Monday, June 2, 2014

105. Instant Mashed Potatoes

Sometimes, at the end of the day, after you've hiked over what feels like endless mountains, and you're so tired you fantasize about just laying down in the middle of the trail and sleeping facedown in the dirt, the energy you need to expend just to chew your dinner sometimes feels like it would be too much to ask of yourself. Also, in the completely likely scenario that you get into a fight with a bear and lose all your teeth, you might want to eat something for dinner that can be kind of... absorbed through your mouth.

Luckily, there are instant mashed potatoes, which are just edible, buttery, chemical clouds. The only work you have to do is lift your spork from your pot to your mouth, and if you're really that tired, you can forego that step entirely and lay down with your face against the edge of your pot and just eat the potatoes with your face as your utensil. There is no need to chew. It all melts away without any energy spent on your behalf.

They're also super lightweight when they're dry, and full of just enough calories and sodium to make any fitness guru faint dead away from fright. It's more or less like making a bowl full of fluffy salt. It comes in "flavors" like "garlic" and "four cheese" without really providing any evidence that any real food went into the production of this product that could substantiate its flavor claims. It can also be used as an additive to literally any other foodstuff you might be making on your tiny campstove (ramen, rice sides, soup), because it's completely inoffensive and has the added benefit of tricking yourself into thinking that you're eating a meal of actual substance.

We got fancy after a while and started also getting dried cornbread stuffing to make with the instant powdered potatoes, because it added a lot of texture and seasoning. This did necessitate a tiny bit of chewing, but we could still get away with gumming at like happy babies. Grim and Whistle would also add instant gravy mix to their concoction. Here's your TOTALLY FANCY recipe:

1. Boil water on in your campstove pot
2. Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour in powdered potatoes - be careful, it makes way more than you expect!
3. Stir
4. Pour in stuffing mix
5. Stir
6. Pour in whatever else you want to pour it
7. Stir
8. Let it sit for a little bit to thicken up. Use this time for something productive, like changing your socks or throwing pinecones at your hiking partners who are just trying to make their own dinner in peace, goshdarnit.
9. Stir
10. Eat with face.

Most Appalachian Trail recipes just involve boiling water, adding dried ingredients and seeing what happens. We are gourmets.

Clever Girl

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