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HAVE FAITH--WILL CAMP!--Part 2.--Utensils, Provisioning & Food. DFO 807 13 July 1979
1. TENTS WERE MY FIRST INTRODUCTION TO THE NOMADIC LIFE WHEN I WAS ONLY A BABY! Within the first year after I was born, we took a camping trip all the way from California to Oklahoma, with a tent, pots & pans, plates & dishes, & I remember the old tin silverware & tin plates we usually used in those days. I don't think campers use those anymore, now they have plastics. The plates were like pie pans, & the very tinny "silverware" was just stamped out of flat pieces of metal, something similar to what we soldiers used to carry in our knapsacks in the Army, & little metal tin cups.
2. I REMEMBER WHEN THE FIRST COLLAPSIBLE TIN CUPS CAME OUT--THAT WAS QUITE AN INVENTION!--A telescopic cup not much bigger than a woman's cosmetic compact, but a bit thicker. But you could pull it up & it came up into the shape of a full-sized drinking glass, fairly water tight, & you could drink water or other liquids out of it--unless you accidentally squashed it down & then you had a slight calamity! We also had a "chuckwagon," a food chest that hung on the back of the old Model T & unfolded into a table to cook & eat on.
3. THE NEXT MOST VITAL NECESSITY THAT YOU NEED IN CAMPING OUT IS SOME MEANS TO PREPARE & EAT YOUR OWN FOOD, such as some type of cooking & eating utensils--pots & pans & plates or bowls or something to eat out of & with, such as knives & forks & spoons & cups, etc. Also, if you are so blessed & have a way to carry it, you need a small portable camp stove, or even a tiny little can of Sterno "canned heat" with its little collapsible folding burner. Cooking utensils were some of the earliest needs & inventions of man.
4. ONLY WHEN MAN LIVED IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN HE DIDN'T HAVE TO COOK! He could just pick the fruit off the trees! So there was no food-prep, no food shopping, no high prices, no shortages, no contaminants, no contaminated foods, no preservatives & various poisonous bleaches & additives. Everything he could pick off the trees was real good fruit, wholesome & healthful (except the Tree of Knowledge!), created by God, & very satisfying, & easy & simple to get without too much effort & with no firebuilding, cooking, dishwashing or potscouring!
5. YOU MAY FIND THAT YOU MAY STILL BE ABLE TO FEED YOURSELF OFF THE LAND THAT WAY ALSO, SOMETIMES. I can remember times when we were travelling that we were hungry, & in the old days the farmers were a little more friendly & not so selfish & you could stop by the road & pick a few apples or pears or peaches or oranges or apricots or pawpaws or berries, etc.
6. I'LL NEVER FORGET ONE ROAD WHICH THEY WERE JUST BUILDING BACK INTO THE BOONIES of Kentucky when I was about six. It was very rough & took us a long time, & apparently we didn't have much food with us, & we got hungry, so we were very thankful to pick the pawpaws off the trees along the road. You probably never even heard of pawpaws, but anyway, we won't go into that. But I'll tell you one thing about pawpaws: pawpaws can sure give you the puckers! But don't confuse that with anything else that rhymes with it, because that's another subject! But it this modern day the orchards aren't always so handy & the farmers aren't always so friendly, & so you may have to provide yourself with some other form of food that is not quite as easy to get.
7. BUT YOU CAN STILL BE GOOD AT PROVISIONING IN OTHER WAYS: WE USED TO HAVE SPECIAL PROVISIONING TEAMS when we were on the road--the 125 of us with nearly 40 vehicles! They went out in several different directions everytime we stopped for the night, & scoured & scrounged & scouted the countryside looking for whatever was available to eat, & we virtually lived off the land as we went! We provisioned all kinds of food & vegetables, & even meat, grains & sandwiches!
8. WE EVEN HAD A KENTUCKY-FRIED CHICKEN RUN that went around & picked up all the left-over fried chicken & french-fries at the end of the day, which they couldn't serve again the next day! So thank God for dear Colonel Sanders & his Kentucky-Fried Chicken!--And the sandwich shops & sandwich vendors also had lots of left-over sandwiches which they were forbidden by law to sell the next day, & in some places like California they were even forbidden to give them away! At the end of the day they were supposed to destroy them or throw them away, supposedly for health reasons, to make sure nobody got contaminated. I do remember a sandwich vendor who came to our school one day, & our kids found worms in their sandwiches! So there is a reason for it.
9. BUT CALIFORNIA LAW FORBADE THEM TO EVEN GIVE THESE LEFTOVER SANDWICHES AWAY, much less sell them! So they would put them quietly in boxes outside their door at closing time & just leave them out there like garbage in these closed boxes for us to pick up secretly, & we would come by at a certain time & pick them up every day--we called it the "sandwich run", which daily went by all the sandwich shops. We had gone there first, of course, & made our pitch, that we had pitched our tents nearby & were young people who needed food, as we were helping the hippies & drug-addicts, etc.--So brother, can you spare a sandwich?
10. SO MANY OF THESE FOOD DEALERS WOULD LEAVE THEIR SANDWICHES OR LEFT-OVER FRIED CHICKEN LIKE GARBAGE FOR US TO PICK UP outside the door in some safe place where the dogs couldn't get into it, & we would pick it up at the end of the day. We had a special team of cars going around picking up sandwiches & Kentucky-Fried Chicken & all kinds of things that were perishables that they couldn't hold over.
11. MARKETS ARE A GOOD PLACE FOR THAT TOO, because there are many things they can't keep over or would spoil, such as fresh produce, vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, etc. When these have just about run their course & are as ripe as they can get, & if they keep them over another day they'll spoil, you can usually pick up such fresh food & produce at the markets at the end of their closing hours, which otherwise they would just have thrown in the garbage.
12. THIS IS ONE REASON THE MEDIA GAVE US THE REPUTATION OF EATING GARBAGE OUT OF GARBAGE CANS! Some of those garbage cans were supermarket garbage cans & they were loaded with very good food, & frequently they would put them in special boxes or containers for us to come by & pick up afterwards. Also, the big city markets sometimes are good places to provision, where the vendors have various stalls in the city square, & at the end of the day, if the produce that they haven't sold is getting old & won't keep another day, they'll frequently give it to you, rather than throw it in the garbage.
13. SO, THAT'S ONE WAY OF PICKING IT OFF THE TREES & feeling like you're back in the Garden of Eden, to be able to pick up already-picked-&-prepared foods from markets & supermarkets & city markets & food vendors of various kinds! But, let's say you're out in the wild someplace where there are hardly any markets & no readymade sandwiches or left-over Kentucky-Fried chicken, & you've got to make & cook your own, then what are you going to do?--If all you've got is a sleeping bag & an inflatable mattress & a shelter-half!
14. I HAVE HEARD OF PEOPLE WHO WERE EVEN ABLE TO COOK BARK & STEW GRASS & HERBS & a few things like that! But they are not all that great to eat & edible or necessarily good for you. So it's advisable to be able to carry a few staple food items with you or obtain them nearby--& of course it's much cheaper, if they are not ready-made, to cook them for yourself.
15. SINCE LEAVING THE GARDEN OF EDEN, MOST OF MAN'S FOOD SEEMS TO HAVE NEED OF PREPARING & COOKING. I don't know if Eve, when they got tired of just eating straight bananas, decided to try stewed bananas or fried bananas or bananas & peanut butter or what, but it might be possible she tried to vary the diet somewhat. However, most of us are accustomed to eating a certain type of food of our various cultures, your favourites, whether it be bananas or peanut butter or both, & it figures you need to be able to be somewhere where you can get them or have them with you, & be able to prepare them. The nice thing about bananas & peanut butter, by the way, is that you don't have to cook them, & you can even slice'm & spread'm & fix'm in the car for the kids while you ride, as dear Mama Eve often used to do. That was one of her talents--making car lunches while we rode.
16. WE USED TO LIVE JUST OUT OF OUR CAR FOR AWHILE! Some of you of course, don't even have a car & you're afoot, & it's a little hard to carry groceries, but there are a few minor staple items that you can carry, as Omar Khayyam said, "A jug of wine, a loaf of bread & thou!"--But I hope you don't have to carry "thou"!--A hunk of cheese would be easier & more edible. But "thou" art nice to have along too!
17. BUT ANYWAY, A JUG OF WINE, A LOAF OF BREAD & A SLAB OF CHEESE can come in very handy. That's exactly what I carried when I was travelling on the bus through the wilds of Mexico where I was afraid of both food & water. Even when the bus stopped at little wayside stands for the people to get out & buy drinks & sandwiches, I was afraid to touch the stuff!
18. SO FAITHY & I had thoughtfully provided ourselves with a loaf of bread, a large cheese & a couple bottles of wine before we left Vera Cruz to explore the jungles of the Yucatan. We carried these in a shopping bag under our feet on the bus, & whenever we got hungry, we'd slice off a slab of cheese & slap it on a piece of bread & wash it down with a little wine. It was very satisfying if you are hungry enough, it even sounds good to me now--I can remember it yet!
19. WE GOT PLENTY HUNGRY DOWN THERE, PASSING THROUGH THE JUNGLES of the Yucatan Peninsula, the part of Mexico that sticks out into the Gulf toward Florida & has the famous pyramids etc. We were very, very thankful to have our bread, cheese & wine, because it was a long 36-hour trip! The wine is not only nourshing but it keeps, it doesn't spoil like other types of drinks or fruit juice or milk would on such a long journey.
20. THE ONLY OTHER KIND OF LIQUID YOU CAN CARRY SAFELY THAT WON'T SPOIL IS PLAIN BOTTLED WATER, but water has not as much nourishment value as the wine.--Also, on a long arduous journey like that, the wine helps you be able to endure it & sleep & relax & enjoy it.
21. SO I'D SAY, THE MINIMUM FOOD FOR EVEN A FOOT TRAVELLER TO CARRY IS BREAD, CHEESE & WINE--But if you can also have a "thou" with you, they're nice for companionship, comfort, & especially to help keep you warm at night--& maybe make your sandwiches for you! Of course, if you have a problem drinking a bit too much wine, maybe you better carry a little water too-or if you are a real problem drinker, you'd better carry only water!
22. IF HIKING OR BIKING, CARRY FOODS LIKE THESE THAT ARE LIGHT, require no preparation, cooking nor preservation, except some kind of a bag to carry them in. Foods like these will last several days without refrigeration.--Canned foods are too heavy!
23. THE BREAD MIGHT GET A BIT MOLDY, but when I was young & the bread got moldy, we didn't throw the whole thing away, as I've seen some wasteful people do nowadays! We simply trimmed off the moldy parts & ate what was left.--A bit of mold is good for you!--Free penicillin! Get your antibiotics free! Even if you don't like to do that now, when you start camping you may find you have to--or in the coming Greatest-of-All Depressions, as we once did!
24. OF COURSE, THEY PUT SO MANY PRESERVATIVES & additives & bleaches & mold inhibitors in bread today, that it won't hardly mold at all, much less rot, & some will last for days & days before you get the slightest little bit of mold on it! It might get pretty hard though. Of course, there are some places you can still get very natural breads like 100% whole-wheat stoneground bread, or pumpernickel bread, Swedish Knackebrod, Russian black bread & breads like that, which are very wholesome uncontaminated with preservatives or additives, & will last quite awhile if you'll keep it in a fairly secure dry place.
25. ONE OF OUR LITTLE DAVID'S FAVOURITE LUNCHES is pumpernickel bread spread with peanut butter & honey, a nice portable lunch & easy-to-carry snack for the road. Fruits are easily transportable, healthful, & come ready-wrapped & well-packaged by the Lord, & need no refrigeration.--In fact, a lot of fruits are spoiled by refrigeration, like bananas, avocados etc., & will last you longer without any kind of refrigeration.
26. THERE ARE EVEN SOME MEATS FOR SANDWICHES & SO ON WHICH ARE ALREADY PRESERVED by having been dried like jerky, or salted in brine or smoked like hams.--Even canned meat is handy. I wouldn't recommend pork or hog meat if I could help it, but if you can't get anything else, at least you can eat it by sanctifying it with a lot of prayer! If it has been well-preserved, dried, brined, smoked or whatever, such meats will sometimes last two or three days without refrigeration in cool weather, although sometimes it will start smelling a bit old, but still be edible.
27. REMEMBER, YOUR NOSE IS ONE OF THE BEST TESTERS to know whether something is still edible or not. If it doesn't smell good, don't eat it! That's why the Lord put your nose right over your mouth, so you'll smell food before you shove anything in! You're supposed to look at it first, then smell it next, & finally barely touch-taste with the tip of your tongue, to see if it's good, to eat. If it looks, smells & tastes good, it's probably OK. But if it looks, smells or tastes bad, forget it!
28. I'LL NEVER FORGET THAT SANDWICH SUE BROUGHT MARIA to eat in the cinema when she was pregnant. She bought it at a nearby store where evidently they did not have the practise of throwing away their sandwiches at the end of every day--they must have kept this one for a week!--And the minute Sue took it out of the wrapper, I was sitting next to her, & I knew something was wrong--I could smell the stink of rotten flesh! I said, "My God, Sue!--That thing is rotten! Maria can't eat that!"--Sue just hadn't thought to smell it! But I suppose it was wrapped & maybe she couldn't!
29. THAT'S ONE TROUBLE WITH THESE SUPERMARKETS where they've got it all wrapped & you can't really stick your nose into it! Some butchers would even be offended if you did! But that's what God put your nose there for, to test food to see if it is still good to eat. If it smells good, it probably is good--if you smell it carefully & prayerfully!