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What is your favorite Mac & Cheese for the trail?

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    • What is your favorite Mac & Cheese for the trail?

      You can shop, buy stuff, get on line... but Mac & cheese is king on the trail for young and old and in some cases ancient alike. Becaue Mac & Cheese calls for milk in most preparations. I have seen my son add Half & Half or Mini Moo's (shelf stable real Milk) So what do you do to be a rock star for Mac and Cheese, to those younger ones?

      Here is my idea.
      amazon.com/Bear-Creek-Grown-Up…300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch&th=1
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • to me, mac and cheese is a side dish (best srved with fried chicken) not a meal so i don't take it backpacking. i did make it once on my thru, only because of it's iconic status on the trail. kinda like spending the night at the doyle -- ya gotta do it. once.

      so fwiw my take on backpacking mac and cheese:

      if you're an ounce weenie take one of the boxes that has powered cheese in an envelope. you'll need to add powered milk and (hopefully) butter to prepare.

      if you want to maximize your mac and cheese experience, take one the boxes (velveeta is one brand) that has the cheese sause that is a soft-solid and comes in a foil pouch and squeeze it onto the noodles. much better. much heavier.

      then no matter what mac and cheese ya started with, ya add as much soppressata to it as ya got. if ya forgot to pack the soppressata then hitch into town and get any ole summer sausage.
      2,000 miler
    • odd man out wrote:

      that Bear Creek m&c had some terrible reviews. Not sure I ever tried M&C while hiking. I did make some cheese filled totellini. How do you get the pasta cooked without using too much fuel.
      Add a little water to the pasta about an hour before you stop for dinner. That will soften it up. Then boil water as usual and add enough to finish and put in coozie for 10 minutes. It's a learning curve, too much water or too long soaking and you get cheese mush.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
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      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • odd man out wrote:

      that Bear Creek m&c had some terrible reviews. Not sure I ever tried M&C while hiking. I did make some cheese filled totellini. How do you get the pasta cooked without using too much fuel.
      After reviewing the ingredients, the lack of whole milk solids appears to be the real issue. Hense my adding Nido and Butter buds or a string cheese stick.
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • So tonight I purchased several over the counter microwave Mac and Cheese just to taste... OMG I am such a heathen. My mom used to bake five cheese and other good examples. But read on.... I am pulling the heavy load here. My basic idea is that you can take the guts of the mac and cheese add something and it will taste better and provide calories and energy. Perhaps a two to three minute boil.
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • So the idea is a boil bag and add some Nido or string cheese to reduce salt and increase flavor. Kraft Mac requires an extra minute and a half to make the product edible. Some products like Natural Annie Mac is a shorter boil.... but you may want to do it longer. So I am making a few tests and may come up with something that kids can wrap their head around.... guess I will make a video.
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • I've always considered good food as a reward for the miles I do. Thus a bit more weight in fuel is never a concern. Cook time doesn't bug me either because I can be filtering water or setting up my tent at the same time, or just kick back & read. If I share weight with a partner, I'll make it from scratch. If I go boxed, I'll lean toward the heavy velvita with broccoli. If doing a box with powder,it needs help; tuna, salmon, bacon, FD veggie, pack of mustard, etc
    • Mountain-Mike wrote:

      I've always considered good food as a reward for the miles I do. Thus a bit more weight in fuel is never a concern. Cook time doesn't bug me either because I can be filtering water or setting up my tent at the same time, or just kick back & read. If I share weight with a partner, I'll make it from scratch. If I go boxed, I'll lean toward the heavy velvita with broccoli. If doing a box with powder,it needs help; tuna, salmon, bacon, FD veggie, pack of mustard, etc
      Yes I agree - I was showing Ashley how to divide a box of Annies Shells and White Cheddar and Both Walmart Supercenters were out of NIDO so I found Goat Milk on the shelf... a Tablespoon added to the powder worked well.
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • odd man out wrote:

      that Bear Creek m&c had some terrible reviews. Not sure I ever tried M&C while hiking. I did make some cheese filled totellini. How do you get the pasta cooked without using too much fuel.
      There are a lot of younger than me people out there, I do not give much credence to reviews as most of us were brought up on Kraft (Crack) Mac and Cheese products. I wasn't, my mom refused to buy it. My mom went to culinary school in France after the WW2 sometime around or about 1956. After she graduated she found a job in Manchester England holding classes educating women to cook with electricity. I grew up in the states after 1964 watching with her at the time Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr for English cooking and Chef Julia Child on a Black and white TV. My mother made it as close to scratch as possible with a baked crust on top...Yesterday was her birthday-80 years old.


      Anybody remember this?




      Ashley and I have made about 5 separate over the counter powdered Bear Creek Pasta and Cheese doesn't need any additions and the quantity is great for groups for the larger serving sizes, not as salty as Kraft and smoother and not gritty as survival rations where soybean has been added for extra protein.
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • A touch of history....
      The American president Thomas Jefferson and James Hemings, his chef and slave, encountered macaroni in Paris and brought the recipe back to Monticello. Jefferson drew a sketch of the pasta and wrote detailed notes on the extrusion process. In 1793, he commissioned American ambassador to Paris William Short to purchase a machine for making it. Evidently, the machine was not suitable, as Jefferson later imported both macaroni and Parmesan cheese for his use at Monticello.[12] In 1802, Jefferson served "a pie called macaroni" at a state dinner. The menu of the dinner was reported by Reverend Manasseh Cutler, who apparently was not fond of the cheesy macaroni dish.[13] Nevertheless, since that time, baked macaroni and cheese has remained popular in the United States.

      A recipe called "macaroni and cheese" appeared in the 1824 cookbook The Virginia Housewife written by Mary Randolph. Randolph's recipe had three ingredients: macaroni, cheese, and butter, layered together and baked in a hot oven.[14] The cookbook was the most influential cookbook of the 19th century, according to culinary historian Karen Hess.[15] Similar recipes for macaroni and cheese occur in the 1852 Hand-book of Useful Arts, and the 1861 Godey's Lady's Book.
      By the mid-1880s, cookbooks as far west as Kansas and Festus, Missouri, included recipes for macaroni and cheese casseroles. Factory production of the main ingredients made the dish affordable, and recipes made it accessible, but not notably popular. As it became accessible to a broader section of society, macaroni and cheese lost its upper class appeal
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Enjoy - a funny commercial


      It’s crazy to think how excited people were to go from homemade to ready-made (or nearly so). ‘Homemade’ became synonymous with country bumpkin.

      O’course, maybe...ultimately...things like this assisted women with becoming more independent/liberated.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Enjoy - a funny commercial


      It’s crazy to think how excited people were to go from homemade to ready-made (or nearly so). ‘Homemade’ became synonymous with country bumpkin.
      O’course, maybe...ultimately...things like this assisted women with becoming more independent/liberated.
      Hmm I am not sure if you agree with this, Education in the key, The Isle of Man ( an Island my dad visited many times) was the key to Women's suffrage in England. In 1881, the Isle of Man gave women who owned property the right to vote in elections. Kraft Mac and cheese simply kept mom's in the kitchen a lot less time... much like Ellio's pizza. I did eat a lot of "cheap dinners" as a kid. I think the microwave did more to get people out of the kitchen and wait to you see the downfall of the microwave. A new speed oven will alternate between microwave, convection and grill, so you have faster cooking times without the rubbery quality of a microwave. A baking cycle will be roughly 90% convection and 10% microwave. Roasting with more dense foods is 70% convection 30% microwave. Speed ovens have varying degrees of technology.

      Just a thought - FBC and FD has killed cooking & knowledge skills on the trail. Fire cooking to spend a night is dead... oh wll back to Mac and Cheese.
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • I remember the Swanson TV Dinners from back in the 1960's. They were the ultimate in convenience foods. Plus we didn't have to eat at the dining room table. That was a real breakthrough in convenience food.

      My wife inherited a couple of antique cookbooks from family members. One is from the early 1900's and the other from the late 1800's. Reading them is quite interesting. The one from the 1800's uses no commercial processed foods at all. By the early 1900's people were using canned goods in their recipes and you could see the progress of technology and convenience all the way back then.

      Two recipes stood out. One was for "American Toast" which was identical to what is now called "French Toast". I'm not sure when the name changed.
      The other was for Passenger Pigeon Stew. That one is going to be tough to replicate as the Passenger Pigeon is not extinct.
    • Wow, WOO is clearly into Mac & Cheese. The only kind I will eat is homemade from scratch. Something I highly recommend trying is making a cauliflower mac & cheese. Lightens up the meal a bit and lets me delude myself that I am eating healthy.

      For a good time my wife and I like to go to the annual New Hampshire Mac & Cheese Bakeoff. Happens in January every year in Concord, NH. Fun to taste and pick a favorite around the many different recipes. That is where I discovered desert mac & cheese made with apples.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • odd man out wrote:

      Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Accidentally found this in main stream supermarkets 2 tablespoons added to any side that calls for whole milk and it will substitute for NIDO. Apparently its low in fat and high in flavor.

      Is this a dehydrated product?
      Yes - it's powder and not salty - adds a cream non fat flavor to lots of powdered meals
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • Wise Old Owl wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Accidentally found this in main stream supermarkets 2 tablespoons added to any side that calls for whole milk and it will substitute for NIDO. Apparently its low in fat and high in flavor.

      Is this a dehydrated product?
      Yes - it's powder and not salty - adds a cream non fat flavor to lots of powdered meals
      Not salty? That takes some of the fun out of it. :D
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I found myself home alone at lunch time the other day and decided to make some mac a cheese. I think it was a box of Annies. I added some hot dogs and was really disappointed. I usually like hot dogs, but this combo just didn't work. That night we had tacos for dinner. For lunch the next day I added the leftover taco meat to the leftover mac and cheese (hotdogs gone), and it was awesome. My basic taco meat filling is saute minced onions, hot pepper, and garlic in a little olive oil, brown the ground beef, add some paprika, cumin, salt, pepper. I'm thinking you dehydrate this to use as a mac and cheese supplement on the trail. I've not done it but have heard that cooked ground beef dehydrates well for hiking.
    • So today I did another experiment. Substituting the milk with the whole goat powder, think three tablespoons, a touch of cayenne pepper or seasoned salt and wait for it.... 4 packs of Helmans Mayo... it worked the mayo is the oil, its added after taking the pasta off the heat to maximize the thickener. Folks this is 600+ calories for a meal! Simmer for 15 minutes 10 is too short. $4 a meal at Wally World
      Only you can control your narcissism.
    • New

      I carry some good macaroni, King Flour brand powdered cheddar cheese, Nido and olive oil. I boil the macaroni till it's softened, but still not al dente. I pour off most of the water, add olive oil, sprinkle cheese in while stirring, add Nido the same way, add some parsley, salt and pepper, and put the pot in it's cozy for five minutes. Stir and I've got a nice smooth Mac 'n' cheese. If I have some good jerky, I might add it in early in the process.
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      L.Dog
      AT 2000 Mile LASHer '12-'15
    • New

      LDog wrote:

      I carry some good macaroni, King Flour brand powdered cheddar cheese, Nido and olive oil. I boil the macaroni till it's softened, but still not al dente. I pour off most of the water, add olive oil, sprinkle cheese in while stirring, add Nido the same way, add some parsley, salt and pepper, and put the pot in it's cozy for five minutes. Stir and I've got a nice smooth Mac 'n' cheese. If I have some good jerky, I might add it in early in the process.
      Thanks for the post!
      Only you can control your narcissism.