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post #501 of 2834 Old 01-29-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

I can remember SOS a couple of times, but was really more of a gravy thing to go onto something else.

Sounds like some people consider all these dried and canned meats food. I consider them more as something to survive on during a disaster event. I saw a TV commercial this morning for dried rations for the end of the world. But I guess that assumes you make it though the initial event.

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post #502 of 2834 Old 01-29-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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I'm starting to see long-life UHT meals sealed in envelopes at the supermarkets here. I haven't tried them yet as I always cook from scratch, but they look good (beef stroganoff, stews and the like). These must be better than canned stuff. As an alternative to canned there is always smoked or cured. A whole smoked chicken is nice for making salads.
I've had UHT milk quite a lot and it ain't bad, I suspect you are right about the meals. Let us know how they are if you try one!
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post #503 of 2834 Old 01-29-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Does anyone go with dried food? I'm drying a bunch (~6 months worth) to have on hand. We're also planning to dehydrate along the way so we can purchase in bulk when things are in season and cheaper.

Anyone try this?
Mike, Have you tried drying spaghetti sauce? It turns out like fruit leather. Just add water! We carry it.
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post #504 of 2834 Old 01-29-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Mike, Have you tried drying spaghetti sauce? It turns out like fruit leather. Just add water! We carry it.
You bet! We dry all manner of sauces, fruit purees, even thick soups/stews like pea, mulligatawny, or chilli. Just about any thick sauce can be dried. As you say, they reconstitute wonderfully, and are great to have.

Contrary to some people's perceptions, dried food is nothing like survival rations, at least not if it's done properly. I've never had commercial dried or free-dried stuff that was very good, but if you do it yourself dried food can be almost as good as fresh food. We've been drying for many years (mostly for our extended wilderness canoe/kayak tripping), and have now taken to bringing dried food on our sailboat journeys.

Most veggies and fruits dry very well, and if sealed and stored properly can easily last for years with little degradation, and no need for refrigeration! Even meats can last for a year or more. The key is to get the fat out. It is fat that goes rancid, so using lean cuts is key.

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post #505 of 2834 Old 01-29-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
You bet! We dry all manner of sauces, fruit purees, even thick soups/stews like pea, mulligatawny, or chilli. Just about any thick sauce can be dried. As you say, they reconstitute wonderfully, and are great to have. We've been drying for many years (mostly for our extended wilderness canoe/kayak tripping), and have now taken to bringing dried food on our sailboat journeys.

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post #506 of 2834 Old 01-29-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

What do you use to dry your food? How do you package it after drying? I actually like dried vegetables much more than canned. They're great for soups and stews, even in the wok after reconstituted. It's a shame they're so hard to find.

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post #507 of 2834 Old 01-29-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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What do you use to dry your food? How do you package it after drying? I actually like dried vegetables much more than canned. They're great for soups and stews, even in the wok after reconstituted. It's a shame they're so hard to find.
These folks have all kinds of good stuff for camping & boating:


You can buy Air-Dried Veggies, and other stuff, or make your own:

Click the pic:







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post #508 of 2834 Old 01-29-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
What do you use to dry your food? How do you package it after drying? I actually like dried vegetables much more than canned. They're great for soups and stews, even in the wok after reconstituted. It's a shame they're so hard to find.
Ours is home made, very similar to the ones on this site. It's basically a plywood box with 12 trays (2' x 2'). I vacuum seal the dried food, and just bought a new Foodsaver sealer. I'm also looking at getting something like these food vaults for the boat.

We use our dried food pretty much the same as we use fresh. For wilderness trips we usually assemble meals into sealed packages, but on our boat we just carry the food in bulk, and open the sealed bags as needed. Some dried foods do better with a pre-soak, but most veggies and meats can be added as you cook. You just have to pay attention to the amount of liquid being used -- it will take more if you're reconstituting while cooking.

As I say, I've never liked the commercial dried food packs. Sometimes bulk food stores sell OK stuff, but it's very easy to do it yourself. You don't even need a dedicated dryer. You can do it in an oven. Put it on the lowest heat and keep the door cracked open a few centimetres. The key is keep warm dry air flowing, but keep the temp low so you don't cook the food.

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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

This drying sounds real interesting. We've been doing dinners in the crockpot then freezing them in square bricks to line the bottom of the freezer on the boat. Easy meal underway but down to what comes out of a can if the freezer ever breaks. ?any favorites? is that the book to buy to get started.

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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Ours is home made, very similar to the ones on this site. It's basically a plywood box with 12 trays (2' x 2'). I vacuum seal the dried food, and just bought a new Foodsaver sealer. I'm also looking at getting something like these food vaults for the boat.

We use our dried food pretty much the same as we use fresh. For wilderness trips we usually assemble meals into sealed packages, but on our boat we just carry the food in bulk, and open the sealed bags as needed. Some dried foods do better with a pre-soak, but most veggies and meats can be added as you cook. You just have to pay attention to the amount of liquid being used -- it will take more if you're reconstituting while cooking.

As I say, I've never liked the commercial dried food packs. Sometimes bulk food stores sell OK stuff, but it's very easy to do it yourself. You don't even need a dedicated dryer. You can do it in an oven. Put it on the lowest heat and keep the door cracked open a few centimetres. The key is keep warm dry air flowing, but keep the temp low so you don't cook the food.
That looks like a good winter project -- preserve your food & warm the house at the same time. If you can use smaller buckets, they're here.

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