I have come to the hypothesis that there could quite possibly be a limited amount of inspiration that one can draw from canned food items. Though my conjecture is highly unscientific and the variety of our pantry is in fact rather vast, ideas for meals from a can do not quite hold the same temptations as cooking with fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and meat.While we don’t worry too much about rationing, many of our more precious food items can be found in the solar-power charged chest freezer and our supply of dried pastas and baking goods give many meals that ‘homemade’ feel. Dried beans are also a treat but require a bit of planning ahead what with soaking times and all. Anything crisp or crunchy is an utter joy despite it being rather alarming to hear a, ‘crunch’ come from the mouth of a fellow camper; not to worry, just the sound of a walnut, not a broken tooth.
Breakfasts and lunches to fend on our own; the former involving coffee and oatmeal or cereal, the later usually consisting of tortillas with peanut butter and jelly, leftovers, or for me, a can of sardines and crackers with a smidge of mustard. Although at times I find our buckets full of canned goods uninspiring, it must however be noted that cooking with such a pantry leads to rather inventive and creative menus. With dinner duty on rotation, I have been utterly delighted and astonished at the fanciful ingenuity our three person camp of foodies has brought to the kitchen tent. Working with a two burner propane stove and stove-top Coleman oven, there are some tricky logistics to be sure. And though it may be true that anything tastes good in the field, I dare say that we have come up with some rather top-notch dinners. Who’s to say that with the right spices one can’t make a delicious ‘matter paneer’ with a jar of spaghetti sauce and boxed tofu? Or that you can’t make a crowd-pleasing crisp with a can or two of ‘fruit cocktail’?
NMFS Permit No. 16632-00