Re Rustica

  (Squaw Valley, California)
love your food!
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Bags - a new way of cooking not just for backpackers and truckers anymore!

Backpackers and truckers have a lot in common, at least where food is concerned. Both want to eat quick and don’t want to spend a long time cooking. They both also need good food to keep them running in top form.

Both backpackers and truckers use a similar technique to accomplish this: the bag.

The bag is the most recent culinary innovation. Dehydrated foods are put into a bag with enough water for the recipe. Truckers put the bag under a heater, backpackers put the bag into another bag and into the backpack. Over the course of the day or afternoon, the food is shaken and stirred and warmed. When it’s time for dinner, the food is ready either for consumption “luke warm” or to be thrown quickly into a pot over a propane flame (even some truckers - Re Rustica delivery especially! - bring cooking equipment) for heating.

Many recipes lend themselves to the technique, but all do best with dry foods. Dry beans and lentils and peas, dry greens, dry herbs. Fresh or moist foods don’t cook well this way. Raw foodists find the technique appealing because it does not involve cooking the food!

Chili is an excellent recipe: dry beans, dry tomatoes, dry peppers, dry onion, and dry herbs, sometimes with a bit of dry grain (corn, barley, oats or rye). Serve with ketchup, chili peppers, or other favorites.

Another great recipe to try is soup. Dry greens, a bit of dry squash, some dry beans. Serve with a bit of salt and homemade bread.

But some truckers and backpackers will skip this entirely and simply bring flours with them. Rolled oats, ground wheat flour and even rice meal works great for a quick flatbread pancake when mixed with water (and sometimes an egg or butter) and put over a flame on a pan or rock.

If you have the energy, it is a nice flourish to add in a bit of native food into the mix at the end of the day. Hikers can add in the delicious vegetables, nuts, fruits, grains or other foods about their campsite when undertaking the last cooking. Truckers might pick up a dainty along the way. Pancakes quickly become crepes this way, chili becomes chutney, and soup becomes stew!

After traveling far, look forward resting at the end of the day, and celebrating our safe arrival…even we are only arriving at a camp from where we’ll depart the next day again!

This wonderful bag technique works great for commuters, for explorers, for weekend warriors. We cannot reccomend it highly enough…

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