Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Packing for a Cross Country Trip - Food

Once all of my planning is in place, I start to pack.  First I organize all of the non-perishable food, and make a list of what I need to purchase closer to leaving.

The breakfast box contained several boxes of cereal, packets of instant oatmeal, breakfast bars, Pop-tarts, and bagels.  It also included several cans of fruit.

Lunch/Snack:  The lunch box held PBJ, jerky, tuna and salmon packets, shelf stable salami and pepperoni, trail mix, pretzels, fruit cups, applesauce packets and a few sweet treats.


This time around I started with a weekly rotational dinner menu.

Sunday:  Breakfast for dinner:  pancakes, eggs (fresh for a while and then dehydrated), and fruit  (sometimes fresh and sometimes canned)
Monday:  Soup, crackers and cheese
Tuesday:  Asian: a boxed rice meal, a can of chicken and a can of mixed vegetables (all cooked in the same pot), or dehydrated split pea dahl and instant brown rice with a side of canned vegetables
Wednesday:  Spaghetti and canned green beans
Thursday:  Oat burgers, canned baked beans, instant mashed potatoes, and canned peas
Friday:  Tacos (TVP with taco seasoning, queso dip, tortillas) and canned corn
Saturday:  Cheesy Pasta (mac and cheese or tuna helper) and canned vegetables

Once I had created my menu I first went shopping in my pantry to see what I already had on hand.  Then, I made a list of the bulk food items I needed to make the pancake mix, oat burger mix and taco "meat".  I also made a list of canned and boxed items I needed to round out what I didn't already have.  I bought enough food for five meals of each type - figuring that we would go out for dinner a few times, and have some days where dinner had to be quick and we would eat lunch food.

After knowing what I needed, I made two grocery trips.  The first to our local Sharp Shopper - bulk and reduced price food, and the second to our regular grocery store to purchase anything I still needed.  Once I got it all home I spent several evenings creating individual trail mix bags, and mixing up the other items I needed for the dinner box.

Taco Seasoning Mix

1/4 c. minced onion
1/4 c. chili powder
3 T salt
4 t. cornstarch
1 T garlic powder
1T cumin
1T red pepper flakes
2 t beef boullion granules
1 1/2 t. dried oregano

Mix together and store in an air tight container.  Use 2 T taco seasoning with 1 c. re-hydrated TVP

Oat Burgers

Mix together
1/2 T beef bullion granules
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 T onion powder
1/4 t. salt
1/8 c. dried onion flakes
1 1/2 T yeast flakes
1 1/2 c. quick oats
1/4 c. ground walnuts

When ready to use...
Add 1 1/2 c. boiling water, 1 T soy sauce and 1/2 t. hickory seasoning.
Once the mixture cools, shape into patties and cook on a griddle.

Split Pea Dahl

Cook together - simmer for about 30 - 45 minutes until tender.  Dehydrate, then re-hydrate when ready to use.
1 1/2 c. split peas
3 c. water
1 c. chopped onion
1 T curry powder
3/4 t. ginger
1/4 t. salt

Trail Mix Combonations

Dried Apples, cinnamon yogurt covered pretzels, peanuts
Dried Cherries, chocolate covered pretzels, almonds
Dried Pineapple, pecans, coconut flakes
Raisins, peanuts, chocolate covered sunflower seeds
Dried Blueberries, dried strawberries, cashews, dark chocolate

Finally, it was time to get it all organized.
Dinner Boxes (sorry it's blurry - I was in a hurry)

Breakfast Box (again, sorry for the poor lighting)

Having everything planned out and organized meant that dinner was usually on the table in less than 15 minutes.  Normally, I love to cook.  But, when we're traveling I want to keep it cheap and easy.  Then I have more time for this.....

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