Survival Saturday – Chicken Noodle Soup

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

After January’s Epic Failure when we attempted Mac-n-Cheese, I decided to try something that required no nuanced cooking with fancy terms like “medium boil”. I’m just a farmboy down from the mountains and I want some victuals that’ll stick to my ribs and that requires zero skill. Us farmboys aren’t known for being 2star Chefs and all you know!  So we chose Chicken Noodle soup from eFoods Gold, something soothing for our souls after a long afternoon of sitting on the couch reading.

 

CHICKENSOUP
Ahhh, the irony. Vegetarian “Chikken” Noodle Soup

 

 

Ingredients & Allergens:

 

allergens
Mmm, mmm good. Just like Mama used to make

 

 

Nutritional Info:

 

nutri
Salt, Salt, Baby Salt♪

 

 

Things Needed:

4 1/2 cups of water – we used 3 1/2 cups as we didn’t want watery soup

1 Package Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Directions:

Boil water, stir in contents until thoroughly mixed, simmer (using an electric stove we left it 2 clicks above low heat) for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Impressions:

 

chickenpot
Pots are legal here in New Hampshire

 

This was definitely the right consistency for what we wanted in a soup. Relatively thick but not so thick you could use a fork in it.

 

 

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Saltines, because you can never have enough salt!

I added some saltines to my bowl, as I’m always about adding some bready/salty/thickener to my soups.

 

This had a potato and pea base, so when we were simmering it it smelled like pea soup. The consistency of the soup part (as opposed to the noodles), with us having reduced the water amount, was about like pea soup as well. Mrs Bookstooge really liked the noodles, as they were small little strips and had cooked well.

Both of us noticed an astringent taste when swallowing this. It wasn’t noticeable when chewing (or whatever you do to soup in your mouth before sending it down the ol’ esophagus) but once you swallowed it, the back of the throat immediately had that bit of bitterness.  It wasn’t strong enough to make us stop eating but we wondered if increasing the water content back to the 4 1/2 cups would dilute it a bit?  Either way, it didn’t make us want to devour the stuff. Yep, definitely “survival food”.

Once again, this was right on par for what we expected for something touted as Survival Food. I have to admit, I was thinking it would something more like a Campbell’s chicken noodle soup concentrate, but with the vegetable base for the soup, that was not the case.

 

Lessons Learned:

When we try this again, we’ll definitely use the full amount of water to see if it helps with the astringent feeling we both got.

The pea-soup’y base makes adding other food items a bit ticklish for someone as limited as me. I’d have to think pretty hard before trying to garnish this with some italian bread or something. Maybe we’ll try ladling it on some hot buttery garlic bread next time?

 

 

bookstooge

 

–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–

Survival Saturday – Mac n Cheese Attempt #1

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

Tonight’s dish is an old reliable standby, that staple of our childhood, the perennial favorite, macaroni and cheese by Legacy Premium. It doesn’t get much more “staple” than that.

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Ingredients & Allergens:

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Nutritional Info:

IMG_20180106_204201262

 

 

Things Needed:

6 Cups of water

1 package of Mac n Cheese

 

Directions:

Boil 6 cups of water. Whisk in entire package. Reduce heat to a MEDIUM BOIL. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 3-5minutes.

I once again used a bamboo spoon instead of a whisk.

 

Impressions:

So, this was our first real flop and sadly, it was all our own fault, I can’t blame the food in any way. I didn’t reduce the heat to a medium boil, I reduced it to medium heat. That didn’t fully cook the pasta and when we each took a bowlful, we ended up with half cooked pasta, some of which was truly crunchy and I mean full on granola crunchy! We poured our bowls of uneaten food back into the pot and I’ll be tossing the potful into the garbage later tonight.

Second, this really should have been whisked together. A bamboo spoon just didn’t do it. The cheese powder fell into the pot all at once and a spoon wasn’t enough to truly mix it up. So besides crunchy pasta we also had clumps of extra cheesy powder.  Gross.

Mrs Bookstooge thought the sauce was a little thin for her taste, as she wanted a more full bodied bowl of food. I was ok with it, as I was thinking of it as almost Mac-n-Cheese soup.

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Neither of us finished our bowl, well, because of crunchy pasta! But the bowl pictured has 1 1/2cups worth and from the little I did eat, that would have fully filled me up. So the serving suggestion and total servings once again were spot on. This would serve 4 very hungry people easily. Unless one of them is a teenager. Then just pour the entire package down their throats with some hot water!

We’re going to try this again next month, as “mac-n-cheese”  was the one that had the highest number of packages in the bulk box I bought years ago.  However, we’ll be making some changes.

 

Lessons Learned:

READ the directions more carefully! Seriously, I laughed afterwards when I realized what I’d done. But if we were in a real Survival Situation, we’d have had to eat that crunchy pasta and life would be even worse 😦

Use a whisk. I really need to find some sort of plastic or bamboo utensil that I can whisk within my Pampered Chef pots without worrying about scratching them up. If any of you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

I’m also thinking of cubing up some block cheddar and adding that to our individual bowls. Some nice extra sharp yellow cheddar wouldn’t go amiss at all.

 

bookstooge

 

–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–

 

Survival Sunday – The Breakfast Edition

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

This past week was tough. I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with bronchitis and told to stay home. So I’ve been home since Wednesday. Mainly reading and lying on the couch. Even going to church yesterday completely tired me out, hence the lack of a Survival Saturday post. Today I’m feeling a bit more energetic so I’m doing a Food post.

Today’s entry will be Efoods Direct Granola and Whey Milk:

 

food0
Just Like Mama used to make!

 

granola0
Granola

 

whey2
Whey Milk

 

 

Things Needed:

8 cups water

1 Package whey milk

1 Package granola

2 1/4gallon pitchers or 1 1/2gallon pitcher [I went for the 2 smaller ones, as that was what I had on hand]

 

Ingredients:

Whey Milk

Why solids, maltrodextrin, coconut oil, calcium blend (calcium carbonate and tricalcium phosphate), fructose, sodium caseinate, food starch, mono and dyclycerides, salt, dipotassium phosphate, soy lecithin, silicon dioxide, natural flavors

Granola

Rolled oats, rolled wheat, brown sugar, canola oil, coconut, whey, oat flour, almonds, honey, vitamin E*

*mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness

 

Directions:

In pitcher or blender, combine contents of whey milk and 2 cups hot water until well blended. Add 6 cups cold water and mix well.

milk
From the Mixed Up Files of Mr Book B Stooge

 

Impressions:

I used 2 containers and mixed the whey milk up by shaking it.

container
4.5 cups apiece

It seemed pretty well mixed. It smelled like MetRX because of the whey. I drank that stuff a lot in Bibleschool because I was trying to gain muscle mass and so I am used to the smell. It actually has good memories of working out with friends and having girls laugh at us for drinking such stuff. If this is your first time, the smell might be off putting.

I normally use skim milk and this seemed a lot thicker than skim. I put it into the fridge immediately after mixing and let it sit for an hour before pouring on my granola.

The package for the granola calls a serving 55grams.  Since that is completely meaningless, I poured the whole package into a 4cup container and it filled it up. Each serving is about 1/2cup.

I used 1 cup granola and 1 cup whey milk in a large cereal bowl. That comes to about 88carbs. That’s important if you’re a diabetic. It’s also a LOT of carbs to be eating at once.  The milk wasn’t nearly so thick once refrigerated and poured out like regular milk.

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The granola was crunchy and sweet. The whey milk wasn’t overpoweringly “whey”, but I suspect that was more due to the sweetness of the granola.  Granola is a slow eating cereal. You really need to chew it so your stomach can digest it. I also wouldn’t want to eat it for breakfast every day. That much fiber and oats can do a job on your digestive tract if you’re not used to it.

 

Later Impressions:

I plan on using the whey milk this week in regular cereal and for other purposes, ie, maybe some hamburger helper. That’ll be the real test of just how well it compares to regular milk.

 

 

bookstooge

 

 

 

Survival Saturday – Pasta Alfredo

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

This Survival Saturday’s Selection, for the discriminating gourmand amongst my readers, is Pasta Alfredo by Legacy Premium.  It might be tough to tell from my pix, but this stuff is REALLY vacuumed sealed. It has a little thingamajigger inside to boot! Just so you know it’s legit vacuum. Once again, all pictures should be clickable for ease of viewing.

 

Things Needed:

6 Cups Water

2 tablespoons butter

1 Package Pasta Alfredo

 

Ingredients:

Pasta (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate (iron), thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid), Coconut Oil, Maltodextrin, Corn Starch, Cheddar Cheese (pasteurized milk, salt, cheese cultures, enzymes), Whey, Sea Salt, Garlic, Onion, Sodium Caseinate, Maltodextrin, Butter (cream, water, salt), Parsley, Non Fat Milk, Yeast Extract, Butter Milk, Spice, Dried Cane Syrup, Silicon Dioxide, Natural Parmesan Cheese Flavor, Mono & Diglycerides, High Oleic Acid Sunflower Oil, Disodium Phosphate, Carrot, Natural Flavor, Tocopherols, Ascorbyl Palmitate.

 

Allergens/Additional Info:

ALLERGENS
Wheat, Milk. This product is produced on equipment that also processes products containing Egg, Soy, Milk, Tree Nuts and Peanut.
ADDITIONAL INFO
  • Pouch Makes 6 Prepared Cups
  • Net Weights 4 serv. = 13.6 ounces
  • 386 grams
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegetarian
  • Uses Sea Salt
  • No Trans Fats
  • Low Cholesterol

 

Directions:

4 servings/1 Pouch – Bring 6 cups water to boil. Slowly whisk in entire package. Reduce heat to a medium boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter. Let sit 3-5 minutes prior to serving.

Once again, I used a bamboo spoon instead of a whisk and it seemed to be ok.

 

Impressions:

This package of Pasta Alfredo had a LOT more in it than the Tortilla Soup. It’s a big selling point on the Legacy page about how much you get. It also made a difference that this was a pasta based dish and not just a thick soup.

It had a pull tab to open it, so I didn’t need scissors like I did with the Tortilla soup package.  Little things like that might not make a huge difference, but if things are so bad that you’re eating this stuff involuntarily, then something little like that just might make your day that much easier.

Once we brought the water to boiling and stirred in the package, we stirred it every 5 minutes and left the cover off. The package said to simmer for 15 minutes and the online directions [which I included] said for a medium boil. We simmered for 15 minutes and then upped the temp and boiled for another 5. It was pretty soupy at the 15min mark. With the additional time and temp it was a bit thicker. Next time I’d definitely do the boil for the whole time.

There was a lot. Definitely more than the 2 of us could eat in one meal. The 4 servings was for real this time.

 

Mrs B enjoyed her bowl’s worth. I think it helped that today was only in the high 30’s and a nice hot bowl of noodles is exactly what she calls for. She said it was better than some of the frozen dinner varieties of alfredo she’s had in the past. She really enjoyed it and claimed the leftovers. Did I mention how big the portions were?

Me, on the other hand …. I found it rather bland. There was a hint of “alfredo” but reminded me more of a campbells cream of mushroom soup with noodles. I was satisfied after one bowl and had no desire to eat more. She got no fight from me about the leftovers. I think some salt and pepper sprinkled on a bowlful might have helped.  This was exactly what I expected from “Survival Food”; serviceable and something to wolf down to fill your daily caloric need.

Once again, we both took a flintstones multi, as it appears that ALL survival food is more caloric than anything.

With this being non-spicy and cheesey noodley,  neither of us foresee any problems or need for a Later Impressions. If something really bad comes about, I’ll make a comment 🙂

 

bookstooge

 

–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–

 

Survival Saturday – Tortilla Soup

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

This month’s selection is Tortilla Soup by Efoods Gold, also known as Efoodsdirect.com. This is dehydrated, vacuum sealed so it should last about 20 years in the packet before becoming dust. Yum!

All pictures should be clickable for higher resolution images.

 

 

Things Needed:

4 cups water [calls for 4 1/2, but that seemed a bit much]

2 tablespoons butter – optional and we used it -recommended

1 Package Tortilla Soup

 

Ingredients:

Black bean, red bean, potato, textured soy flour, cheddar cheese [long string of ingredients for that], whey, buttermilk, onion, carrot, green chili, garlic, yellow sweet corn, sea salt, red bell pepper, oat fiber, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavors, corn starch, sun flower oil, hydrolyzed corn protein, thiamine hydrochloride, dextrose, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, disodium phosphate, spices.

 

Directions:

Boil water

Stir in packet. Says to whisk, but since I use Pampered Chef pots, no metal is touching the insides of my pots! I stirred it up with a bamboo spoon. Seemed to do just fine. Stir thoroughly, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

I stirred it once at the 10minute mark then let it cool for 5minutes afterwards before pouring it out into 3 bowls. One is for Mrs B so she can add sour cream, chips, etc, one is a plain bowl for me so I can taste just the soup and the 3rd bowl is another for me with all the fixings.

 

Impressions:

With 4cups of water, it is a little thick, reminds me of the Campbells Chunky Soup brand. Mrs B says she’s glad she put sourcream in hers, as it was a bit spicy for her taste.  I was ok with it but certainly wouldn’t want it any spicier. That being said, both of us have a pretty low tolerance for that kind of thing, so it might be bland for some of you gourmands of chili peppers and the such*coughmanuelcough*

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The vegetables and soy protein are little tiny chunks and add texture more than any flavor.

spoon

 

Overall flavor is what I’d call American Mex, ie, what you’d get from an El Paso brand taco seasoning mix. When I had the bowl with chips and cheese, it was definitely more mild and felt more like a meal than just a bowl of soup.

cheese

 

 

Mrs B says she’d like to make it with less water next time, probably 3cups, and use it as a gravy/base for tortillas or something.  Thinking on it, I’d be tempted to add the packet to a crockpot of chili just to add a little bit of a different flavoring to my usual chili.

I was actually impressed with how good it tasted. I was expecting something bland, lumpy and watery, but this tasted like a good bowl of stew. While I wouldn’t want to have to eat this every day, once or twice a month on a Saturday night seems like a good thing and if things were bad and I was starving, I bet this would taste like heaven. Of course, like I mentioned in the Intro Post, take a multivitamin with this stuff. It is NOT nutrient heavy.

flintstones

 

I’m sitting down now and letting things settle. Reading the final Gundam: Origins book. Been a while since I read one of those.

 

Later Impressions:

Ok, nothing. Which is good. Never can tell how things might affect the tummy and the gurgly insides.

Thank you all for being subjected to this experiment. While I’m not Emeril or Cedric the Entertainer, I do hope you enjoy these food posts. If you have questions, comments, suggestions, please, leave a comment!

 

bookstooge

 

–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–

 

Mr Mercedes Buddy Read – 75%

mrmercedesWell, I went into this knowing how it had affected me so far. A couple of things were different from other times, so bear with me.

First, Mrs Bookstooge and I went to a small chinese sda church outside of Boston today where we witnessed the baptism of 14 people. 2 of them were little girls of some people we knew from our home church. The age range was from single digits up to the 70’s. Nothing is more encouraging than seeing someone take that intelligent choice to follow Jesus. It reminds you that there is Hope, that “you” are not alone and that “you” are not the last bastion of hope for all of Christendom. Sometimes we Christians forget that God is actually in charge. So that was one big factor.

Secondly, I deliberately turned off my “feelings” when going into this. I didn’t allow myself to picture these fictional characters as real people, I disconnected myself from the story.

Those together allowed me to power through another 25% in one sitting.

So spoilers ahead!

I KNEW somebody had to die, I just wasn’t sure who. Jerome or Janey? Well, King answered that question quite decisively. After I started this book I realized from talking with Tyson Adams about Book 2, that this was a trilogy and most love interests don’t last for a whole trilogy, especially not in horror books. So I should have seen this coming from a mile away, but I just didn’t want to think to hard about it.

Brady’s plan for the concert seems to have kicked into high gear and he’s not concentrating on Hodges anymore. I know nothing about plastic explosives so I still wonder how much damage a wheelchair full of the stuff could cause. I’m not interested enough to search it out on the internet either. I know the NSA is spying on me, right? And considering that I haven’t even had a chance to do a Survival Saturday post yet, I’m just too young to be locked away in a black room and have my brains picked.

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A sneak peak at next week’s choice. Yummy!?!? Right…..

 

I get that things are now personal for Hodges and he wants to do this on his own, and I’m really glad he’s picked a time to give up and hand it in to the police. But now that Janey is no longer a driving factor, why is he staying involved? Hodges has already thought that he’s not going to kill Mr Mercedes, just apprehend him and beat him up. What is the point? If you are going to take the Law into your own hands, do it fully. That means, Judge, Jury AND Executioner. Or let the proper law enforcement officers do their job. Half measure piss me off.

I ended my reading with Hodges and Co [Jerome and Janey’s cousin who is a basketcase] realizing that Bradley was also the icecream man. Not sure how that helps them any beyond showing how he kept tabs on people and stuff.  I guess that is why I’m reading books and not writing them.

bookstooge

 

Bookstooge’s Mr Mercedes Posts

BookCupidity’s Mr Mercedes Posts

Survival Saturday – The Intro Post

In my September Roundup, I talked about starting a “Survival Saturday” series of posts where I make a survival meal each month and let you all know how it turned out and any do’s or don’t’s that I learn along the way. I figured I’d do this Intro Post where I write out all the Why’s and Wherefore’s so I don’t have to add that to each Survival Saturday post.

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First off, Mrs Bookstooge and I are NOT DOOMSDAY PREPPERS. We both have conditions that need daily or monthly medication that only a fully functioning First World Country can provide. We are healthy but we got the short end of the genepool stick. So if the world goes to pot tomorrow, we’ll probably both be dead in 60-90’s day. However, as good responsible citizens of the United States, it is our right and duty to Vote AND to take care of ourselves. Taking care of one’s self includes being prepared for a 30 day emergency.

The current climate of hurricanes hitting super hard doesn’t directly affect us here in the North East, but it does affect us and things can just happen. So I’ve wanted to be prepared, just in case. That is the WHY of why I have 2 pantries worth of Survival Food.

ssThat is approximately 60 days worth of survival food for 2 people

 

I’ve got 2 different company’s food and will take a picture of each package, front and back, which will give you all the details that I have. I’ll be including calorie count, etc. Each packet is supposed to be 4 servings, but that is one thing I’ll be looking at when we eat these. Are those serving realistic or not? Also, all foods are vegetarian, so even when something has”chicken” or “beef” in its title, it is not actually meat.

I am not being paid, in any shape, way or form to do this. I bought all of this with my own money and so will be pretty hard on the stuff. I’ll also be providing links to the companies as appropriate.

That being said, this stuff IS survival food, not gourmet 3 course dinners. I already know that while it provides calories, almost none of these foods will provide you the vitamins and minerals we all take for granted in our foods nowadays. To survive 2 months on these rations, you’ll need to take a multivitamin with every meal. So start hoarding those Flintstone’s vitamins!

I think that sums up everything for an intro post. If you have other questions or I forgot something glaringly obvious, please leave a comment.

bookstooge