Monday, January 23, 2012

Post-Apocalyptic Dining: Creative Use of Rations for Improving Morale and Vitality, Celebration Combination Designation #23.

Foreword: Now, some of you might be wondering to yourself what on earth this post is about. Since when did Cast Iron Therapy become a post apocalyptic survival themed blog? For those of you who are thinking to yourself, thank goodness, it’s about time he cracked and started writing something really interesting, I’ve got bad news for you, this is probably just a one shot deal (unless response is strangely huge and outspoken in favor of spots like this).

The good news is that this post is dedicated to Filamena Young and David Hill’s latest project, desktop roleplaying game Flatpack: Fix the Future with a unique “Optimistic Apocalyptic” theme. The beta looks great and I can’t wait to see the final product.

David and Filamena are currently raising funds on Kickstarter right now, and I’m recommending you go check it out. I’ve contributed, not only because it looks like a worthy and awesome game, but also because you get some AWESOME SWAG too. I know they’ve raised what they needed, but if we can get to the next milestone we’ll get even more stuff!

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, prepare yourself (perhaps with alcohol) for my first foray into an “in character” post. With luck it won’t make you want to bash your head in. Now, please forget all this and enjoy the post.

Special credit to Jeremy Kostiew of Mighty Nightgaunt for his splendid illustration.


On Xenta Gotida’s night table a small bound sheaf of papers greeted her eyes in the dim light. Flicking on her headlamp, she sighed as she picked it up and read the note tacked beside it. Her father, already off on his journey. Smirking ruefully at his expected disappearance before her journey, she glanced quickly at the cover, titled “A Senior Pot Slinger’s Notes to a Wayward Daughter.”


With a carefulness that betrayed her fondness for her father, she opened the makeshift booklet and began to read the first few pages…

Young WRENCH, and dearest daughter, it seems like me, you’ve been elected as the expedition pot slinger, provision master and cook. I’m sorry to only leave you this notebook rather than wishing you well on your journey, but as you know I am journeying downwards with elder to investigate what has been bothering him. I can speak no more of this, as you well know.

As I’ve told you many times before, the role of a pot slinger is a noble profession essential to any outing and with great responsibility.

These are but some of the tasks in your charge as pot slinger:

  • Health and Body of your expedition party
  • Morale
  • Food Safety
  • Cleaning (it’s not all polish and glory after all)

Still with me? Good.

To keep your interest, let us begin with something fun I came up with, one day after a particularly large find with my crew. It’s actually when I met your mother. Ah, her dark hair, those light blue eyes slightly judging me yet mischievous… this is the dish I made that finally caught her. Or maybe it was the whiskey provision.

Don’t roll your eyes at me young lady. Allow your father some of his old musings.

If you can scavenge like your old man, I believe one day you should you be lucky enough to come across a stash or hoard of canned goods, and a Styrofoam container of dried noodle. I have come across Styrofoam contained dried noodle in many forms: Maruchan, Cup-o-Noodle, Kimchi. These are of varying qualities, but when you find one, be merry, for a delicious meal is in your future.

If you do I hope that someday you can share this meal with a nice young man someday and bring me lots of grandchildren.

Yes, I know you are annoyed at this point. I’ve enclosed some pictures for your observation. Take note, daughter. I have taken the liberty of using our picture production device to present to you this recipe. And a nip from the community storeroom. Do not tell anyone I did this!

You may recognize the four cans on the left from our stores. Corn, beans, spinach, mushrooms. Any type of canned vegetable will work depending on how you treat it.

Also note the SPAM container, a very different sort of can. These we have only come across occasionally but they are truly a wondrous thing to discover at all occasions, and celebrations always call for the pot slingers skills when we find them.

Ideally you want one container of dried noodle for every canned item you use for balance. I think had I taken four more containers the loss would be noticeable, so forgive me this time!

Ah, for the record, this is Celebration Combination Designation #23. Do not you worry over the first 22, they are best left away. All in the life of the pot slinger.

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In your satchel you will noticed I’ve bequeathed you one of my treasures, my “Kitchenaid” which as far as I can tell means hand screw powered rotary can puncher.

It will make short work of any canned obstacles in your path.

Drain the liquid or save for emergency salt rationing.

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In dealing with a dried noodle container a pot slinger must be ever careful in removing the paper top. Ensure that some of the paper top remains securely attached, for reasons I will explain later.

Also take note of any envelopes inside. Set aside for inspection later.

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Remember your trusty friend, the pot. It shall see much exercise for this dish.

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The pink oblong in a can is a delicacy that must be handled delicately. In case a clean surface is not available, use the can. With your knife work I know you can handle this advanced technique.

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Turn the oblong into thin slivers, then toss into the pot and break it up if necessary.

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Cover the pink slivers with water and boil furiously.

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Once boiling, add any “tough” vegetables like mushrooms and beans and boil for a while longer.

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Allow this to boil a bit longer, then add softer vegetables and continue to boil.

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Return to a boil and then drain water (conserve for emergency salt rations.) Cover again with more water, and bring to boil once more.

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Add spinach or other canned leaf vegetables at this point.

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Now we return to why you do not remove the paper lid completely. Take a portion of the pink slices and vegetables and pour on top of the noodles, ensuring everyone has a fair share.

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Then cover with your newly boiled water.

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Fold the lid back down and weigh it down with your knife and wait for several minutes.

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Now that the noodles are soft, we can move onto the next step. Drain again. Do whatever you want with the water, you’re a big girl now.

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Into a hot pan use any reserved grease or fats from your journey to coat generously.

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Take drained noodle, vegetable, pink slice mixture and throw into fat, while shielding your eyes.

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Toss the mixture repeatedly to give a good burn on as much of the food, as evenly as you can, until the steam output decreases to a minimum. Return to reserved bowls, and sprinkle with envelope powder to everyone’s liking.

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Repeat as necessary until everyone is served. And that, my child, is Celebration Combination Designation #23. Please keep this journal and the rest of the recipes near and dear to you on your journey. I shall miss you greatly my child.

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*Out of character notes.

Note that canned food is packed with sodium, especially ramen, I have tried to mitigate the salt in this recipe with lots of boiling and draining to remove the salt. If you have issues with sodium please do not use this recipe at all, I do not think all the boiling this recipe went through can completely bring down the sodium to acceptable levels.

At the very least eat lots of foods with potassium afterwards, like bananas or figs. Thanks for reading!

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