May 1, 2013

Food, Glorious Food!

with Sharon Archer

We're heading off to isolated parts later this year and the issue of feeding us is taking up my brain space!  We need to carry enough food and water (and diesel and other goodies) to last for three weeks.

That's 21 days... 21 breakfasts, 21 lunches, 21 dinners... 63 whole meals... for two people so really it's 126!  Eek, I'm scaring myself!  LOL

We're going to travel across the Simpson Desert and back.  There are no corner shops, no supermarkets, no handy service stations.  There will be... should be... diesel available at Birdsville and Dalhousie Springs on either side of the desert.

So, at the moment, I'm experimenting.

Some things are a success...

Homemade muesli - a big tick!

Chocolate and oats and muesli - another big tick!

And some things are just not worth the effort!

Dried bananas - MK 1!  Burnt offerings!

Dried bananas - MK 2!  Yummy but probably not worth the effort...

I want minimum mess - we won't have enough water to do big clean ups.  I want easy and quick because we'll be travelling each day and sometimes, after a long difficult day, I know the last thing I'll want to think about is cooking a meal!

I've got some dehydrated mince, tins of salmon and other goodies.  Will be preparing some precooked goodies for the fridge and vacuum sealing them.

I'm going to try out a damper in the Thermal Cooker and will be trying out a flat bread we can make on the road in the next couple of days. 

So I'm throwing the floor open... any suggestions for quick, easy and minimal mess food?

PS I couldn't resist a few gratuitous photographs from our weekend away in the Big Desert National Park... apologies to anyone who has already seen them!

Middle of nowhere!
Filling the worst of the ruts!
Glorious full moon on our first night camping
Sunrise on our third morning... even the old rhyme about sailors being beware couldn't dim the magnificent sight!


  1. Sharon, your trip sounds exciting! Scary, but exciting. :)

    I have absolutely no suggestions for food. If I was doing that trip, the only things I'd want to ensure I had are water, coffee, chocolate and dried mango. I think you're being much more sensible about it. :)

  2. Hmm...I'm thinking you might want to share that chocolate, oats and muesli recipe sometime, Sharon.

    If it were me, I'd be taking lots of tinned food -- baked beans, braised steak and onions, soup, peaches. Oh and many of blocks of chocolate. And jatz crackers. ;-) So, I'm afraid I'm probably no use to you at all.

    Can't wait to hear about your trip -- it sounds utterly amazing!

  3. Ooo, Rachel, dried mango! Yum! Ah, excellent staples - water, coffee (make that Earl Grey tea for me!), chocolate and dried mango!

    Have just been to the supermarket for shopping and bought a stash of long-life milk - not my favouritest thing but it sure is convenient.

  4. Michelle, I will share that recipe! Super easy - rather like an adult version of that rice bubble and chocolate thing that's so popular at kids' parties! Added a dash of coffee liqueur to this batch - decadent!

    Yes to tinned food! Fantastic back-up! Love, love, love sauteed chick peas - thanks to our Rachel for that discovery! Delicious in a salad!

  5. Dried fruit is always good & you can add it to your damper - so yummy!!

  6. Wow Sharon, that sounds like an incredible adventure. I'm very good at eating food, but not so good at preparing it, so unfortunately I can't offer any fabulous foodie suggestions. I hope you have a blast!

  7. Absolutely, Mary - and it's easy to store too because it doesn't need to be refrigerated. I've got damper making on the practice list - though there are no fires allowed in the Simpson now so I'll be trying it out in the cooker.

  8. You're having sautéed chickpeas? I'm in! :) Actually, I haven't had one of those salads with sautéed chickpeas in ages. Will add the ingredients to the shopping list.

  9. Sharon, what a trip. I hope you're taking lots and lots of books with you!
    Sorry I have no brilliant trip suggestions but definitely flour for damper. I have great memories of my grandad (an old bushman) making damper in the coals. Nothing tastes as good except perhaps potatoes cooked in the coals then halved and eaten with a spoon (with butter of course). Fruit and vegetables are going to be the toughest. Great idea about the chickpeas. Yum!

  10. Fab pics, Sharon!
    And that dried banana - MK2 - looks bloody divine!
    All I have to offer is marshmellows which is the only thing I know how to cook over a fire :-)

  11. I knew you would be, Rachel! Hey, those sauteed chick peas are a staple in the Archer household these days! I always have at least a couple of cans in the pantry now!

  12. Annie, damper is good! I have a recipe for the thermal cooker - alas no camp fires in the Simpson Desert any more!

    Am making a vegie bake in the thermal cooker tonight for dinner and I found a recipe for bread! So excited about this - will be trying at the weekend.

  13. Thanks, Amy! That banana MK 2 is really gorgeous! But it's a couple of hours in the oven and they sort of shrink up to little discs... I feel a bit guilty on the power consumption! If I find over-ripe nanas on special, I might do a large batch!

  14. Jennifer! I missed your comment the first time around! I don't know how that happened... time I got my eyes tested!

    LOL I'm sure we will have a blast... just as long as it's us and not the tyres! Don't want any blasts in those!