I am sick of beans and rice.
The month of January is a "practice what you preach" month. For four weeks I am living off of my stocked dried beans, rice and flour. I wanted to make sure that I can survive when the day comes that I have to live off the stores. I needed to see what else was necessary, what was I missing, it would be bad to have two years worth of food stocked in the cabin and not be able to eat it.
The last two weeks have taught me that you can exist fine on one cup of dried beans, one cup of white rice and four slices of bread everyday, but boy is it hard. One cup of dried beans makes about two and a half cups of prepared beans, one cup of dried rice makes about three cups of cooked rice.
The preparation is not that difficult, put the beans in a crockpot the night before, leave it on low and by noon they are finished. The rice takes about 30 minutes to cook. I am using a crockpot because it best simulates slow cooking on top of a wood stove or in a solar oven. Although I have a gas stove at the cabin, it can only be relied upon as long as propane is readily available.
The bread is store bought, I know that it does not exactly simulate the survival experience, but frankly I don't have the time. I know I can make the bread so I am cheating a little.
As Americans we are use to full flavored fattening foods that satisfy our hunger. The beans and rice do fill you up but they are somewhat less than satisfying...ok a lot less than satisfying. Plain toast I can deal with but the monotony produced by the beans and rice was unbearable. After just three days I thought, there is no way hell I could live on this. Oh but I was wrong.
First off, in a survivalist situation you eat to live not for enjoyment or satisfaction. You eat for the calories and the energy they provide, you want nutrient dense food. Second, any food can be made exciting and different by simply adding spices and salts. I have a small collection of spices and various meat seasoning salts at the cabin. So on the fourth day I put some beef meat seasoning in the mix and bam it was a fresh tasty dish. I also found this powdered cheese that you mix with water, I tried some of that and it really made a great dish. The powdered cheese keeps just like a spice.
The point is that you will need lots of spices and seasonings. Go to the dollar store with sixty buck and just go crazy, get alittle of everything and really stock up on what you like. You will need it to fight off the monotony.
One other note, there will be a distinct difference in dietary variety depending on your survival situation. If you are a survivalist living in the country you will be very busy cutting firewood, tending your garden and hunting rabbit and such. Your meal is something you eat to keep you going, you take time out of your day for the meals. A city survivalist is going to hunker down and keep a low profile until the critical time passes. You are sitting in the house trying not to draw attention to yourself. In this case the meals are what you look forward to, they are the high points of the day. If you are staying in the city you will need a much greater variety in your food stocks.
DON'T FORGET THE COFFEE!!!
Friday, January 11, 2008
I am sick of beans and rice.