Last month, we looked at the easiest way to plan daily meals for a multi-day paddling expedition because early fall is considered to be the ideal time of the year to experience the unique feeling of freedom such trips provide. This month, we go from theory to practice with a typical week-long planner, to help you visualize how a trip should be organized from a gourmet point of view. Enjoy!
I've said it often and I'll repeat it again: the more strenuous a paddling trip is the more important it is to eat well, not only to sustain yourself and meet your daily caloric needs but mostly to keep your spirits high and to enjoy good times with your traveling companions. Nothing beats the pleasure of sharing a bowl of steaming soup or the convenience of a meal-in-a-pot vegetable couscous after 8 hours in the swell… I can assure you that good meals will always bring back pleasurable memories. You'll certainly always remember the strong head wind that slowed you down en route from Cape Cod to Martha's Vineyard and almost made you capsize. But when referring to that adventure, you will probably also add in the next sentence: "but I'll never forget the taste of that blueberry cobbler topped with cream that we had that first night of the trip; it made me forget how rough the crossing was!"
Good food will always make you enjoy any trip and cherish the souvenirs that go with it. That's why I believe that it is worth the extra effort of careful planning. Here is an example of a week-long food planner that I used last September for a totally autonomous expedition (no food suppliers available for 6 days). It is designed with the rules I shared with you last month about food safety, the life expectancy of fresh food and not carrying too much bulk. I also always note the portions' size to make sure I buy and carry enough foods for everybody in the group.
A few things to remember:
Weekly Planner Day 1 (leaving for paddling trip at 8:00 am)
Breakfast: at restaurant near launching site Half grapefruit 2 poached eggs with bacon 2 whole wheat toasts with jam, orange juice Snack 1: (at 10:30 in the boat): dates Lunch: (1:00 pm on the beach; note: can be made ahead of time) Smoked turkey and Swiss cheese submarines With lettuce, fresh tomatoes, mustard vegetable juice Plums Snack 2: (4:00 pm in the boat) Oatmeal cookies and cool green tea Dinner: (6:30 pm at campsite; note: fire pit available for cooking) Marinated lamb chops Grilled zucchini, bell peppers and onions Whole wheat pita breads Plain yogurt and fresh blueberries sprinkled with maple sugar
Day 2 (leaving for paddling trip at 8:30 am)
Breakfast: Coffee Omelet with grilled vegetables Whole wheat English muffin with butter Fresh grapes Snack 1 (11:00 am in the boat) dry mangoes with almonds Lunch: (2:00 pm at campsite) Greek salad with whole wheat pita bread Apple juice chocolate covered raisins Snack 2: (4:30 pm on site) berry picking in surrounding bushes Dinner: (7:00 pm at campsite; note: no fire pit available for cooking) Cup of soup made with dry vegetables and cubes of vegetable broth Beef burgers on English muffins Cabbage and carrot apple salad (shredded cabbage from a bag) Mini brownies (from supermarket)
Day 3 (leaving for paddling trip at 7:00 am with outgoing tide)
Breakfast: (6:00 am at campsite) Coffee and granola bar Snack 1: (8:30 am on the beach) Dates filled with blue cheese Graham crackers Orange juice Snack 2: (11:00 am in the boat -rough sea-) Dry mangoes with half a granola bar Snack 3: (1:30 pm in the boat - no landing site in sight -) Dry salami stick, tomato juice, multigrain crackers Slunch (supper and lunch): (4:30 at campsite; note: no fire pit available for cooking) Smoked oysters on multigrain crackers with cream cheese Raw vegetables (red bell peppers, cucumber, celery) Ceasar salad with sourdough croutons and bacon crumbles slices of apples sprinkled with maple sugar
Day 4 (leaving for paddling trip at 10:00 am, waiting for the winds to calm down)
Breakfast: (9:00 at campsite) Coffee Creamy oatmeal cooked in soy milk With nuts and dry fruits Snack 1: (12:00 in boat) bagel spread with peanut butter Celery sticks, tomato juice Snack 2: (2:30 in boat) Dry sausage, dry mangoes, graham crackers Dinner: (6:00 at campsite; note: fire pit available for cooking) Whole wheat vegetarian couscous With root vegetables and canned chick peas Apple sauce sprinkled with ginger snap cookies
Day 5 (staying at the same campsite and paddling around)
Breakfast: (9:00 am at campsite) Bagel with peanut butter and jelly Orange and coffee Snack 1: (11:00 am in boat) Dates Lunch: (1:30 pm at campsite) Miso soup with rice vermicelli, grated carrots, onions and cubed tofu Ginger cookies and green tea Snack 2: (4:00 pm in boat) Apple, string cheese and almonds Dinner: (7:00 pm at campsite) Vegetable rice pilaf (with celery, onions, parsnips and dry vegetables) Freshly caught fish fillets on the grill Canned chocolate pudding with banana chips
Breakfast: (8:30 am, leaving camp at 9:00 with outgoing tide) Granola bar, orange and coffee Snack 1: (10:30 am on the beach) Vacuum packed smoked salmon on rye crackers Lunch: (2 pm on the beach) Mexican bulghur (cracked wheat) and corn salad ginger snaps Snack 2: (4:30 in boat) Apple with almonds Dinner: (7:30 at campsite) Fresh carrot and celery sticks Angel hair pasta with baby clams and dry tomatoes Grated parmesan cheese Fruit compote with fig cookies
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