Today was a pretty typical day when it comes to food, but not typical with regard to what we did. Today we visited the famed Perito Moreno Glacier. No one comes to Patagonia without seeing the Perito Moreno Glacier. This glacier is one of many coming off the Southern Ice Field, which is the largest non-polar ice field in the world. This glacier, in particular, is remarkable, because mother nature has set it up for perfectly for viewing. The glacier comes diving out into a lake, effectively chopping the lake in two. It actually does chop the lake in two occasionally, creating an ice dam. The park has created a great series of walkways on the hillside on the opposite shore of the lake. This allows you to sit and watch the calving of the very active glacier from the comfort of land. You actually get a lot closer to the glacier than you could safely in a boat.
Back to the food. Like I said it was a pretty typical day when it came to food.
Breakfast: Alex was up first (as usual) and started the coffee. Usually, we use a very simple plastic cone drip filter system. We stick it on a big mug and pour water over the top. Simple and easy clean up. The only draw back is that need to buy filters, but these have been pretty easy to find, so far.
Alex had her usual oatmeal with a little granola on top and I (Todd) had my usual cereal. I usually take about half corn flakes and half granola. From what I understand corn flakes are a very American thing, but in truth I have found that I eat more corn flakes when I am out of the States than when I am in it. I am not sure why this is.
Lunch: We are all stocked up on sandwich fixings. I love sandwiches, Alex does too, but she is convinced that they are bad for you and doesn’t want to eat them everyday. I don’t know where she would get that idea, they have all the major food groups and taste great. You can make a sandwich from practically anything.
When Alex and I started dating Alex told me that she didn’t like mayo. I thought that was very strange, but accepted it as we were still getting to know each other. One time when I made her a sandwich I accidentally put mayo on it, I guess I was just in the habit of using mayo, but I didn’t tell her. She immediately commented on how I make the best sandwiches, and that they tasted much better than hers. So, what did I do? I continued to put mayo in her sandwiches without telling her, and, what do you know? She continued to really enjoy my sandwiches. I think she recognized the secret ingredient, but just wouldn’t let herself accept it. With time she has eventually come around and puts mayo on her sandwiches, but still likes sandwiches better when I make them. So anyways, we had the quick lunch of sandwiches with mayo on them.
After lunch we started our dinner. This is a pretty typical dinner after we cook meat in the pressure cooker. Because whenever you cook in the pressure cooker you need water. When you take the meat out of the cooker there is still about 2 inches of great broth left over in the bottom. Instead of throwing this liquid of the gods out, we use it to cook up a soup the next day. This time we took the left over meat, onions, mushrooms, some pumpkin and lentils and tossed them all in the pot. We got it up to pressure and stuck it all in The Wonderbag. By dinner the soup was still hot and ready to eat. After leaving the park and finding our campsite for the night, we severed it up with some parsley for garnish with day old bread.
I should note that before this trip neither of us had ever really used a pressure cooker. I had always understood that they were just used to make over-cooked veggies. If you want over-cooked veggies then use a pressure cooker. But as we were preparing for our trip and reading about others doing the same, I came across the “VanLife Cookbook”, put together by our heroes SprinterVanDiaries. Nikki asked other VanLifers to contribute to put together this great cookbook (you can download it for free here). Glancing through it I notice that there was a whole section of pressure cooker recipes. It seemed that a pressure cooker was the perfect vanlife kitchen gadget. As luck would have it, Alex’s sister was moving abroad and was more than happy to give us her pressure cooker! There is a lot of guidance online on how to use it, so we basically just started trying stuff. I don’t think we are experts by any means, but we really enjoy the results.
The cocktail of the evening was, again, Fernet & Coke, but we actually used ice this time. Not just any ice, Petito Moreno Glacier ice pulled from the shores of Lago Argentino just an hour prior. Delicious.
That’s Day 3 for ya. Stay tuned for the rest of the week.