Thursday, February 5, 2009

Under Pressure

As some of you may know, I'm an avid camper. And by that, I mean put-your-life-on-your-back, travel-on-foot kind of camping. Nothing is more powerful than just taking off for a few days with everything you need in your pack and nothing to do but walk, admire the views and take photographs.

With that said, though, I do prefer to bring along some of the comforts of home, and one of those is food. I can't stand the dehydrated mess the sports shops pass off as camp food. When I go it's a three-pot, two-burner minimum for the camp kitchen. And that's not counting the coffee.

Yesterday I finally got my hands on the newest piece of gear, and I expect it'll see at least as much use at home as on the road. It's a pressure cooker. That's right, a pressure cooker specifically designed for the backpacker. It's light for what it is, and though it's small (3.5 qt) it's ample for small parties traveling in the semi-wild.

Last night I put it to the test with a beef stew. I'll admit in my excitement I missed a couple ingredients (basil, bay leaf, and Worcestire sauce) going in, but the result was still wonderfully surprising, and quite quick for such a dish (under an hour, with 20 minutes at medium heat at full pressure). As an added bonus, I now have meals for the rest of the week! I'll be trying out a couple recipes for boeuf Bourgoignon as well in the coming weeks: I'll report how it goes.

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