Backcountry Gourmet

Onion Pork 'n' Pasta: the other fright meat.

(3.5 Stars)

Pack-In Weight Scale

One star = No weight (Jolly Rancher and Slim Jim)

Two stars = Not too heavy (dehydrated meal with sauce)

Three stars = Kinda heavy (dehydrated combo with canned surprise)

Four stars = Freakin' heavy (jumbo-can of ravioli and beer)

Five stars = Guaranteed hernia (roasted turkey, potatoes, wine, and dessert)

A well-rounded meal such as this (meat, pasta, veggie) is reserved for backcountry-hut fare. Huts provide a solid prep surface and wood stove, thus relieving you of the weight of stove/fuel in your pack. This glorious meal not only fills the hole in your gut, it seals it; any excess gastric discomforts are quickly and efficiently jettisoned in gas form.

Warning: Extinguish all open flames before consuming this meal, and/or crack the door. If in a tent, use extreme caution.

Ingredients: One or two large precooked ham steaks, two boxes mac and cheese, one baggie powdered milk, one cube butter, two large white onions, any spices you can find on hut shelves. Optional: One extra packet cheese sauce.

Serves: Four

To Prepare:

1) Boil water and add noodles with a pat of butter. Boil 'til noodles are soft.

2) Don goggles and cut onions into rings (presentation is everything).

3) Mix powdered milk with some water (for creamy sauce).

4) Burn fingers while testing noodles.

5) Sauté onions in melted butter directly on wood-burning stove top or in pan.

6) Cut ham steaks into portions and slap 'em on the stove. Season with whatever.

7) Strain noodles, dropping half on floor. Pick up 'em up, put back in pot. Add horrible excuse for milk to noodles along with whatever butter is left from the onions. Stir quickly with one hand while an assistant pours in cheese sauce to taste. Continue turning ham portions with your other unwashed hand. Lick fingers.

8) Brown all sides of precooked ham (presentation is everything).

9) Measure out equal portions of noodles (“I'm not too hungry” cop-outs will not be tolerated).

10) Arrange ham chunks in orderly fashion atop bed of savory pasta and garnish with onions (eat your veggies).

11) Serve with melted-snow margaritas or Crystal Light hooch … mmm, mmm.

Next Month: The Backcountry Alcoholic