Tuesday, 28 March 2017

What's cooking?

Meal "cooking" in a 473 ml mug (up left), nice note outside the package,
and my selection for the Challenge.

Really, nothing is. It's just my try-outs for the Challenge, to avoid any disappointment, or downright crisis in the food department. As in I never want to experience what I did in Fjällräven Classic in Sweden two years ago. That is, walk 110 km eating basically potato crisps, Peanut Crunchy ClifBars, bilberry soup and coffee (and two cans of Coke, because yes, the Swedes know how to install a kiosk in the middle of the wilderness). I just couldn't stomach the freeze-dried meals they handed out at the start. Or the bread. Yikes. Finnish rye bread is nothing like that squishy sponge-like thing they equipped us with. It had mould on it on day three. So, no. No more surprises for me, thank you very much.

So, now that I ordered some vegan meals (not that I'm a vegan, but a lactose intolerant pesco-vegetarian) from the TentMeals (highly recommended, by the way: excellent customer service!) I took 2-3 packs of everything so I can try them out before I go. Today was Italian inspired main meal day (since I was too lazy to cook anything). Given my natural suspicion towards couscous based meals (due to some not-so-delicious experiments in the early years of my hiking career, back in the day) I was delightfully happy to find out that this meal was entirely edible - and better yet, it tasted quite good. I loved the Brazil nuts in the mix and will probably throw in some more for the actual meal on the trail.

TentMeal food comes neatly packaged, very compact indeed (average weight of a 500 kcal meal is just 124-125 g packaged), and since they are not the "eat from the tin foil bag" -type, they also produce very little waste. To avoid having to rinse my pot and still get my afternoon tea taste like sundried tomatoes and basil, I wanted to know if I could use my SeaToSummit Insulated Delta mug to prepare the meal. Yay! There was plenty of room for the ingredients and the 200+ ml of water. I'm quite sure the mug will be big enough for the Almond Jalfrezi meal too, although it requires 250 - 300 ml of water, and the third meal, Moroccan mango, should be fine since it takes the same amount of water than the Italian version.

I also purchased two Subtly cinnamon breakfasts that will be a nice change for my usual porridge with berry soup. In addition to the TentMeals I'll be eating my way across Scotland with instant mashed potato with dried tuna, nice Finnish thin crispy bread (extra dark), Tartex paté, coffee, tea, trail mix with nuts and berries, Pringles and salty liquorice, some fish & chips for certain, and of course all the possible cakes and biscuits that I can eat (meaning the ones that are lactose free, which might be a bit restrictive). I suppose I can manage. It will definitely better than my Fjällräven Classic diet, at least!

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