You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
June 23, 2018, 08:12:42 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)  (Read 1725 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #75 on: November 04, 2017, 03:01:41 PM »
That's the sort of thing that could go over well on college campuses for exam week.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #76 on: November 05, 2017, 03:12:49 PM »
With breakfast sorted out for the time being, let's look at lunch.

And we can start out by checking out one of the big standbys of budget DIY MRE's, the meal that have kept millions of students fed - instant ramen noodles. Depending on what kind of store you go to, you might have up to several dozen brands and variations to choose from. Price varies, according to my samplings, from 1.5 USD for a five-pack to 3 dollars for a single one. Since ramen is primarily just wheat flour and salt, any fat or protein will be in the seasoning/sauce package that always is included. Anyone eating ramen fairly often should be more worried about the salt than the fat though. On the plus side a portion of ramen will fill your tummy at a low price, and it only requires adding warm water. But you can't eat it with a spoon, it's mostly carbs, oil is not ideal for emergency food, and there are zero vitamins. While stocking ramen noodles for an emergency is a cheap way to fill the cellar, I don't want to hand it out to people who may not have had any other food that day and I think we can do better.

None the less I will sample a couple, after my next shopping round. At the very least it must be instant, meaning no cooking must be required after pouring in the water. This is not a small thing to ask, apparently: I found three different variants of 'instant' noodles on my shelves tonight and all three turned out to have instructions which require that the noodles should not just be added to boiling water, but actually be kept boiling for a full 3 minutes. I am pretty sure I have sampled several of these where I just added boiling water to the ramen and let it wait in the bowl for a while. Am I just nitpicking this part?

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #77 on: November 05, 2017, 03:57:08 PM »
Again, from prior experience, the 'boil for three minutes' is not really necessary.  Most ramen will become soft enough after half that time on a full boil and even after steeping for a bit in hot water.  (Length of time will vary on personal preference.  I know some people who will forgo the hot water all-together and eat the dry noodles like potato chips.)  I've done mine in two minutes using the microwave, which doesn't even bring it to a full boil at all.  Adding dry soup mix, and even a strip of jerky while cooking instead of the included sauce packet (Knorr and Lipton both put out single-serve varieties of this) will also increase your calories and nutrition while keeping the 'prepackaged' condition.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2017, 05:53:19 PM »
Oniya, you have a couple of good points there. Maybe we can ignore the need for 3 minutes of actual cooking. And there might be some external flavoring that will be beneficial; I'll look, and I will listen to suggestions that can be researched. The total price will probably more than double. Fun fact though: jerky isn't commonly available in stores here. We absolutely love meat products but that one hasn't shown up yet - and when it do, it is pricey. We can substitute the plastic spoon for a plastic fork though since each meal package gets an individual cutlery item.

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #79 on: November 05, 2017, 06:05:00 PM »
If you break the noodles up more before adding the hot water, it can be eaten with a spoon.  I've never actually tried the jerky thing myself, but when I hit up Knorr's homepage, someone had left a review suggesting it for camping.  The more important thing is that if you can throw it in soup, it's reasonable to add it to ramen - if you're including any kind of pre-cooked meat product (even the infamous Spam), it can bulk out an otherwise bland meal.

We get bulk packs of ramen often, since it's something quick and warm, but I'm always re-seasoning and otherwise messing with the 'recipe'.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #80 on: November 06, 2017, 03:02:51 PM »
I went looking for noodle ideas today while shopping. Didn't buy anything yet because the concept needs some more thinking through. First off, price: a package of instant noodles can be shaved down to 30 cents, but a small instant soup package starts off at a dollar - and then you have to consider what other food you can get for 1.30. Secondary, what soup does noodles taste good with in the first place? The number one instant soup option around here is tomato soup but frankly, who eats that? I also thought of a simple broth cube, but I can't find broth cubes of any kind with individual packaging. I am hoping to find some sort of meat soup product in instant packaging though, preferably with some dried vegs included. As yet I still like the idea of having a noodle package and an instant soup one, allowing the eater to either combine them into a nourishing meal or at least have one of them. So I am not giving up on the concept yet.

As for the basic lunch meal, it should contain the same drinks and accessories as the breakfast one, perhaps with a fork instead of a spoon. I am hoping to find something bread- or biscuitlike for this one since the breakfast did not have any.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #81 on: November 14, 2017, 05:14:04 PM »
I would like to have some opinion on crackers. How do rye crackers rank compared to wheat crackers? What would you rather have for lunch; either of them or some other type? That there will be spreads is a given.

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #82 on: November 14, 2017, 05:53:59 PM »
I think I've encountered more wheat crackers than rye.  Wheat tends to be fairly easy to pair with a variety of spreads/toppings, which is a big selling point for Wheat Thins and Triscuits in the US (Triscuits are kind of like shredded wheat in cracker form.)  Rye has a very distinct flavor, which might not go with everything, but if you have something compatible, like a corned-beef hash type of spread, it would work nicely.  Multi-grain crackers could hold a bit more 'interest' if one is without spreads, and are probably just as common as wheat crackers around here.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #83 on: November 26, 2017, 01:49:17 PM »
I think I've encountered more wheat crackers than rye.  Wheat tends to be fairly easy to pair with a variety of spreads/toppings, which is a big selling point for Wheat Thins and Triscuits in the US (Triscuits are kind of like shredded wheat in cracker form.)  Rye has a very distinct flavor, which might not go with everything, but if you have something compatible, like a corned-beef hash type of spread, it would work nicely.  Multi-grain crackers could hold a bit more 'interest' if one is without spreads, and are probably just as common as wheat crackers around here.

Can you name a relevant, common cracker - in the US - which comes in a suitable packaging and preferably is in the 1-2 dollar range or so? Is Wheat Thin one of them? Google is unfortunately only helpful to a point.
I found this picture:

I Norway a small box of salt crackers of any grain - that isn't those tiny round things - clocks in at about 3 dollar, which is a bit stiff for our purpose, but if they are half that in the US then they could still be relevant.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #84 on: November 26, 2017, 02:39:47 PM »

Bleh. This is a test I have not looked forward to. The continued search for a relevant noodle product combination eventually brought me to this one. It is an instant noodle soup, which claims to have chicken, curry and lime - just add water. It clocks in at 2 USD. I am not a big fan of noodles, but I intend to test this thing twice. First, as it is. Then, combining it with a 30 cent bog standard instant chicken noodles package. That second test will have to wait until the next time I can work up an appetite for this.

Brand: Toro
Type: instant noodle soup
Flavor: chicken, curry, lime
Size: 2.3 dl, or about a cup
Energy: 129 calories
Nutrients: 21% carbs, 3.7% protein, 3.1% fat, 1.7% salt
Ingredients: about 50% pasta, starch, and dozens of other things in very small amounts. There's barely enough actual chicken here to hide under a pin's head.
Brewing: add 2dl warm water, then wait 3 minutes.

Test: Hmmmm. Interesting. The contents are so small in their dried state, it's more like powder. But after adding the water, the most interesting first impression is the scent. And it is good! I am thinking Indian food, chicken tikka maybe. The taste, which I am rather more looking forward to explore at this points, matches the scent. So far, so good. But one thing is certain - this is not noodles. It's a cup of noodle soup, in which there is enough noodle and other substantials to fill about two spoons total. Frankly the most need you have for a spoon for this meal, is as a stirring device.

Conclusion: One of the tastiest instant soups I have had, and one of the tastiest pasta meals. As hot drinks go, this is warming and nourishing. It just isn't very filling, and the price is off putting for this purpose. All in all this still looks promising; next time I will try this with the noodle pack added.

Online Oniya

Re: Homemade civilian MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
« Reply #85 on: November 26, 2017, 04:27:10 PM »
Found a site that specializes in 'travel pack' items, and they do include a 1.75 oz pack of Wheat Thins for under 1 USD.  Also seems to have a wholesale section, but I didn't peruse too deeply.  I linked to the 'crackers' section in case there's something more appealing in there.

 https://www.minimus.biz/Snacks-Crackers.aspx