Add boiling water and voilà a gourmet meal!

What a crazy weekend.  First we received a free sample of a gourmet emergency and outdoor meal in the mail.  Then today Randy was watching the Discovery Channel’s Shows Man vs. Wild and Survivor Man.  I could not help but wonder if he was trying to tell me something.  It made me very curious.

But on reflection I remembered that several years ago after being hit with several devastating hurricanes in one year we started taking seriously the advice given each year by our local newspapers and TV stations to be prepared.

We prepared a hurricane bucket filling it with flashlights, a tarp, duct tape, batteries, etc.  We talked at length about where we would go in case of a destructive storm or got separated.  We purchased a propane gas grill with an extra burner and a gas generator.

But we started to wonder: What do you do if a devastating event takes place without warning and lasted a long period of time?  The first reaction to an announcement that a hurricane is imminent for most people is to run to the nearest store and clear the shelves making supplies scarce in the event of a long term event.

Two years ago Randy came across several Internet sites promoting ‘Emergency and outdoor’ meals some with a shelf life of up to 25 years.  We spent the next two years talking about should we try one to see what it was all about.  Well I guess Randy got tired of talking about it and found a site that would send along a free sample.

The sample came from the Wise Company specializing in, “ready-made freeze dried and dehydrated meals for emergency preparedness and outdoor use”.  The meal they sent was Chili and Macaroni in a savory tomato sauce.  The meal was 100% vegetarian containing pasta, pinto beans and soy and would serve four adults.  So, I thought: Okay I’ll give it a try.

Preparing the meal was a snap.  All that was necessary was to bring to a boil 4 cups of water, pour in contents of the package, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 12 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  Now the big question was what about taste?  Randy and I had differing opinions about the taste.  Randy’s reacted to his meal saying, “It was okay but a little blah.  It doesn’t have much taste.  It would be fine if I had no other food to eat”.

I had several reactions to the meal.  First, I added salt and pepper before eating my first forkful so it did not taste blah to me, however, I could not taste the tomato sauce.  Second, the pasta was fine but I would have liked more beans.  But that is just me, I love beans.

We talked at length about other food options offered by this company such as the freeze dried fruit and snack combination, vegetable and gourmet flavored selections and seasoned freeze dried meat selection.  The company also sells outdoor meals with a shelf life of up to seven years for camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, boating, RV traveling and 72 hour kits.  We wondered if these would make a good Christmas gift for our son-in-law Kevin who loves to hunt and fish.  We both agreed that the foods being made in the USA was a plus.

In the end we both agreed that what we would have to try other selections before forming a final opinion and that the meals would give us the energy we would need in an emergency situation.  But for now we will continue to stock up on all our canned, packaged and paper supplies at our local markets.  Hopefully, 2012 will be a calm hurricane season.



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9 Responses to Add boiling water and voilà a gourmet meal!

  1. Carole says:

    Having a vegan daughter and an almost vegetarian one, they would at least be getting proper nutrition. I agree that it sounds great for hunting and fishing trips.

  2. Jane Fortmann says:

    great idea and probably better than canned goods I have in my hurricane stash Jane

    • Jane–What we like about this idea is that we wouldn’t have to worry about foodstuffs every year content that at least there would be some food in the house in case we couldn’t get to a store right away, etc. Something to think about. Mary

  3. damon gates says:

    Mary & Randy
    Many thanks for keeping us “stocked” with great recipes.
    Question: Do YOU have a recipe for “Smoked Salmon Chowder”? I found one on the internet, but just wondering . . .
    Reason I am asking: Cindy and I finally took our Alaska Cruise Vacation 8-22 July and we ate some of the best salmon ever. Early in our first week, our Overland Trip Week, during our Alaskan Train Trip from Talkeetna to Denali National Park, we “sampled” and fell in love with, Smoked Salmon Chowder. This is the FIRST time ate this tasty, ROBUST, wholesome, delicious chowder, but ensured it was part of our lunches following “the first encounter”. It is hearty enough for a meal in itself. Absolutely delicious and nutritious. Many meals thereafter, it served as our lunch or dinner, accompanied by some slices of whole grain, or dark, bread.

    If you have eaten Smoked Salmon Chowder, can you recommend a “make at home” recipe?

    Cheers from
    cindy and damon

    • Damon–Thanks for your kind words. I have only become a lover of salmon since moving to Florida so at this point I do not have a salmon chowder recipe but I will do some research and see what I can find. So far most of the really good recipes I have found are from Oregon and Seattle. I will find some and try them out and let you know what is good. Sounds like you had a wonderfully tasty vacation in Alaska. Randy and I did an Alaska tour back in 2009 and loved it. We did one week on land and one week on a cruise ship. Wonderful. I loved Denali National Park but we were only there for one day I would love to go back and stay a few days. Thanks, Mary

      • says:

        Mary & Randy Yes, Denali was/IS Fantastic! We ALSO did one week overland and the second week on the Diamond Princess! WHY did we NOT do this one long ago?

        By now you should have received our Travelogue and the photo Cindy took of Mt McKinley. I found one Smoked Salmon Recipe, and certain that indeed there are good ones out of Seattle and Portland. During our “business trips” to Portland and Seattle these past years, Cindy and I have eaten some delicious Chowder – most notably at Ivar’s Acres of Clams (Take out) walk up area outside the main restaurant. I head there FIRST when I travel to Seattle.

        thanks again and look forward to hearing from you damon & cindy

  4. Lana Halpern says:

    When I was a kid, my mom used to make a stew of onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, and smoked salmon. It was not a soup, it was sort of something she did to use up the smoked salmon because it was expensive. I remember it was sp tasty. Barry and I jest returned from Russia and Helsinki. While in Helsinki, we went to the fortress in the middle of the water and they had a cafe next to an outdoor dock . Barry brought out his lunch which was this amazing Salmon soup. I tasted it and was immediately return to memories of my childhood. Since my grandmother was of Russian descent, I assume that was a typical dish in Russia. By the way, Helsinki was part of Russia and part of Sweden at onetime, and the availability of fish would explain this soup. So, if you sauté the ingredients, and add either chicken stock or vegetable stock, that might be the recipe. I’ll have to try it, but it seemed to me that in Helsinki they used fresh salmon and there was a lot of it with every bite. I hope this helps. Lana

    P.S. I alway wondered about those freeze dried meals. Where would you get boiling water in a power outage without a generator?

    • Hi, Lana–Thanks for the info about the salmon chowder. As I mentioned in the blog we purchased an outdoor grill powered by propan gas and we always check to make sure it is full this time of the year. If you can find your grandmother’s recipe sent along. Also, are you going to share the recipes from Puerto Rico. I would love to try. How wonderful that you were able to travel to Russia. What memories. You and Barry have certainly become globe trotters. We will be in the Washington area during the holidays perhaps we could get together. Mary

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