Cold Weather Holidays On The Trail

It’s cold out there baby. But that just means no crowds and no bugs. Even if it is dark at 4 pm ­čśë But it also means you can eat hearty meals – to just stay warm. There isn’t much better than celebrating Thanksgiving, the Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Years Eve in the wilds. Going camping on the Winter Solstice with a warm fire, surrounded by candles, is to me what holidays should be. Snow is the bonus.

Two menus to choose from –

Carnivore Traditional:

TurkeyDay1

Sourdough Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1 round loaf sourdough bread
  • ┬╝┬ácup diced dried onion
  • ┬╝┬ácup dried celery flakes (in spice aisle)
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 Tbsp┬álower sodium vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ┬Ż┬átsp dried rubbed sage
  • ┬Ż┬átsp kosher salt

Directions at home:

Heat the oven to 350┬░. Cut the bread into small crouton shapes and put on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, checking every 10 minutes, stirring, till crispy dry. Once cooled, use a rolling pin to break them up even smaller. In a small bowl mix the seasoning blend together until well combined.

Split into 3 quart freezer bags (about 2 cups dry bread each) and 3 Tbsp dry seasoning mix. Note on each bag ÔÇťAdd ┬Ż┬ácup near boiling water and 2 Tbsp oil or melted butterÔÇŁ. In camp, after adding the oil and water seal the bag tightly and shake to distribute. Put in a cozy for 15 minutes.

Each bag serves 2 to 3 and the recipe makes 3 bags worth.

Mashed Potatoes

In a quart freezer bag:

  • ┬ż┬ácup instant mashed potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp dry milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter powder
  • Pinch of salt, if desired

FBC method:

In camp add 1¼ cups near boiling water to the bag. Stir well, getting into the corners. Seal tightly and put in a cozy with the stuffing for 15 minutes.

Serves 2 to 3.

Turkey (or Chicken) Gravy

Take:

One pot method:

Add the gravy mix to 1 cup water in a small pot, stirring well. Add in the chicken (or drained turkey) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for a few seconds, until nicely thickened. Season to taste with black pepper if desired.

Serve over the mashed potatoes.

Serves 2 to 3.

Note: Add ¼ cup dried cranberries or cherries before cooking.

Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ┬Ż┬ácup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

At home:

Grind the cranberries with the sugar in a food chopper or small food processor. Pack in a pint freezer bag.

In camp add ┬Ż┬ácup near boiling water. Seal the bag and put in a cozy for at least 15 minutes. Letting it cool down after rehydrating will help it thicken up.

Serves 2 to 3.

DIY Instant Cranberry Sauce

¼ cup dried sweetened cranberries
¼ tsp dried orange peel (in spice aisle)

At home pulverize the cranberries and orange peel in a mini food chopper or blender till a small chunky paste (it will be sticky). Pack in a pint freezer bag.

On trail add ¼ cup near boiling water. Seal the bag tightly and let sit in a cozy for 15 minutes.
Serves 1.

TurkeyDay2

Green Bean Casserole

In a snack bag pack:

Also take:

  • 1 package freeze-dried green beans (0.42 ounce) (about ┬ż┬ácup)

FBC method:

Open the green bean package and find the desiccant packet, toss. Add in the dry ingredients and 1¼ cups boiling water. Stir well, seal tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Open up, stir well and add in ¼ cup of the fried onions, stirring in. Top with the remaining onions.

Serves 2 to 3.

The dry items packed:

TurkeyDay3

The Modernist Dinner:

Broth

Savory Broth Powder

Ingredients:

  • 1┬Ż cups dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
  • ┬╝ cup diced air-dried sun-dried tomatoes
  • ┬╝ cup dried celery
  • ┬╝ cup dried celery leaves
  • 2 2/3 cups┬áLarge Flake Nutritional Yeast
  • ┬╝ cup onion powder (not┬áonion salt!)
  • 2 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried rubbed sage
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ┬Ż tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

 Directions:

Add the mushrooms through celery leaves into a dry mixing container for a Vitamix 5200 Blender or a similar high-speed blender, process on medium (about 5 on a Vitamix) until powdered. Add in remaining ingredients, process on medium until just mixed, stirring as needed.

Store in an airtight container.

Use 1 Tablespoon broth mix for every cup water.

Makes about 2┬Ż cups.

Notes:

You can find the mushrooms in big containers for cheap at Costco (in the produce department). With the tomatoes, pick up really dry ones. I use these ones from Frontier.

wta-receipes-20120926-1

Harvest Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 1 cup instant brown rice
  • ┬Ż┬ácup freeze-dried vegetables
  • 2 Tbsp homemade broth mix or 2 tsp lower sodium chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • Pinch of sea salt

Also take:

  • 5 ounce can (w/ pop-top lid) or 7 ounce pouch chicken
  • 1 Tbsp or packet olive oil
  • ┬╝┬ácup finely chopped walnuts

At home:

Pack the rice ingredients in a sandwich bag or quart freezer bag,┬ádepending on cooking method. Mark ÔÇťAdd 2 1/2 cups waterÔÇŁ on bag. Pack the┬áwalnuts in a snack bag.

One Pot Method:

Add the chicken, with any broth, water and oil to a cooking pot. Bring to a boil, add the rice bag, return to boil. Turn off the stove, cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. In cooler weather or at altitude insulate the pot with a pot cozy.

Stir the rice, top with the walnuts.

Freezer Bag Method (FBC):

Bring the water to a boil, set aside. Place the freezer bag in a cozy, add the oil and chicken, with any broth and the water. Stir well, seal and let sit for 15 minutes.

To make a second ÔÇśbowlÔÇÖ bring along a second freezer bag, cuff in half.

Divide the rice and top with the walnuts.

Serves 2.

Notes:

This recipe can be adapted to vegan by leaving the chicken out and adding in chickpeas if desired, or more nuts. Use the same amount of water called for, if using dehydrated chickpeas, hydrate them separately  add, drained, with the hot water to the dry rice.

wta-receipes-20120926-10

Cranberry Pear Compote

Ingredients:

  • ┬╝┬ácup dried cranberries
  • ┬╝┬ácup dried pears, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ┬╝┬átsp dried orange zest (or a True Orange packet)
  • Pinch fine sea salt

At home:

Pack the ingredients in a snack bag or pint freezer bag, depending on cooking method.

 Insulated Mug/Bowl Method:

Add the ingredients to an insulated mug or small bowl, cover with ¼ cup of water. Cover and let hydrate for 20 to 30 minutes. If a bit dry, add in a little more water as needed.

Freezer Bag Method (FBC):

Bring ¼ cup water to a boil, set aside. Place the freezer bag in a cozy, add the water and seal bag. Let hydrate for 20 to 30 minutes. If a bit dry, add in a little more water as needed.

Serves 2.

wta-recipes-pumpkinpudding

Pumpkin and Gingersnap Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup dry milk
  • ┬╝┬ácup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch or favorite thickener, arrowroot works as well
  • 2 Tbsp dried and powdered pumpkin pur├ęe (see below)
  • ┬Ż┬átsp ground cinnamon
  • Big pinch ground nutmeg
  • Big pinch ground ginger
  • Big pinch salt

 Also take:

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 bag crisp gingersnap cookies (any size, more is better..say 7-9 ounces)

At home:

Pack the pudding ingredients in a sandwich bag. Tuck the butter in a small bag.

One Pot Method:

Add the mix and 2 cups cold water to a cooking pot. Using a small whisk, stir while bringing to boil, over a lower flame. When the pudding comes to a boil and is thick, take off the stove and whisk in the butter. Serve warm or let cool, a cold stream or snow bank works well for chilling.

Divide between mugs or bowls ÔÇô or in a pinch served in pint freezer bags.

Crumble up some of the gingersnaps, dust on top, serve with the rest to dip in the pudding.

Serves 2 to 4, depending on appetite.

Notes:

Dried pumpkin? Very easy! Spread a can of organic pumpkin pur├ęe on a┬áparchment paper lined baking sheet, dehydrate in your oven at lowest temp┬átill bone dry, then powder. Store tightly sealed.┬áOr see here on how to do it in a dehydrator.

Want it even better? Add in some rum at the end, after it comes off the stove.