This week I have been spending an awful lot of time in the kitchen getting ready to embark on my 5th and 6th winter camping trips in algonquin park. This will be my third trip as a leader with the grade 10 CELP class, and my first trip with the grade 12 Headwaters class. Both Seb and I are going on both week-long trips, which have a two day break in between. These trips are the highlight of my winter, but every year the hardest part is figuring out what to pack for myself to eat.
The classes pack the food for everyone on the trip, but for the last couple years I’ve packed my own food as the list of foods I avoid is rather long- gluten, most cow dairy, veg oil, non-pastured/non-organic meats, sulfites, anything GMO (genetically modified), buckwheat, most vegetables in the nightshade family, and more! This year, with the help of my dehydrator, I think I’ve come up with the best menu yet! Hopefully my body will tolerate all the legumes and (gluten-free) grains, for me this is sometimes a challenge but these sorts of trips are hard to do without those two things.
Here’s a glimpse at my menu:
Breakfast: brown rice porridge with mixed seeds, dried cranberries, and dried apples; eggs packed in millet so they don’t crack.
Snacks: plain yoghurt mixed with blueberries and maple syrup dehydrated into a fruit-leather, home-made sulfite-free dried fruit, gluten free ginger cookies.
Lunch: grassfed- beef summer sausage, hard marble goat cheese, gluten free bannock (I pack a gluten free flour mix to make this on the trip), chicken stock for drinking (see below).
dinners: super reduced chicken stock is the mainstay of all my dinners. I pack it in a nalgene sandwich container that won’t drip and I’ll use a teaspoon in most of the meals for flavour, and to make soup. Meals are chicken and refried beans on tortillas, cilantro-pesto pasta, coconut-chicken-sweet potato soup, lentils with caramalized onions, greens, root vegetables, and millet. All these meals are mostly dehydrated and just need to be soaked in water for a few hours before dinner, then heated.
Meals aside, the coolest thing that transcended in the kitchen all week was that Seb made pemican from the beautifully processed lard of the pastured pigs we helped raise at Green Being Farm. Pemican involves dehydrating meat and berries, then mixing it with something sweet (maple syrup) in warmed-up fat/lard, then letting it cool. This is a highly nutrient dense survival food that can last in storage for apparently 10 years! Get ready for the apocalypse folks, and make some Pemmican! The best part: I couldn’t believe how delicious it actually is.
Hooray for culinary adventures! Stay tuned for pictures of the Algonquin winter wonderland.
ps. Seb and I have a dream of one-day starting a winter business to compliment our farming careers- taking friends and strangers on traditional-style winter camping trips in Algonquin. We’d feed you delicious whole-foods grown on our farm, keep you warm in our woodstove-heated canvas tent, share stories and songs of the land, and teach winter-camping skills, and more! Who wants to sign up? 🙂