Macaroni dinner I just made from Scratch

9:18 p.m. on September 14, 2010 (EDT)
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Need:

One medium Yellow Onion, diced

One 15 oz can Tomato Sauce

One 10 3/4 oz can Campbells Cream of Chicken

large skillet frying pan

Ground Black Pepper

Seasoned Salt

First I diced the onion in fairly large chunks (I like em big so they saute big) and sauted them till softened, with about a 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and of the salt.

Then I added the tomato sauce and brought it to a simmer,

Then added the cream of chicken and re-simmered,

Then I added the dry macaroni and cooked it, stirring often to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan. I like to cook my pasta directly in the tomato suace instead of water as it soaks up the flavor of the tomato and there's nothing to drain.

After about 20 minutes it was ready to eat and as Campbells say's Its:

Mmmm ,Mmmm Good!

I often experiment at home with what ever I have in my pantry. Somethings become new backpacking foods.

All the above items can be put into freezer Ziploc bags, doubled (just to make sure they dont leak) and carried into the backcountry. The onion should be sauted at the time of cooking

I have been a cook since 1973.

Sorry, I started eating it before I photographed it...

11:49 p.m. on September 14, 2010 (EDT)
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That looks good Gary!

Have you tried letting the pasta set in water overnight to reduce cook time and fuel usage? I plan on trying the soak method this fall with black beans and rice bought separately from the store, you know, not a meal kit.

Thanks for sharing.

12:13 a.m. on September 15, 2010 (EDT)
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Actually you dont ned to let pasta soak overnight, it will soak up cool water in about an hour or less. Soak it too long and it just gets oversoggy. And pasta is easy to make too, tho homemade has a different texture to it. Its basically just a flour and water mix, kinda like making pie dough, I roll it out thin and slice it up, then let it dry for a while, then when cooking it add it to about a 3rd less water to cook than a regular store bought pasta. When I make store bought outdoors like the little Mac and cheese boxes, I dont use cooking oil in the water, dont always have salt, and never anymore bother with the powdered milk and instant butter. I just bring the water to a simmer, add the pasta, turn off the heat, cover the pot, insulate it, and let it sit for about 10 minutes, add the cheese powder, stir, let sit for another 5 minutes and EAT! It tastes different without the milk and oil and often is salty enough without adding more.

Experimenting with cooking at home can be fun.

I have about 20 lbs both of rice and beans from the local food bank. Let me know how soaking them works out? I get about 1 lb of each every other month.

6:34 p.m. on September 15, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks Gary, I guess your right, pasta isn't like beans is it?

I enjoy cooking too, but I've got a lot to learn. One thing I do know, home (or trail) cooked meals from scratch taste soooo much better than cheap boxed meals, and cooking from scratch is even cheaper.

I'm just now getting to where I can make good buttermilk biscuits from scratch, now I dislike the store bought kind in a tube.

One meal I would like to try while camping this winter is chicken & dumplings, with homemade dumplings. You got a recipe for dumplings Gary?

6:36 p.m. on September 15, 2010 (EDT)
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I like using bisquick for dumplings on the trail. Just for the convienance

8:50 p.m. on September 16, 2010 (EDT)
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Trouthunter,

Black beans seem to take longer than any other bean to soften up. I love them, but they do have to soak a lonnnngggg time.

8:58 p.m. on September 16, 2010 (EDT)
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TheRambler,

I had thought of doing that, just never tried it before, I'll let you know how it goes.

Explorer Robby,

I have only cooked them in my crock pot at home, I'll keep that in mind, thanks for the heads up.

11:38 p.m. on September 16, 2010 (EDT)
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Chicken and dumplings bisquits are basically the same recipe for your buttermilk ones, just that you spoon them a little more moistened on top of the almost finished stew and cover to steamcook the dumplings.

If you cook beans first at home to tender, then drain and let them totally dry, place the dry cooked beans into a Ziploc bag and take camping. Be sure they are completely dry or they will spoil quickly. Bring back to a boil in camp and they are ready to eat.

Same thing goes for rice, When I want to have it on the trail to mix into soups and stew, I cook it first at home, dehydrate it and place the dried cooked rice in a Ziploc. Its like instant rice, but a lot cheaper and reheating is as easy as soaking in water or adding to a pot of soup or what have you.

If you like the homemade taste of stews, soups and such. Make it first at home, remembering the ingredients, including all spices by measure then place all the ingredients in a large Ziploc and put into the cook pot in camp.

Get a food dehydrator and dry diced potatoes,tomoatoe slices, pea's,sliced or diced carrots, etc and then in camp either rehydrate by soaking in cold water before cooking or bring all the vegies to a slow boil, then simmer, adding the other things you want like salt, pepper, etc.

When cooking potatoes which take the longest to cook of most vegies, adding salt to the water or over them in a sauce pan to grill them will shorten the cooking time. The salt helps break down the starch.

I love to carry potatoes on short camping trips and pan fry them with sauted onions. The starch in the potatoe becomes sugar in your gut. Be sure to add a lil oil to start the potaoes, with the salt on top. Cover to hold in the steam and simmer for 20 minutes or until as tender as you like them.

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