I stood in front of mounds of food. It was piled on the dining room table, and collected on to chairs and the hutch. Most of it was fairly unappealing. It would take me the rest of the day to pull this overflowing mess of bags and boxes into compact meals.

Food Pile

There were 4 days until our wedding but this project was for the honeymoon. I had delegated most of the wedding preparation. My mom was making the wedding cake, my dad was making the soup, my sister was in charge of decorations along with my future mother in law who would take on all the guests in her yard and home. Will and I were happy to be getting married but our focus was on preparing for our big adventure. He was in charge transportation, gear, and navigation. My primary responsibly was feeding us.

Earlier that summer I had reviewed our past trip logs and menus. In the past we’ve had steak on the first night. Will has fantastic memories of his mother cooking multi course meals effortlessly on trail. It was both sweet and daunting to know how much he revered his mothers cooking and camping skills. Pulling a page from her playbook I had learned to freeze steaks in a lemon garlic marinade, freeze lemonade in zip bags, and pack green beans and bread. The steaks and lemonade defrost on the first day on trail, it’s one of the best meals ever. I’ve also pulled tricks from my NOLS kayak trip, using hearty carrots and cabbage to add freshness and crunch to backcountry dinners. This would be a much longer trip without any resupplies we wouldn’t have the luxury of space to bring steaks, vegetables or bread. So I rewrote old recipes and made up new ones.

This would have been an ideal time to *test* recipes. I must have been in a delirium of confidence to assume my scribbling on paper would come together into delicious and digestible camp food. It also would have been good to check for ingredients availability. I ended up spending $49.99 to rush deliver a pound of tomato powder from Iowa.

Earlier in the week I had spent 7 hours and $522.23 on groceries (not including the tomato powder).To pack it all up I had boxes of zip baggies, measuring cups, spoons, and my scale. I dived in first by making our oatmeal. Will hates oatmeal so I supplemented with his favorite granola bar.
Making Oatmeal

Next I tackled the dinners and trail mixes.


My cranberry peach oatmeal with flax seed is at the top.  In the middle is two kinds of trail mix, standard with pretzels and peanut M&Ms and Asian with rice crackers and goji berries.  The bottom row are all our dinners.  There are beanie wienies, Italian pasta marinara, mushroom stroganoff, lentil chili, salmon corn curry, mexican pizza, Thanksgiving dinner, and Thai peanut pasta.

It took a few tries to pack it all into our two food containers.

Food packing

In addition to all of the meal items I was squeezing in: chocolate, tea, hot coco, Starbucks VIA coffee, lots and lots of cheese, dried meats of various sorts, and a healthy load of dried fruit.

Food prep, check! Next up, wedding.

Check out the Before and After

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3 Responses to Preparations

  1. Pingback: And we’re off! | Midwest With Zest

  2. Pingback: Before and After | Midwest With Zest

  3. Pingback: A Beginning | Midwest With Zest

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