Archive for the 'Let’s Eat! It’s Alimentary, My Dear' Category

Aug 20 2015

Muesli for Breakfast: Is It Just What the Doctor Ordered?

What the Doctor Ordered

For several months now, I’ve been researching a waterborne route that will take me across the Adirondack Mountains. It promises to be a strenuous journey, involving a fair bit of upstream work, a modicum of wading and tracking, a couple of open water crossings, and many miles of portaging, some of them along established trails and some involving bushwhacks. The trip will probably take me 20 to 25 days in all, and in the process I’ll traverse the wildest country in northern New York. But at least I won’t have to load 50+ pounds of food in my little pack canoe. Why not? Because my route will touch at a number of ports of call along the way, rural towns and hamlets boasting convenience stores (or even small mom‑and‑pop groceries) that carry a full range of staple foods. So I’ll be able to stock up on fresh produce and dairy products. I may even splurge on fresh meat or a frozen treat from time to time.

That being the case, my menu is starting to take shape. Dried foods will still be the mainstay of my diet, but I’ll supplement these with store‑bought extras whenever they’re available, and I’ll also carry a few canned heat‑and‑eat meals for emergencies. Yet one nagging uncertainty remains: What’s for breakfast?… Read more…

Questions? Comments? Just click here!

Aug 13 2015

Little Things That Mean So Much: John Wayne to the Rescue

John Wayne to the Rescue

Back in 2010, I wrote the first article in what would become an irregular series of columns. My theme? The little luxuries that Farwell and I bring with us on backcountry trips. These small and unprepossessing items may not get much attention in gearheads’ blogs, but they can do a lot to enhance comfort and promote efficiency. For those reasons alone they’re well worth their negligible weight and trifling cost. My series turned out to be a popular one, too, and not only with readers: To my surprise, the theme was also picked up by other hacks. Which goes to show that imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.

In any event, there was a noteworthy omission in my first “Little Luxuries” column, even if that omission was deliberate. Why “deliberate,” you ask? Because the item in question is not — in my view, at any rate — a luxury at all. It’s an essential, something whose utility is belied by its diminutive size. And as such, it accompanies me on all my amphibious treks.

Can you guess what it is? Well, if you glanced, however briefly, at the picture at the head of this column, I’m sure you can. My littlest essential is the P‑38 can opener… Read more…

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Jul 23 2015

Hot Dogs Revisited: Will a New Top Dog Emerge?

Wild Dogs

The hot dog is to summer holidays in the States as haggis is to Burns nicht in Scotland, a necessary accompaniment, without which the feast wouldn’t be complete. Of course, neither hot dogs nor haggis would be suitable everyday fare — “skinking ware” is probably what most doctors would advise their patients to eat these days — but both hearty treats can be consumed in moderation without qualm, at least by omnivorous paddlers. After all, holidays are times when moderate excesses are allowed, aren’t they?

And it was in keeping with this spirit of permissive moderation that, earlier in the year, I matched one brand of vegetarian hot dogs, Lightlife Tofu Pups, against a proven champion, Nathan’s Famous All‑Beef Skinless Franks, a contest whose outcome I subsequently reported in these very pages. Sad to say, though, the contender didn’t do very well against the champ. Which is why I invited my readers to let me know of other likely pretenders, with an eye to staging a second bout as soon as a suitable fight card could be assembled. In the meantime, I planned to continue my own program of talent‑spotting, surveying HyperMart shelves whenever the opportunity came my way.

Yet I’d barely begun scanning the aisles before readers came through with a number of good leads, and this column contains a sample of their letters on the subject. Some of the contenders they’ve singled out are vegetarian. Some are not. All sound promising. Let’s begin with kosher hot dogs… Read more…

Questions? Comments? Just click here!

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