Ready for something new from my kitchen?
I often put together meals that fall into the genre of “survival food”. The reason one food item or another is considered a survival food is somewhat subjective on my part but generally, to qualify, the food stuffs must be something that is easily prepared using stored food items. In addition, they must have the ability to be prepared indoors in a conventional manner or outdoors on a rocket stove, grill or campfire.
Sometimes, I also “practice” making things from scratch to decrease my reliance on store bought products. By my own definition – again subjective – these from scratch items qualify as survival food.
Going forward, I have decided to name these little cooking adventures of mine “The Bite of Survival”. Today I provide just a snippet – a taste teaser so to speak.
Pre-Packaged and Freeze Dried – Creamy Comfort Foods
With the big sale going on this month at on Mountain House products, I wanted to give some creamy rich comfort foods a try. Now I had always heard that Mountain House was the best of the best and that this particular line of freeze dried products was favored by backpackers and hikers going many years back. So what the heck, as I like to say. I decided to go for it while the price was right.
I decided that for comfort purposes – meaning something rich and creamy to soothe my nerves during a crisis – what could be better than Beef Stroganoff and Blueberry Cheesecake? Yummy, right? Before I give you my highly subjective opinion, let make a few general comments.
First of all, the Mountain House pouches were extremely light weight. So much so that I questioned whether the stated number of servings was really accurate (they were). The other thing was that I was able to open the pouches using the tear strip – yeah really – which is remarkable. Most of the time I have to resort to a scissors or the handy OSO Sweet Knife that Survival Husband swiped from me.
Now for the details.
Mountain House Stroganoff with Beef and Noodles
Let’s be honest here. When you open the pouch it looks like crappy dog food. I was not hopeful. But being the industrious type that does not give up, I went ahead and added some boiling water to pouch, waited 10 minutes and held my breath. Okay, I really did not have to hold my breath because when I opened the pouch it smelled great.
Somehow, like magic, the addition of water turned the awful looking stroganoff into a heavenly combination of beef and noodles. The stated servings was two and that was more than enough for the two of us. Our main course of comfort food was not salty nor did it taste processed in any way.
My rating? A big thumbs up and 10 stars out of 10. The 2-person pouch is currently on sale at Emergency Essentials for $5.95 while the 10 serving can is $21.59. I would go for the can – it is that good and the shelf life is 25 years.
Mountain House Blueberry Cheesecake
This pouch was little different. Once I opened the pouch there were three inner pouches. Now the deal with this dessert – and I had high hopes – was that it did not require boiling water, just hot water.
I dutifully opened all the pouches, mixed up the blueberries and then the cheesecake. I assembled the little pudding like desserts in individual dishes. The result? Well, the best thing I can say is that they very looked pretty.
The Blueberry Cheesecake dessert was too sweet for my taste and even Survival Husband who could live on sugar alone thought so as well. In addition, I thought there was a striking, almost chemical-like aftertaste. Of course, your mileage may vary and I tend not to have a sweet tooth.
Survival Husband gave it his best shot
My rating? No thumbs – not up not down – because I don’t have a fondness for sweets. That said, how about 3 stars out of 10?
The Final Word
I personally have not had the best of luck with pre-packaged meals. This probably goes back to my college years when I subsisted on hamburger helper and not much else. I was delighted, though, at the quality and most of all the taste of the beef stroganoff and plan to purchase some additional meal-type Mountain House products to sample.
There is one important thing that I want to recommend if you are just getting started with freeze dried foods. If you can, purchase a small quantity first. As I noted, I tried out the 2 serving pouches before thinking about investing in a large #10 can. I know that in addition to the Mountain House pouches, Emergency Essentials offers their Provident Pantry products in smaller, use-now sizes called “MyChoice”. These are great for sampling, especially when it comes to staples such as milk, cheeses, butter, and sour cream.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
From the Bargain Bin: The big news this month is the Mountain House Sale at Emergency Essentials.
Mountain House Sale: For the month of June, Emergency Essentials will be offering all Mountain House products at a discount of 20% to 25%. Shipping cost is $6, $9, or $12 depending on the size of your order and never more. (And you know how heavy food items can be.) Be sure to check out the Freeze-Dried Mountain House Pouches which offer a great way to sample the various food items before investing in the larger #10 tins.
For more survival cooking tips, be sure to check out the following cooking tomes:
Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day: Quite possibly my next Bite of Survival. Here is a sneak peak of this easy, delicious and economical pizza that can also be prepared on an outdoor grill in a cast iron skillet. Stay tuned.
Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: If you don’t know about Clara, be sure to read Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking: At an average cost of 50 cents a loaf, this bread is easy, delicious and inexpensive to make.
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