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Travel Light - Eat Heavy Bill McCartney

in Books and Media

Average Rating
4.33 / 5 (3 reviews)


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paul johnson
( pj )

Locale:
LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Travel Light - Eat Heavy Bill McCartney on 01/12/2006 17:36:47 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Purchased a copy some months ago when it first became available. Love this book. One of the best purchases I've made. Pg. 74. Chicken, Nuts, and Rice. Excellent. So versatile. First, try the recipe just the way it's written. Then experiment. Cashews or substitute peanuts with some Thai seasoning. Sometimes, a Mex (chili powder and cumin - my favorite) or Tex-Mex spice mix. try it with Chinese Five Spice, or other Chinese seasoning to create a small variation of the classic "take-out" chicken with cashew nuts. Personal taste ranges a little further east than China, then try Teriyaki Chicken. i'm thinking of trying Jamaican rice for a Carribean flair (with coconut milk - but this would be a first day on the trail lunch/dinner - being kept as cold as possible in a cozy until prep. time - only because, i'm not sure how long coconut milk keeps). have even tried oregano and italian spice mix, or basil with pine nuts (yeah...i know...italian rice, not pasta? yes. it's called rizotto. anyways, what can i say, i'm NOT the chef the author of the book is). i'm just trying to point out how great this book is. if you want variety, can't eat a particular food, or just want to experiment, this book lends itself to adaptation. that's not to say that, as written, the recipes need work. THEY DON'T. THEY'RE GREAT JUST THE WAY THE AUTHOR WROTE THEM. also, it sure has enough recipes that no experimentation is really necessary. i don't think anyone will get bored with all of the variety of recipes contained therein.

i cook up a bunch and keep it in its O.P. trail bags in the freezer. some i have at home when i'm in a rush - much better than store-bought frozen food!!! (for rapid home consumption, i just put these in standard freezer bags - no need for O.P. ; trail use, then O.P. saks for sale on the BPL website store - great bags).

Great job Bill. you've done uncreative, poor trail-chefs, like myself, a great service. it's easy to see how much effort you've put into this book. like i said, i probably got a first run off the press - good job on the printing and binding.

Bottom line:
book exceeds expectations and no complaints/regrets. money very well spent.

Edited by pj on 01/12/2006 18:10:19 MST.

Phil Barton
( flyfast )

Locale:
Oklahoma
Travel Light - Eat Heavy -- Bon Appetit on 03/20/2006 19:36:19 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've had this book for a couple of months now. I've had great success with a number of the recipes. Mr. McCartney has done a great job of taking off-the-shelf items from an everyday grocery store and building a complete hiker cuisine.

I really like the cooking style developed in the book with boil and soak in a Ziploc bag. I've also been able to use the ideas here with Scouts. The recipes are tasty enough to interest them in cooking more than just Ramen noodles.

My favorite so far is chicken Tetrazini. My nature is to tinker with things so I've added some dried mushrooms to intensify the flavor. The Scouts in our troop love moose goo. It's been fun to see the kids adopt McCartney's ideas because they like the food and find it easy to prepare.

If I were to improve the book, I'd add a bit more variety. Interestingly, McCartney solicits new ideas for inclusion in the 2nd edition of his book. The methodology used for menu development and cooking lends itself to creating a wide range of dishes.

Ken Walsh
( kwbackpack )
Good idea, so so execution... on 07/12/2006 18:42:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Hmmm.... I like the technique. Just boil water and cook in a cozy. Also most recipes use items found in any store. Some other good information.

The recipe section, however, is rather lacking. So much so I initially was going to review this book more harshly, but it has other values.

In a quick survey of the recipes and a few trials there are errors and some horrible tastes as well (the man eats spam, enough said!). Definately test everything before you bring it with you, there are errors in water quantities (some errors are very obvious, others more subtle). A few things have enough onion flakes in them to fell an ox.

So, you'll probably have to come up with and test your own recipes to ensure the instructions are accurate and the food edible. Following that you'll have to develop your own menus that complement each other nutritionally. And well, that means you aren't using more than half the book.

In summary, a few useful tips and a nice system. A great idea. When it comes to the execution of that idea (i.e. the recipes) I find the book lacking. Worst of all are the outright errors in the recipes in places, you're likely to end up with soup or cruchy paste out on the trail if you don't thuroughly test everything at home first!

Edited by kwbackpack on 07/12/2006 21:19:22 MDT.

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