Saturday, February 24, 2007

Yardsticks of Civilization

Some pictures suck since I am using my phone on them instead of the camera...

This is my morning ride. So, back to hiking. The yard stick of civilization is Coffee. Some say indoor plumbing...... but WTF do they know, I'll take a great Cappuccino over warm porcelain any day.... Course..... I've never used a Bidet Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.... But I digress.

The two issues before me are Coffee and Cooking. Those who know me(probably not you.) Know that for the longest time I traveled with my fly rod an aluminum percolator and a few sealed bags of coffee for a few years. Just in case the mood and time hit me.(this usually involved, being drunk at 2am and then a 2 hour drive to a favorite hole, some breakfast, maybe a nap, dawn and some fishing. Lucky Y'all haven't had the experience of me knocking at your door at 5am..."Grab your shit, we are going fishing." Well with that kind of behavior, I learned that having a pot full of dry coffee, ready to go, with the start of a camp fire. Point being, I like a good percolator.... The other option would be to just have a different pot, dump grounds in it and do sheepherder coffee. The third option may be one of those filter deals you hold over a cup, and run hot water into. There also is that stupid little espresso maker, but my issue with that is that it makes One cup of coffee. That is about the most inhospitable way to do coffee, since coffee should be a social thing, and always plenty to go around.... Like I say "The yardstick of civilization".

Project ultralight 2... Cooking, Another yardstick of civilization should be food. your average instant rice or noodles and some curry or basil, adding some freeze-dryed chicken fish or beef. Isn't hard. The Key would be to bake, some of the baking backpacking solutions seem.... well.... We can do better. There are 2 solutions, one is a sort of dutch oven solution, you put coals on the lid of a cooking pot. the other is using steam heat. I haven't seen this in action or even properly explained. But sort of a sealed container, and boiling water to a grill which has maybe a smaller pan or some muffin tins.

Well today I decided to make corn bread, I think this is going to be what I'm shooting for. Straight from the package of corn meal, does it look as good as the picture or is mine better :) The recipe said nothing about cooking in a cast iron skillet, and that will be just about impossible on the trail, but It seemed like a good way to start.
This was unbelievable BTW, my first corn bread from corn meal (I've done it from pre-prepared mixes, and it's not like it was difficult. milk, flower, cornmeal, baking powder, one egg.(notice the 16 pounds of dried apples in the background.I may have to do more of those.). My initial impression, of the cornbread. was that I needed to work on something heartier for the trail. I have a recipe for something called "Southern cornbread" which involves much less flour, and 4x as much corn meal. I also may add nuts, or fruit, maybe even some chocolate. sort of a Trail cornbread..... So, I need a recipe then a way to cook it.
The thought of fry bread or tortillas also has crossed my mind.

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