Which 5-10 staples to carry to make multiple dishes?

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aris

Forager
Sep 29, 2012
153
5
UK
I was thinking - if I had to go walkabouts and had to carry everything with me food-wise - what 5-10 items would you take to make a variety of interesting dishes. This is assuming water was plentiful, and not using expensive dehydrated meals from a camping store. My list would be:

1) Rolled oats - easy to cook, versatile
2) Rice or couscous - also easy to cook
3) Pulses (dried beans, lentils, peas) - satisfying and good protein
4) Nuts - good protein, high in calories.
5) Dried fruits/vegetables (potato, apple, raisins, dates, tomato) - flavour - and vitamins
6) Seasoning (Salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, chilli) - makes food palatable for very little weight.
7) Sugar - pure energy.
8) oil or other portable fat which won't go rancid. - Fat makes the spices work - lots of calories too
9) Tea/coffee - makes life worth living
10) Dried milk - very versatile - and helps for tea/coffee.

I left wheat flour out as it struck me as a bit more effort than rice/couscous to make into a meal in the field, but you could add that too if you wanted.

What would your 10 be?
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Good list!
I never carried ‘no 3’. But did carry flour, as I liked to make flatbread.

If any of the items could be had in a Quick cook or Instant version, that is what I used to carry.
Saved me spending hours chasing dry wood and cutting it up!

I always carried a chocolate bar, a treat in the evening, plus some Wasa cracker bread.


Longer treks - less bulky and heavy foods, more fat and sugary foods.
 

Keith_Beef

Native
Sep 9, 2003
1,331
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Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
Well, if you say that finding drinkable water is no problem, I'd carry dried foods.

Dried meat,
Dried mushrooms,
Rice,
Pearl barley,
Lentils,

That's it for the calories.

Then some kind of fat, probably ghee if the weather is warm or if the weather is cold I would take some kind of fatty meat like belly pork or lamb.

Then the rest would be spices:
Chilli, turmeric and ginger mix
Fennel, caraway and cumin mix,

That's only eight...
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,443
1,493
McBride, BC
Wheat flour and baking powder for bannock. Always, always. No leftovers.
The first thing to make over every camp fire, raisins are a nice treat.
Premeasured so there are no surprises.
Keyhole fire and rake out some coals to cook on as soon as possible.

The fire and the ceremonial(?) first bannock became a kid's task as we got older.
I need a fire pit in my back yard to do this again. 50+ years.

>Spaghetini and rotini (your choices)
>Dried soup mix to go in the pasta water
>Maybe quinoa (not cheap)
>Cous-cous
>2 kinds of rice maybe plain white and brown basmati
= = =
Of nearly equal importance to me are the condiments, herbs and spices for the variety.
 
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aris

Forager
Sep 29, 2012
153
5
UK
If I were to add meat, I’d take dried meat - jerky/biltong and maybe cured sausage/ salami. This can add fat and be rehydrated into other foods.
 
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1) Rolled oats - easy to cook, versatile
2) Rice or couscous - also easy to cook
5) Dried fruits/vegetables (potato, apple, raisins, dates, tomato) - flavour - and vitamins
6) Seasoning (Salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, chilli) - makes food palatable for very little weight.
7) Sugar - pure energy.
As has been said, good list.

I'd add wheat, barley and rye flakes to the oats.
Couscous is very fast to cook, at least how I do it. Basmati slower but nice. Brown rice very satisfying but takes a while.
I'd carry a greater variety of dried fruits: mango, pear, apricots, dates, figs, cranberries etc. And add onion, garlic etc. to the veg.
For seasoning a bag of mixed herbs works well.
I'd swap out sugar and go for honey: you can spread it on your bannock!

Plus some home-made biltong / jerky (seasoned prior to drying just with a tiny a bit of salt, pepper and ground coriander). Can eat it straight or added to the stew.

And a packet or so of oatcakes. Can be eaten as is or to thicken a stew.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I used to mix dried fruits ( whatever was available in those prehistoric days) with various nuts. A great treat.

You cook Couscous?
We eat it a lot, and we just boil up a certain amount of water, stir in the measured amount of CC and let sit.
the large Israeli Cc I think wife boils for a couple of minutes.
Finely chopped flat leaf parsley, Culantro or Cilantro, a dash of Olive oil.....
Stir.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,443
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McBride, BC
Yeah, the boiling water is called "cooking". Cous cous is the world's shortest spaghetti/pasta.

I looked at the OP request from the POV of the heat energy needed to prepare it.
The rice and quinoa are maybe 30 minutes of boiling, most pasta is 10 minutes or less.
Maybe you hit a camp site with firewood galore, maybe you have to be frugal with a fuel stove.

Bannock well made over a campfire forces you to shed the pace of city living and take your sweet time with it.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,259
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Well, everything is called 'cooking' if it involves heat ( and mostly water) !

But Cc you stir into water that has just boiled. Scalding Couscous?
Infusing?
I do NOT KNOW!

Can you get Italian Bronze die pasta up where you live? Good stuff!
 

aris

Forager
Sep 29, 2012
153
5
UK
Pasta is nice, but requires more water and energy to prepare. I too cook couscous by pouring boiling water over it, covering, and waiting 10 minutes.

Rice can be cooked using the absorption method - very little waste of clean water or energy.

My aim in this exercise is to have a basic pallet of ingredients to make the best and most diverse number of foods.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,443
1,493
McBride, BC
It's cooked. Not eaten out of the box as you know. Semantic language differences.
1/3 lemon juice, 2/3 water does it no harm.

Local butcher shop & deli bought a BIG used pasta machine but I'm about the only one who wants to see it running.
Not sure of the dies. Could even be so modern that there's teflon.
I make my own egg pasta with herbs from time to time but just a piddling amount.
 

aris

Forager
Sep 29, 2012
153
5
UK
One of the things I thought of adding to my list was powered whole egg. But this would be a luxury to be honest - and is not commonly available.

Outside the pallet of basic foods - I’d hope to forage or hunt/fish.
 

aris

Forager
Sep 29, 2012
153
5
UK
The powdered eggs I tried were about the worst thing that passed my lips.....

Are you sure?
Some are good - some aren't. In the US they are very much used in the catering trade - most people don't notice the difference when eating scrambled eggs. They have their place.
 

Keith_Beef

Native
Sep 9, 2003
1,331
237
51
Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
You cook Couscous?
...
the large Israeli Cc I think wife boils for a couple of minutes.
I sometimes cook proper (North African) couscous just by stirring some spices, maybe some raisins or sultanas or crushed hazelnuts, into the dry couscous in a bowl, then pouring boiling water straight from the kettle over it. Leave it covered for five minutes to soak, and it's done.

Ptitim, often called "Israeli couscous" (an Israelis name for it is "Ben Gurion's rice") is more like small balls of Italian pasta, and needs more cooking over a heat.

If I were to add meat, I’d take dried meat - jerky/biltong and maybe cured sausage/ salami. This can add fat and be rehydrated into other foods.
OMG!!! I left onions off my list!

Salami is a great ingredient. Cut into cubes and put in the bottom of a hot pan and sweated, it gives up enough fat to fry onions, mushrooms and rice. Then add water, and it becomes (eventually) risotto. Stock cubes and cheese are optional.
 

aris

Forager
Sep 29, 2012
153
5
UK
I
Ptitim, often called "Israeli couscous" (an Israelis name for it is "Ben Gurion's rice") is more like small balls of Italian pasta, and needs more cooking over a heat.
I tried this once - it came out as a bit lump of stodge :). I suspect I didn't do it right.