Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Review: Lipsmackin' Backpackin' by Tim and Christine Conners

I purchased this book as well as the vegetarian sequel recently off of Amazon for our upcoming AT trip. There are some pretty good recipes in here, most of which require a dehydrator. Last week I made one of the vegetarian recipes in which you take a jar of spaghetti sauce and mix it with 1 lb. of frozen veggies, a bell pepper, and some spices. You then puree the sauce and dehydrate it. Just to make sure it would taste as good re-hydrated, I tested it out and it was great and full of vitamins! 2 days ago I tried making one of the vegetarian chili recipes. I used the book's basic recipe but added a lot of my own spices. Sadly, because whole pieces are left in it while it dehydrates, it took too long and the moisture + the heat created mold. I was disappointed since a hot bowl of chili on the trail would be amazing. This wasn't the book's fault however, as I have a very old food dehydrator which doesn't take moisture out as well.

Friday, April 9, 2010

GSI Outdoor Pinnacle Dualist

 My shipment from arrived earlier this evening! One piece of gear that I have been really excited about purchasing is the GSI Outdoor Pinnacle Dualist. When I first pulled out the box I was confused because it was so small! I opened it and pulled out the case with everything inside. I was still baffled by the size so I checked the box to make sure I hadn't ordered the Soloist. After confirming that I was holding the Dualist in my hands, I started to take it apart. Inside the bag (which double as a sink!) was the pot, two color coded bowls, which separate into mugs, two sporks, and a stove pouch.

I immediately ran to my kitchen and grabbed a box of macaroni. I poured the entire box into the pot just to see how much it could hold. Unfortunately, it took up half of the pot's volume. I decided to test it out by cooking just 1/2 of a box of pasta. It was hard to estimate how much water would be needed in such a tiny pot. The water boiled within 5 minutes as the package had promised. I poured the macaroni in, but the water ended up spilling over 3 different times even after pouring some out. The macaroni was done by the time I was ready to give up. One thing I will say is that the lid has a feature that allows you to pour water out without it spilling everywhere and it works great. I almost feel that you would have to cook pasta in small amounts, which would be a waste of fuel. I am going to keep playing with it and will update in the near future.