single time it's taken out of the refrigerator and opened.
He said done this way, many cheeses will keep forever.
I have two blocks of cheddar that I bought more than two years ago from him that is still sealed in the cheese drawer of my refrigerator. I'm planning on opening one at the 10 year mark and the other at the 15 or 20 year mark.
If you have time to get a book before the trip, Laurie Ann March’s “A Fork in the Trail: Mouthwatering Meals and Tempting Treats for the Backcountry” would be an excellent choice for preparing civilized meals in the backcountry.
When camping, I tend to keep it very simple and leave the fancy stuff for home. Instant food from the supermarket that you would never eat at home can come in very handy if it’s fast, filling, and nutritious, and if it doesn’t have to be boiled for long, so as to not waste fuel. Freeze-dried outdoor packaged food can be bland and expensive.
Instant rice, couscous, and bulgur work well for grains. The problem is to get something sauce-like to go well with them. Mexican tortillas are a nice addition, will keep for two weeks, and unlike other breads can’t get much flatter than they already are. Naan bread is a tastier option, but doesn’t keep as well. Good bagels can be a treat for the first few days, particularly fried both sides in butter. Instead of oil or regular butter, consider a small plastic jar of Indian ghee, which is tasty, stays relatively solid at higher temperatures, and doesn’t go bad in the heat.
Of supermarket instant food for camping, I recommend packages of Uncle Ben’s Bistro Express Entrée (1 per person). They are cheap and tasty pre-prepared and vacuum-sealed rice meals. Because prepared foods tend to be low-key, bring some shallots, garlic, and hot peppers along, sauté them in the ghee, add any relevant spices you may bring along, add the rice mixes and cook through. After a long day of paddling or hiking, this is easy and tastes really good.
For coffee, Starbuck’s instant packages are expensive, but taste good. A better option is to buy two MSR Mug Mate coffee cup filters, which take up little space, and bring your own ground coffee. Hard apples (perhaps seasonal imported ones from New Zealand) keep well, and the cores are small for packing out. Also, bring a few treats along, just generally.
With fishing, getting a large enough pan that works with a one-burner backpacking stove could be tricky. Also, considering that you’ll be tenting, bears love smelly fish! And the entrails, heads, etc, have to be disposed of somehow.
One last thing. If you don’t have one, consider getting a lightweight tarp with multiple cords attached that can be strung up for cooking under if it gets rainy. They would probably have them at REI in Minneapolis and other outdoor stores in the area.
[With cheese in cloth, I believe if the cheesecloth or whatever has been soaked in a little vinegar, it doesn’t go mouldy as fast. Parmesan would be another cheese to consider.]
Hard sausages are nice. Eat plain or chop and mix in with grains while cooking. I like adding the shelf stable Chinese sausages to my pot of rice. When the rice is done the sausage is hot too. I throw in scallions, etc.
Cabbage will hold up fairly well and gets smaller as you use it!
I love lentils and they cook fast and don't require soaking.
A tube of tomato paste will add nice flavor and variety.
i'm going to do my best not to repeat, so to add to the list... if they don't appeal, don't judge me :) :
--both heatable with jarred sauce (your own or purchased) and cheese
-shelf-stable tofu (firm or soft depending upon plans)
-instant miso soup
-TVP (textured vegetable protein) - great for replacing ground meat in chili or soup or whatever
-powdered ingredients for cornbread
-dehydrated mushrooms and sundried tomatoes - once rehydrated, the leftover water makes a nice addition to broth
-bisquick - to make dumplings...
-in addition to the aforementioned couscous and bulghur, farro, barley, quinoa
-tapenades - olive, eggplant, etc
-pitas - ready made hummus or the fixings
-ten grain cereal a la Bob's Red Mill
-shelf-stable cream cheese (never know when it'll come in handy)
-nutella - see above re cream cheese
-rice pudding - instant pudding, powdered milk, and rice...
-spring or summer roll rice paper wrappers
-ingredients for bannock :) http://www.netwoods.com/cooking/banno...
Nice! I just sent the link to my sister-in-law. Our husbands (they are brothers) are too late for this year, they are in the mountains right now, but there are some cool things on the site for future trips. Car trips, camping, sailing, etc.... and for those days I want Hardee's biscuits and gravy, and they don't offer Tabasco! Why, I have a bottle right here in my purse!