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testing porridge

Much in life is about being prepared. Cycle touring, if you want to make it a joy rather than something to be endured, is a good 90% preperation and I may have underestimated that a bit. At the moment I am working on our cooking system and food with calories in their thousands. Now, calories in the form of carbs are heavy things. “I think,” said Christopher Robin “that we ought to eat all our provisions now, so we won’t have so much to carry”. (A. A. Milne). I can see some virtue in that approach and their blog for that weekend’s trip would have made an interesting read.

Xmas pud hoard

I have two favorite and quite similar foods, wedding cake and xmas pudding and I could eat one or the other right through the year. I look at reviews of Xmas puds comparing and commiting each to memory. With every good food there is a right time of the year, a season if you will, which in this case is December the 26th. I dash from shop to shop. Aldi first on account of there 4.5 out of 5 score and conclude with Pound Stretcher perhaps two weeks later, picking up bargain puds at half price or better. Two years ago we were out of the country over this time but I had a plan for Wedding Cake on the cheap. “If you get jilted at the alter how would you get some money back on the whole deal?” were my thoughts. Sadly, no one in the world had the same idea as me and there was no wedding cake bargains on eBay. Come on now, don’t just throw it away!

Wedding cake and xmas pud are refined head spinning and feel sick, sugar rush carbs that can fuel the keen cyclist putting in the miles at home. We need something more wholesome and kinder on the teeth for this project. Complex carbs on the touring bike are going to come in the form of oats, pasta, rice and similar. Making them edible requires slow cooking which uses up your fuel. This is the very fuel and food that have just cost calories to transport over those nasty big hills and have left you hungry and smelling like a damp dog at the end of the day. We are going to have to be a little bit clever and cook smart and we may even need to plan ahead.

cutting the pot cosy base

Bob at backpackinglight came straight in with a suggestion, “pot cosy”. Well I had tried one last year but the result looked more like a thing you would put on a stick in the garden to keep the birds off your peas. This time I did my web research and came up with a little bit about not a lot and a pot cosy that looked rather nice which I have copied from that site. I have also spent the week doing various porridge tests starting with add all the water the night before to what I think is the winner, adding half and then the rest as boiling water in the morning. A very short spell on the Primus and then into the cosy should reduce the burned taste that has been a feature of my camping breakfast and use very little fuel.  I am waiting for some aluminium tape to arrive to complete the cosy but already I think I may give myself a full 5 minutes admiration time. The pot cosy is looking good and will be ready soon – cheers Bob.