June 27, 2013

MRE Week day 4: chili and macaroni

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In some respects, day 4 was doomed from the start.  I had a HUGE salad at lunch, and couldn't even finish the damn thing.  What's worse was that I had loaded it up with broccoli, cauliflower, corn and mushrooms... and some of those things are hard to digest!  I also had a very late cup of latte about an hour and a half before dinner, so I wasn't feeling the least bit hungry when I started to open the package for tonight...

The package today contained the following items:

Main dish: Chili and macaroni

Side dish: Fried rice

Snack #1: Vegetable crackers

Snack #2: Cran-apple Ranger bar

Apple jelly

Beverage powder for orange-flavored drink

Man... the snacks are getting real repetitive... and isn't there anything else to drink other than that orange flavored stuff?!

I'm heating two big pouches tonight, which means that it took a while for the heater to do its job.  I also realized that with two pouches, I shouldn't leave the package at an incline.  I need the heater to work overtime and it's best to leave it flat, so that more water comes into contact with the flame-less heater.  Anyway, I finally got the pouches to be somewhat warm after about 20 minutes...

I think I made another mistake tonight in terms of serving...  MREs are meant to be eaten in the field, straight from the pouches since they don't have plates.  So the pouches are meant to be consumed individually, not necessary together as a "main" and a "side".  Not having thought of that, I decided to break open the fried rice and lay it on the plate first...  What came out was more like a rice "cake"... as the sauce had solidified and the damn thing hasn't been heated well-enough...

Next I opened up the chili and macaroni, and put it kinda half on top of the rice and half on the side.  For some reason this reminded me of my first year in college in the States, when I first came into contact with American Chinese food.  I was flabbergasted at my first encounter with "chicken chow mein"... where you have these short strands of noodles in chicken gravy being served over plain rice.  WTF?!  In Asia we either have noodles or we have rice... we don't have both of them together at the same time!

So... verdict?  Well, I first tasted the "fried rice" on its own.  Kinda bland, to be honest.  Yes, I could taste some mushroom and soy sauce flavor, along with a hint of carrot, perhaps.  But the texture was all wrong, as the pouch wasn't heated evenly.  One the end where the heating worked a little better, the rice was actually a little softer and the sauce had liquefied somewhat.  On the other end, unfortunately the rice grains were still hard...

The chili and macaroni, however, tasted just fine.  It was pretty much what I expected, like it came out of a can from Chef Boyardee... Sure, the macaroni was a little mushy, but all in all it wasn't bad!

I stuck with a rosé tonight for the wine pairing, as chili was bound to be a little spicy. 2011 Le Poussin Rose was 100% Grenache, although the back labels also said: "a new world style of blended varietals"...  Oaky, pipi de chat, some red fruits in the nose.  Dry on the attack but ripe mid-palate, with a slightly bitter finish.  However, at 12.5% it's a little stronger than the White Zinfandel from last night, and also vinified dry instead of being sweeter on the palate.  That meant my tongue burned just a little bit more...  I thought I could do a lot worse than picking a rosé from Sacha Lichine, the man behind what some people are claiming to be the best rosé in the world... At HKD 69 a bottle, I guess it's not bad...

Vegetable crackers with apple jelly - finally there was a different cracker!  These were actually tastier than the "regular" crackers, since I could definitely taste the "granulated" carrots, tomato and celery...  As I didn't want to eat the apple jelly on its own, I ended up putting it on top of these savory crackers, which was slightly odd...

Orange carbohydrate electrolyte beverage - same as before.

Cran-apple Ranger Bar - same as before.

This was definitely the most filling of all the meals so far, notwithstanding the fact that I was never hungry to begin with.  Final tally of the night?  A whopping 1,030 calories, with 235 calories coming from fat.  A total of 171 grams of carbohydrates, with 54 grams being sugar.



sowpath said...


Roman lesnar said...

Much thanks to you so much Love your web journal.. XMRE


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