Do you remember that song from Oliver the musical? I always want to sing this song when thinking of food, which I do often. Unfortunately all I know is “Food, glorious food”. So it gets a little bit repetitive, I compensate by singing it very loudly and with feeling.
The last few days have been all about food, so those three words are never far from bursting from my mouth. We are preparing our meals and packing our boxes for New Mexico.
We decided this trip we would use dehydrated vegetables and make our own gourmet delights. We want the sort of meal that weighs nothing, tastes like it came from a five star restaurant and is good for you. Too much to ask from trail food? Maybe but it’s worth trying.
We have tried for a lot of variety in our meals and snacks. We learnt that lesson the hard way. For the Colorado trail we bought boxes of freeze dried meals from Costco. Really cheap but only four different meals. After the first couple of weeks on horse back eating the same thing every night it gets to the point you just don’t want to eat! Can’t believe I would ever say that, I love food, good food that is. Again the boys in Oliver got it right:
Is it worth the waiting for?
If we live for eighty four
All we ever get is gruel!
Every day we say our prayer —
Will they change the bill of fare?
Still we get the same old gruel!
There’s not a crust, not a crumb can we find,
Can we beg, can we borrow, or cadge,
But there’s nothing to stop us from getting a thrill
When we all close our eyes and imagine
Food, glorious food.
We did a lot of imagining on that trip. The thing about doing a trail on horse back is that you never get off the trail. You can’t just pop into a trail town and woof down a burger and fries and a couple of beers with your horses tied up out the front of the salon. Those old west days are long gone. Now days if you are traveling on horses the food you bring with you is the food you have for the whole trip.
So back to this trip, variety that’s the key we tell ourselves as we put the same basic ingredients in every meal. But it’s not the ingredients we say, it’s how you combine them and that extra spice that make a meal more than just gruel. We have even cooked some at home to see how they will taste. The other night we made potatoes au gratin and it was excellent. Although it was probable helped somewhat by the delicious piece of grilled steak hot off the BBQ that unfortunately we have not figured out how to get on the trail.
After a hectic few days we headed out for a family gathering leaving our trusty dog at home to guard our food. The only problems was we forgot to tell him the food was not for him so he systematically went through several boxes selecting the instant breakfast out of each and eating them. We came home to a very happy greeting until we got to the dinning room and saw the remains of the ziplock bags carefully splayed over the floor. Baxter took one look at the bags, one look at us and hightailed outside. For the rest of the night if we went to the boxes he would turn tail and run.
Even with our dog giving his approval of our choices and devouring several days worth of breakfasts we have now finished. It is hard not to be heading out on the trail this week but we still have some things to finish before we leave.