Holiday Meals on the Appalachian Trail

Hiking the AT, the PCT, or the CDT means you will possibly be on the trail for months. No reason not to celebrate the holidays! Here are my recipes for a Thanksgiving or Yule dinner that is sure to please.

Hiker’s Chicken and Dressing
1 3-ounce package Sweet Sue Premium Chicken Breast
½ cup Pepperidge Farm Herb-Seasoned Stuffing
1/8 cup Honeyville freeze-dried sausage
½ tsp. chicken bouillon
1 tbsp. Harmony House dehydrated celery
1 tbsp. Harmony House dehydrated onion
Coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. dried cranberries.
½ cup boiling water (or more)
Few drops cooking oil
Individual pie tin (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby)
4” square of foil

Seal dehydrated vegetables in a bag. Seal cranberries in another. Seal stuffing, chicken bouillon, and pepper in another bag, using an oxygen absorber. Seal freeze-dried sausage in another bag. On the trail: rehydrate freeze dried sausage by adding 1/8 cup water to the bag. Fully re-hydrate celery and onion by adding ¼ cup water to the bag. Using a few drops of oil, simmer re-hydrated vegetables and dried cranberries in a pan until hot and slightly browned. Add boiling water and stuffing packet. Fluff and mix well. Add chicken and sausage and mix well. Put chicken and stuffing in the pie pan and cover with foil. Using the larger Trangia bowl, bring 4-6 ounces of water to a boil. Put pie tin down in water, making sure water does not bubble into pie tin. Cover and allow to heat through.

Serve with Hiker’s Cranberry Chutney and Hiker’s Holiday Whipped Potatoes

Hiker’s Cranberry Chutney

2 tbsp finely chopped , dried cranberries
1 tsp VitaCherry powdered cherries
1 tsp. chopped Harmony House freeze-dried pineapple
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. broken walnuts
Water for reconstituting

Seal fruits and sugar in one bag and walnuts in another. While you are cooking your Chicken and Dressing above, add very hot water to fruit, and knead back and forth until well mixed. Add walnuts.

Hiker’s Holiday Whipped Potatoes

1/3 cup Idahoan Original Mashed Potatoes
2 tsp. Meyenburg goat milk powder
1 tsp. dehydrated sour cream
1 tsp. powdered butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup water

Seal all ingredients except water. On the trail, bring water to a boil. Mix in dry ingredients and remove from heat. Put pot in a cozy for 2 or 3 minutes, then fluff.

 

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Camp Kitchen

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There are minimalist hikers for a reason. Gear is heavy to carry, and carrying it up steep grades and back down again isn’t easy. Minimalist hiking appears to be for someone who has a goal to hurry and finish a trail. I have no intention of setting such a goal.My goal is to yawn and stretch in the morning and then do whatever I want. If I see an interesting blue blaze, there I will go. My hiking plan includes taking the time to experience life on the Appalachian Trail. It requires a little stealth to see wildlife, but it also requires that I observe and take my time. I intend to take my time. I also intend to cook some of my meals. I don’t mind carrying a little extra weight so that I can do that.

We will see how important it is to carry this weight once I’m on the trail. I may send half of it ahead in a bounce box. I might send half of it home. I love to cook, and food cooked outdoors just tastes better to me. If I send my little camp kitchen home, you can say, “I told you so,” but if it works out fine, I will share my videos of how I prepare my home-made recipes.

Stick to Your Ribs, Beef Stroganoff for Hikers

At the end of the hiking day, it is nice to have a hot meal that requires very little cooking. Here is a recipe to make ahead for the trail that requires very little fuel, but makes a delicious hot supper:

Hiker’s Beef Stroganoff
½ cup dehydrated ground beef ¼ tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. McCormick brown gravy mix
1 Wyler’s Beef bouillon cube
1 tbsp. Honeyville dehydrated sour cream
3 tbsp. Harmony House dehydrated mushrooms
1 tsp Harmony House dehydrated green peas
2 ounces noodles
In a coffee grinder, grind bouillon cube. Add ground cube to gravy mix, sour cream, and pepper. In one packet, seal ground beef with dehydrated vegetables. Seal dry gravy mix in a different bag. Put noodles, meat packet and dry packet in a bag and seal with an oxygen absorber.
On the trail, rehydrate meat and vegetables in 1 ½ cups of water. Pour off water into a cooking pot and add ½ cup more water. Cook noodles in water until tender. Add gravy mix and stir until blended. Add meat and heat through.