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Why I don't cook
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azbackpackr
Hi Tech Wizardess




Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 3639
Location: Needles CA

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 10:18 am    Post subject: Why I don't cook Reply to topic Reply with quote

I hate to cook. This is not the same as saying I don't know how to cook. As a matter of fact, I used to be head lunch cook in a Mexican restaurant in Hawaii. (Jose's in Kona, if you really want to know.) I cook as little as possible, and am lucky I have a husband who just loves to shop and cook. If it weren't for him I'd probably eat cereal three times a day.

When perusing Backpacker Magazine and other outdoor guides (NOLS comes to mind--oh, my gracious, spare me their menu!) I see all sorts of recipes for cooking on the trail. Why anyone in their right mind would want to spend their time cooking when they could be just sitting in camp doing nothing but looking at the view is beyond me.

When I want to eat hot food on the trail, I stick with the kind where you pour hot water into a bag and wait. I can handle that. That's not cooking, that's boiling water and pouring. It doesn't involve one in the extreme mental anguish produced by having to plan, think, chop, home-dehydrate, measure or any other of the (shudder!) myriad tasks required of actual cooking. Oh, I hear you say, but it doesn't TASTE as good! Well, frankly, Scarlett, I just don't give a porridge! I eat it pretty fast anyway, it's not as though I'm obsessing over the taste of it or anything. It fills my belly so I can sit and look at the view without having to be hungry. I'm lazy? So be it.
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azhiker96





Joined: 05 Jan 2003
Posts: 1419

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

LOL, good topic. Remided me of my trip to Havasu Falls. We had our basic boiled noodles with some sort of sauce and some kind of meat thing. Then the neihbors dropped by to offer some excess food they had made. If my mind recalls correctly, there was chicken caesar salad followed by a beef and fresh mushrooms over noodles with alfredo sauce. They had horse-packed in ice chests full of food. It was amazing.
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azbackpackr
Hi Tech Wizardess




Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 3639
Location: Needles CA

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Amazing, too, the amount of time, money and work energy it must have cost someone to plan and pack all that! Too much work for me, as I say. I'll keep on boiling water and pouring. Now, on the other hand, if someone were to offer me caesar salad and mushrooms, I'd be happy to accept! After all, eating someone ELSE'S food is even less work than boiling water for Mountain House! All you'd have to do is hold out your dish while they serve! I'm certainly not against eating food prepared by people who like to cook, but if it's not being offered I still have my Mountain House!
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Daddee
I once was a slug.




Joined: 04 Jan 2003
Posts: 2815
Location: Mesa, AZ

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Eating food is one of my great pleasures in life. And I totally enjoy cooking, so for me cooking is just as relaxing and fun as sitting in a chair and looking at the scenery.

One of my goals on most short trips I take is to have food with me that will make everyone else jealous.

I've been known to pack in steak and shrimp kbobs, I've made pinapple upside-down cake on the trail (from scratch). If I'm car camping then all bets are off - cause then the dutch oven comes out and I have all kinds of fun. Lasagne, roasted chicken, pot roast, stir-fry.

I get all excited just thinking about it.
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Cholla





Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 379

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

I love to cook! I started out as dishwasher and busboy and was working as a fry cook 40 plus hours a week by the time I was sixteen. Been cooking all my life for fun, not professionally though. Preparing backpacking meals is part of the fun. I dehydrate quite a few of my own ingredients and go from there.

I just pulled out my 1983 Nols book and looked at the cooking and meal section. Yah, the recipes are pretty complex, but some of what is written still applies. Judging from the Volkswagen beetle size backpacks the two guys on the cover are carrying they will need to carry a lot of food to keep their strength up. It was amusing that one of the recipes called for the meal to simmer on a medium heat for an hour. That would be about ten to twelve hot meals fuel consumption for me, not counting hot water for coffee in the morning.

Over on Backpacker.com there is a woman that just came out with a cookbook on freezer bag cooking. Those who have bought it seem pretty happy with it.

Now if we could only dehydrate wine, beer, or whatever your favorite flaor is. Smile
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IGO





Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Posts: 4144
Location: Las Vegas

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Why I don't cook Reply to topic Reply with quote

azbackpackr wrote:
I hate to cook. This is not the same as saying I don't know how to cook. As a matter of fact, I used to be head lunch cook in a Mexican restaurant in Hawaii. (Jose's in Kona, if you really want to know.) I cook as little as possible, and am lucky I have a husband who just loves to shop and cook. If it weren't for him I'd probably eat cereal three times a day.

When perusing Backpacker Magazine and other outdoor guides (NOLS comes to mind--oh, my gracious, spare me their menu!) I see all sorts of recipes for cooking on the trail. Why anyone in their right mind would want to spend their time cooking when they could be just sitting in camp doing nothing but looking at the view is beyond me.

When I want to eat hot food on the trail, I stick with the kind where you pour hot water into a bag and wait. I can handle that. That's not cooking, that's boiling water and pouring. It doesn't involve one in the extreme mental anguish produced by having to plan, think, chop, home-dehydrate, measure or any other of the (shudder!) myriad tasks required of actual cooking. Oh, I hear you say, but it doesn't TASTE as good! Well, frankly, Scarlett, I just don't give a porridge! I eat it pretty fast anyway, it's not as though I'm obsessing over the taste of it or anything. It fills my belly so I can sit and look at the view without having to be hungry. I'm lazy? So be it.

I buy Lipton Rice Sides and eat them for 6 days straight. Zero creativity in a camp kitchen.
Funny thing though; I had a girlfriend who would only eat organically grown, zero pesticides, vegitarian foods. She experimented and tried dozens of things to make camp food interesting and she dehydrated everything before a trip and loved doing it and took care of everybodys food. To bad everything she brought made be gag. I'll stick to beef jerky and Liptons Garlic Rice. ROFLMAO
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Hikngrl
Canyoneering is my 'Happy Place'




Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 5578
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

I got a vacuum sealer for Christmas and hope to get a dehydrator soon.... I am looking forward to making my own back packing meals... there are a few copies of that cook book floating around here in Phoenix I know that for a fact! I own one my self but haven't gotten a chance to use it yet....
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DesertRoux





Joined: 10 Jul 2004
Posts: 397
Location: Scottsdale

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

I cook professionally and also still cook at home, sometimes. I always have these great ideas I would like to try to bring haute cusine into the backcountry. Problem is the quality of some of the heat and pour meals is pretty good considering how hungry you are after some decent trail time. Plus its fast, packs small, and requires no planning. Truth be told, at the end of a good day in the wilderness I'am truely happy slurping down some "picante beef" flavored Ramen. It sure beats eating surf and turf in the stainless steel palace of a pro kitchen. Sometimes simplicity is truely bliss.
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Tom Treks
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Joined: 12 Jan 2003
Posts: 3347

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Daddee wrote:
One of my goals on most short trips I take is to have food with me that will make everyone else jealous.

I've been known to pack in steak and shrimp kbobs, I've made pinapple upside-down cake on the trail (from scratch). If I'm car camping then all bets are off - cause then the dutch oven comes out and I have all kinds of fun. Lasagne, roasted chicken, pot roast, stir-fry.

I get all excited just thinking about it.


So, was this like 20 years ago? We all know you get excited talking about it. Chuckle

I'm usually a water boiler out in the sticks. Soup, or Mountain House works fine for me. One bag, no dirty pots, and the easier the better after happy hour.

I bring some interesting stuff once in a while, but it always seems to take up so much room in the pack.
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Nighthiker





Joined: 05 Jan 2003
Posts: 1714

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

I consider it cooking if I add water, cold or hot. The usual snacks, I also prefer MRE's.
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Trishness
The Snake Charmer




Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 2530
Location: Apache Jct, AZ

PostPosted: 2/8/2006, 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

I LOVE to cook and when I'm car camping it's NO BARS HOLD......bruschetta with goat cheese garlic spread for Happy Hour, grilled steaks (done rare or ala HOOLI), loaded mashies etc. Backpacking food is usually Mountain House but I do bring a sack of herbs and cheese along to make it palitable.

No way can I do without eggs and bacon on my backpack trips though so I make hardboiled eggs and pre-cook some canadian bacon. Keeps for up to three days and gives me the protein I need.

Mr. Green
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"Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into guess; it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of the memory and old tales, of the high and distant mountains." — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings.
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azbackpackr
Hi Tech Wizardess




Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 3639
Location: Needles CA

PostPosted: 2/9/2006, 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Hmm...y'know, I didn't say I didn't like to EAT! But doing a lot of cooking makes me feel sort of nervous and unhappy. So....maybe I'll go backpacking with y'all, and give you money to pay you to buy and cook me some food. You can cook it and I can sit there and do nothing but tell scary stories and bad jokes, and be happy. Oh, yeah, I guess I'd be willing to carry in a little of it, too! That's it, I'll carry the spices, salt and pepper, stuff like that.

Trish--Is it no bars hold, or... no holds barred? I think it has something to do with wrestling. I don't wrestle, either. You guys can wrestle with the cooking, I'll eat it. Sounds like a good compromise to me!
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Nighthiker





Joined: 05 Jan 2003
Posts: 1714

PostPosted: 2/9/2006, 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

When hiking, backpacking and cycle camping my earlier post applys.

When I vehicle camp, I bring a trailer and setup a large camp, large tent (I sleep on a cot), gazebo, camp kitchen, shower/privacy tent. I like to cook using the dutch ovens and sometimes will bring the hand crank ice cream machine. This means a lot more time in camp, with camp chores.
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paintninaz





Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 3515

PostPosted: 2/9/2006, 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Nighthiker wrote:
When hiking, backpacking and cycle camping my earlier post applys.

When I vehicle camp, I bring a trailer and setup a large camp, large tent (I sleep on a cot), gazebo, camp kitchen, shower/privacy tent. I like to cook using the dutch ovens and sometimes will bring the hand crank ice cream machine. This means a lot more time in camp, with camp chores.


Say What? chores!?!?! ... No

This is where the cabana boy comes in handy, right? rofl
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azbackpackr
Hi Tech Wizardess




Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 3639
Location: Needles CA

PostPosted: 2/9/2006, 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Been there done that! I raised three kids doing a lot of car camping. My husband always likes all the steaks for dinner, hash browns and eggs and bacon for breakfast. I got so I dreaded packing for car camping it was such a hassle--although I was fine once we got to the campsite and set up!! I got myself a dutch oven and started learning to cook with it in the yard at home, just so it would become second nature. So I know how to do all that stuff, I just don't enjoy it too much--at least not the cooking part. A bowl of oatmeal, a banana and an orange for breakfast, even in a car camp, then hop on my bike and go, or go for a hike. But we taught the kids fishing, shooting, wood carving, hunting, camp cooking, had knife throwing contests, etc. It was fun, except (for myself) the cooking--but that wasn't all that bad, either, especially after my older son got interested in cooking and invented recipes such as Dutch Oven Baked Ham with Kiwi and Honey Sauce. They all backpack and rock climb, too--Mom made sure of that! My daughter, an NAU student, is excited to be going with me in April to Havasu Falls. One of my sons is in the Marine Corps--he's also an Eagle Scout--need I say more? The other son can do it all with his eyes closed, he's an animal on a mtn. bike! It was a good way to bring up kids, I can say that. They also know how to cut and split firewood, skin and butcher an elk, clean a trout, plant a garden, fix a tractor, ride and care for a horse, build a shed, pluck a chicken, etc. All those skills can be used for a lifetime, unlike football. And much more satisfying than computer games. I wouldn't allow those games in the house at all. I totally recommend standing one's ground on that particular issue (the games)--and take those kids out to the boonies EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND, NOT to the MALL!!! They may whine about it occasionally, but when they grow up you will see they will come back to those outdoor interests. And while I have the soapbox, PLEASE get them swimming lessons as well--every summer--until they know all the strokes really well.
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