Today is another slow news Wednesday. The 1-2-3 Fund is doing well - it's up about 12% in total asset value since I purchased the call options positions about ten days ago. The options themselves are up around 36%, but I deployed only 1/3 of the fund's assets into them. I'm just holding as the moves so far don't seem to have blow-off characteristics. The stocks are just big, "boring" companies with substantial overseas revenues: UTX, PG, CAT, MT, RIMM, MMM, BA, ITW, GOOG and HBC. If no "blow-off" actions occurs sooner, I'll consider paring back the positions around S&P 1100.
In the canoe or on the trail in the wilderness, one needs good backup food supplies if the fishing and hunting is not productive or if you are just enjoying the scenery and fresh air. On my recent canoe trip I experimented with three traditional sources. Also, I tasted some of the supplemental food of the Epicurean Campers and will comment on it today. My trail food experiments come from three centuries: 18th, 19th and late 20th centuries.
18th Century - The very early pioneers in the wilderness of North America - trappers and mountain men - carried pemmican as a staple food. The food traditionally was a combination of dried meat, crushed berries and nuts, and rendered fat. It was made into chunks or strips that could be eaten on the move or in camp and would last forever on the trail.
My pemmican was made this way: (1) take equal parts good quality beef jerky, dried fruits and nuts; (2) process each individually until the bits are small; (3) put all in a bowl, mix & add some honey, then add peanut butter (not an oily "all-natural variety - I used Jif reduced fat) until the mixture holds its shape well when you grab a handfull and squeeze. Then form it into little rolls like a Chinese spring roll and wrap individually in wax paper. I put about a dozen pemmican rolls into a plastic zip lock bag. The pemmican easily kept for a month, tasted great, and very filling and nutritious in camp.
19th Century - My 19th century food was hardtack. hardtack was a staple in the Civil war in the Union Army. It's just a large 3 inch square cracker about 1/2 inch thick. The ingredients are wheat flour & water. I bought mine made from this site - it made hardtack in the Civil war and its product is very authentic: http://www.bentscookiefactory.com/Hardtack.html
My hardtack for the canoe trip had been part of my survival stores for years and was about 20 years old. I had it for breakfast every day, making a few experiments to find the best way to eat it. The Union Army soldiers used to fry it in bacon fat or just smash the hardtack with their pistol butts to add to coffee, plus sugar. Alone, hardtack is very, very flat tasting - like baked paste.
But, putting peanut butter on it made the hardtack quite good with coffee. And even better was adding BOTH peanut butter AND jelly. Woody of the Epicureans gave me some jelly on the last couple days and that combination made the hardtack sit up & cheer. It's very filling, too - I usually just had 1.5 crackers each breakfast.
20th century - that was MREs - Meals, Ready to Eat. I have quite a large stockpile for the risk of Armageddon or civil strife, and decided to use some of it on the canoe trip. The MREs were simply superb. Excellent taste, good variety, complete with heaters. The only drawback is they are a bit heavy. But as we were traveling mostly by canoe, the weight was less important.
I bought mine about seven years ago from Long Life Foods here: http://www.longlifefood.com/
They seem identical to the military versions, except the name on the package.
The snack food of the Epicurean Campers was designated GORP - "good, old raisins & peanuts" as Grand Jean said. I'd didn't take any, but sampled the fare of the Epicureans. In my humble opinion, that of JR (borrowing the signature nickname of oilman JR Ewing of the old TV show, Dallas) was the best. It had plenty of tasty nuts, raisins, other dried fruits and just enough M&Ms, from memory. Other campers' GORP was good, too, except for one: Big Al might be one of Les Grandes Pêcheurs, but putting coconut into GORP got an F in my opinion, and others, too. He came in last in the GORP contest. My pemmican was deemed not an entry.
Word of the Day
"Lief" - adverb[$10] archaic, from Shakespeare
Lief means gladly, willingly
Sentence: I would lief eat the GORP of any of the Epicurean Campers except that of Big Al. He might make a superb pancake, but putting coconut into GORP was downright wierd. Yuck.