Big excitement at work yesterday!!
My boss used to be in the Army, and he ordered a bunch of MREs (Meal, Ready-To-Eat) to send to the troops. An extra box was sitting around in the office, so clearly a few of us decided to grab one to sample as part of lunch. Heh.
“Chili with Beans” seemed like the least scary option. 😉
The MRE is a self-contained, individual field ration in lightweight packaging bought by the United States military for its service members for use in combat or other field conditions where organized food facilities are not available. Each meal provides about 1,200 calories and they have a shelf life of three years (depending on storage conditions).
They also have to be able to withstand parachute drops from up to 1,200 feet. No big deal 😉
We eagerly ripped open the package. Look at all this stuff! Crackers, PB, blackberry jam, Mexican style corn, a weird chocolate milkshake thing, twizzlers, and finally: the advertised chili with beans!
Guys out in the field need lots of fuel
We decided to focus cooking efforts on the chili. Yikes… lots of ingredients (and salt)! Guess they’ve got to preserve it for three years somehow…
My coworker was the designated cooker since I was scared of the intense directions 😉 To cook an MRE, you apparently take off the cardboard casing and put the inner pouch into another chemical pouch, to which you add some water. This starts some sort of chemical reaction which heats the food (and smells really bad… oops! guess you’re supposed to do this outside… haha). I was a little worried we might set something on fire when it started smoking 😉 I always wondered how these things were cooked!
Fifteen minutes later, and…!
We have chili!!! It actually wasn’t too bad, either! I’m sure this would be AMAZING if I were out in a freezing cold tent after hiking around all day. My coworker actually loved it and after I tried a few bites, he devoured the rest of it, along with a large portion of the rest of the MRE! He’s now trying to get more to eat all the time. Lol.
The only other thing I tried was a taste of the chocolate milkshake, which was disgusting, BLECH!! SO sweet — it tasted like icing or something, but not in a good way. Not even my coworker liked it.
What a fun experiment!
I continued lunch more normally with a packed spinach salad (with peppers, avocado, cucumber, and feta) from home (with balsamic vinaigrette in a mini ziplock… this is key! no sogginess here!)
And a huge pear
I also had a PB&J Larabar… mmm my favorite!
Now I’m watching the snow fall outside. Seriously, D.C., WTF!!!!! It is NOT supposed to snow this much here! I went to the grocery store after class tonight and everyone and their mom was there stocking up.