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#131708 - 04/07/10 12:48 PM Easy Mac?
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
I picked up a couple of the Easy Mac macaroni and cheese meals the other day to try for my daughter (I can't have milk products). The directions say to fill with water and microwave but I tried filling with boiling water to the line, covering, insulating, and waiting about twice as long (10-12 minutes)as the directions said. Even after adding the cheese packet the whole thing was more like soup than mac and cheese and the pasta at the bottom was mushy (yes I did stir). Anyone have any insight or should I just give up on these convient meals for backpacking with kids?
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#131710 - 04/07/10 01:17 PM Re: Easy Mac? [Re: thecook]
Redfacery Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 82
Loc: NY
I tend to switch off between easy mac and idaho dried potatoes for my side dish on trail meals, and I have never found a way to make it quite as good/consistent as in the microwave. However, I find that less water than the directions is better, and I tend to also supplement the cheese package included with an ounce or two of hard cheese, typically parmesan.

I think just cause of the fact that it's easy mac and not regular pasta, it'll be kinda mushy in any case. Of course, there is always the honey mustard route if your kids like it. Honey mustard can be added to goup up easy mac and add flavor that isn't quite as "industrial bland cheese".

Hope that helps.

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#131711 - 04/07/10 01:34 PM Re: Easy Mac? [Re: Redfacery]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks. That's about what I thought frown I cook on the trail because I want my/our food to taste good smile Mushy won't do it for my family. We eat too well at home. The mustard idea, however, is a good one, and one I will try to incorporate.
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#131719 - 04/07/10 05:24 PM Re: Easy Mac? [Re: thecook]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If your pasta was mushy, you may have rehydrated it too long. Do some experimenting with small amounts of the pasta at home to see how long it takes and how much water you need.
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#131725 - 04/07/10 06:44 PM Re: Easy Mac? [Re: OregonMouse]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
OM, I didn't realize that too long was a problem. Tell me more about rehydration times and what happens to food that sits too long.
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#131733 - 04/07/10 10:11 PM Re: Easy Mac? [Re: thecook]
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
I've eaten this on the trail from time to time, and it's never really the right texture, but if it doesn't taste good, I didn't hike hard enough that day!

Less water would help you, since if it's not in the microwave, you're not going to lose much if any to evaporation or boil-over.

I've moved away from EZmac though, as it doesn't have to great a calorie to weight ratio...
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#131742 - 04/07/10 11:56 PM Re: Easy Mac? [Re: taM]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I use the "Annies Naturals" Mac and Cheese. Lots less weird additives. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#131852 - 04/09/10 09:43 PM Re: Easy Mac? [Re: thecook]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
the only way to get pasta to rehydrate to the proper texture is to cook regular pasta/macaroni, dehydrate it, and then it becomes just-add-water perfect. Stir in water and cheese powder, let sit until the pasta is done.
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#132144 - 04/15/10 10:16 PM Re: Easy Mac? [Re: lori]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
I've never had much luck rehydrating my own home dehydrated pasta. That and the fact that I am a good enough cook to be picky about the quality of the food I eat keeps me (mostly grin) actually cooking on the trail. The hard part is satisfying my kids while not carrying the kitchen sink (and the refrigerator, and cutting board, and ...)
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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