JRI Meals: Tips, Tricks, and Treats!

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JRI Meals: Tips, Tricks, and Treats!

Post by mblaylo1 on Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:32 am

In this topic we can discuss tricks to reduce dishes, preparing meals, when/where is the best time to make a particular meal, short cuts, and anything else we find helpful!


To start off the thread, I'll speak to the most important food item: COFFEE!!

Yes, coffee is extremely easy to make, but is there a 'best' way to do it in the backcountry? When i first started, a guide showed me how he made coffee and i haven't looked back since. While it is true that Jetboil makes a coffee press attachment, not everyone uses a Jetboil nor do they necesarriily want to dirty up their Jetboil with coffee grounds. Enter a coffee press made LOCALLY (Flagstaff) for the Nalgene. I use it so much that i have sacrificed a Nalgene solely for this purpose. Its such a great attachment and i love it for 2 main reasons. 1) Since it fits the Nalgene you can carry water in the Nalgene to dry camps and not have to worry about cutting into drinking/cooking/cleaning water. In a pinch it can also act as a backup water container (all about multiple use gear!). 2) Its a locally made product. I love me some REI, but its always great to support local businesses. The last time i bought one, they were being sold for $25 in Biff's Bagels located on Beaver Street in Flag.

mblaylo1

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Chicken Salad with one dish

Post by SabrinaHikesAZ on Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:46 am

Another guide showed me this trick to making the Chicken Salad using only one dish!

Take the gallon zip lock bag that the salad comes in and use it as the container. Then one can just massage the bag to mix all the ingredients. Then you'll just need one serving spoon to serve the salad to everyone! Just note that the bag may have a small hole and can leak or bringing an extra zip lock bag to double it up = no leaking. Also when everyone is done eating the zip lock back is totally ready to hold all the chicken packets and mayo.

SabrinaHikesAZ

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Tea Time

Post by SabrinaHikesAZ on Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:04 pm

How many times has a guide carried tea all over and not one guest drank tea??? One too many for me... after doing that once, that dead weight had to go. At the begging of my trips I ask all the guest if any of them drink tea. If none: all the tea is removed from the drink bag. If someone only drinks X type of tea then I only bring X type of tea and leave the rest in the vehicle. Not that the tea weighs a lot but it just makes life little easier out on the trail.

Now Coffee.... that is defiantly going on the trail!!!

SabrinaHikesAZ

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Saltiest Snack - Saladitos

Post by SabrinaHikesAZ on Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:15 pm

While on the subject of food and snacks I thought I would share one of the staples in my snack bag.

SALADITOS
They are dried salted plums. Im not fan of plums but I love saladitos, probably the hispanic side of me! They can be sucked on until all the salt has been consumed or the salty "skin" can be eaten, just dont bite into them there is a large seed in the middle. That seed will need to be hiked out...

Benefits: They are small, compact, heat doesn't effect them, affordable, and they are full of salt! And salt is soooo good when in the heat of Arizona!

SabrinaHikesAZ

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Granola Bag as a Bowl.

Post by SabrinaHikesAZ on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:26 pm

To save myself a dish especially when staying at a dry camp. I will serve everyone their Granola, then I cut the bottom of the granola bag as my bowl. NO CLEAN UP, stands up right if I need to set it down. Yes, I'm down one little ziplock but at a dry camp I would rather have one less dishes then an extra ziplock. -hence I use less water.

SabrinaHikesAZ

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Little Extra Water

Post by SabrinaHikesAZ on Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:42 pm

Sometimes you have a guest that is barely drinking any water... and that is a concern!

This trick I got from another guide...
Just make the meals (if possible) a little bit more watery... DON'T MAKE IT INTO A SOUP! But a little bit more H2O can go a long way if you guest is having a hard time drinking enough water....

SabrinaHikesAZ

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Spaghetti Western

Post by SabrinaHikesAZ on Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:20 pm

This came up last season so I thought I would make this a topic... The seasoning in the pasta has been portioned correctly even though it looks like a lot. (you can use a little less if you want.) Adding the seasoning to the dish in the first step and if it is simmered correctly (for 15 minutes) the flavors will come out and it won't be too "spicy" but actually flavorful... If you follow the directions on the pasta package. (Which I know 100%, every Spaghetti Western since May 2016 had that label!!!) Two stoves is the most ideal cooking method for this menu item and stoves that are adjustable and can simmer!!! We are not just boiling water out there we are actually cooking!

Here are the instruction on the label: (in blue are some additional comments)
1. While cooking pasta, heat can of diced tomatoes with seasoning for 5 minutes. (the pastas that we use cooks in 9-11 minutes check the back of the pasta bag so you can time your dish)
2. While pasta is al dente, remove from heat.   (al dente means firm, it will continue to cook in the hot water and stay warm)
3. While pasta is sitting, add tomato paste and wine to the sauce and simmer additional 10 minutes.    (If you add paste in the beginning it will be too thick, more likely to burn and when a bubble reaches the surface it will make a mess and possibly burn you. Also this 10 minute time span also gives the wine time to cook down. You don't have to add the entire bottle but at least half. I personally share the other half with the guest as a kind of special treat with dinner for a hike well done, even though I dislike wine I partake in the activity with a sip.)
4. Drain pasta and mix sauce together.
5. Add parmesan (you can either mix it in or give each guest their own packet of cheese.)

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Re: JRI Meals: Tips, Tricks, and Treats!

Post by mattkalina on Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:02 am

The easiest and one of the best-tasting coffee-making methods in camp is using Starbucks Via Ready Brew packets, which are about the size of a straw and take up virtually no space or weight in your backpack. There is no mess, no dishes to wash and the straw-like packet can be used to stir the brew. Starbucks Via Ready Brew Coffee is also Backpacker's pick: http://www.backpacker.com/gear/cookware/cookware/category-food/editors-choice-2010-starbucks-via-ready-brew/

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Leftover food

Post by dallancaldwell on Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:38 pm

On my trips I like to keep the popcorn to eat with the chicken salad meal and serve it as an appetizer. I also like to put out the stuff from previous days such as the granola for mornings and the cranberries and nuts for the next meals just as a way to get rid of them and so that guests have more things to eat. I know it is rare, but with guests I always ask about coffee tea and cream sugar also.

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Re: JRI Meals: Tips, Tricks, and Treats!

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