COOKING You must have a menu and cook a proper meal each day to pass your assessment You must discuss your menu and choose food that everyone in the group is prepared to eat. You should strive to select a variety that will give each individual member at least one meal they will thoroughly enjoy during the expedition. Try to choose well from the entire range of foods available. Remember that you will probably shop two days before you leave home, as the last day is always very busy. That means the food you eat on the first day of your expedition will have been bought at least five days before, and the food you eat on the last day will be nine days old or more. There are plenty of suitable foods with minimal, lightweight packaging available in the supermarkets. Some are already cooked, and some need minimal cooking. Do remove all the unnecessary packaging from the products before you go, and write any cooking instructions on the inner bag with a permanent marker. At the planning stage, consider the order you will cook your meal. If a group were all to agree to bring with them a plate that was quite bowl shaped in appearance and an insulated, lidded mug. Each night they could boil up a large pan of water and made cuppa soup for everyone in their plates, then share out the rest of the hot water into their insulated mugs, they would each then have hot water to make custard or hot chocolate at the end of the meal. The group could then cook their main meal, eating it out of the plate, and would not have to boil water again at the end of the meal to make a pudding. This would mean that they had an easy three course meal with the minimum of washing up and effort. You should always use a lid when boiling up water, as it makes it much quicker and saves on fuel. Prepare all your food before you start cooking. Assemble all the packets you intend to use and chop up anything that needs chopping. Bring any loose ingredients in separate, soft, plastic bags that won’t take up much room when empty. Collect all the bowls and mugs together at the start. Make sure you have a simple wooden spoon/scraper with you for stirring. Think about the washing up whilst you are cooking and try to make it as easy as possible by not allowing food to stick to the bottom of the pan and choose a menu that allows you to cook the second course in the unwashed pan you cooked your first course in. Make packet custard inside it’s packet and serve with a slice of cake to dunk, this will save on washing up. You will each need a plate. A bowl shaped one is good for the type of food usually eaten on expedition, but remember that metal plates and mugs can get too hot to hold when you pour boiling water in them. An insulated mug can be good, as it keeps a hot drink hot from start to finish, and a hot drink will do you more good than a cold one. You will need a spoon to eat with, and a fork can be useful. A Light my Fire Spork is cheap, bright and lightweight and performs both roles. You will need a sharp knife, like a Swiss Army Knife to open packets and for slicing up food, and you can spread things with the back of a spoon. You need a wooden spoon/scraper in the group for cooking. You could sand the bottom of a wooden spoon down a bit to give a flat edge for cooking if you wanted to. Take a little bit of olive oil in a small bottle if you think you will need it, and a small bottle of washing up liquid (not yellow) and a scourer sponge. Start collecting tomato sauce sachets if you think you can’t live without it on expedition. Make sure everyone in the group has a small waterproof supply of matches, so if someone’s kit gets wet, you will still be able to light the stove.
Breakfast Cereals – Kellogg’s variety packs but take them out of their boxes as you pack. You will have to make up powdered milk though. Porridge – weigh it out before you leave, mix in milk powder and sugar/salt and store in individual bags. You will only need to add hot water and cook it for a few minutes. Oat so Simple – sachet porridge that just needs water adding and brief cooking. Pancakes – mix egg powder, flour & salt before you go. Cereal bars Scotch pancakes or Long life pancakes and syrup – decant some maple syrup into a small bottle or plastic bag. Tea and Coffee, powdered milk Hot chocolate sachets – make with water variety Lunch CupaSoup Noodle cup meals Hot chocolate sachets – make with water variety Pita bread with filling Fajitas with filling Crackers Fruit cake Malt bread Shortbread Dried fruit Fresh fruit Fillings – primula cheese in tubes, pepporami, small tin of tuna of sardines, long life cheese slices, Evening CupaSoup Dried pasta-in-sauce packets Ready made long life ‘Wayfairer’ meals Quick cook spaghetti (takes up less space than pasta shapes and cooks quicker) Long life smoked sausage Packet sauce Egg noodles Tinned tuna Bird’s packet custard Lyons foil wrapped treacle or ginger cake Chocolate crunch mix Pancakes and syrup Snacks Have plenty of hot chocolate sachets in the group in case of unscheduled stops. Boiled sweets Toffees Nuts & raisins Dried fruits Cake bars Crisps Emergency Rations Nuts Snickers or Mars bars Malt bread Dried fruit TRY OUT YOUR MEALS AT HOME FIRST