Good news and Bad. Instant potatoes – white and sweet hydrated immediately. The Betty Crocker Sweet potatoes were so good, I just cleaned out the little bowl with my finger. They tasted great even cold. The plain white instant potatoes tasted awful! I discovered you definitely want to include some condiments in your Go-Kits and pick up one of those picnic sets of salt and pepper. I also know why some preppers advise having cans of gravy in their storage supplies. Try the Idahoan mash potato packets with flavorings added. I personally like them all and use them for regular meals for the two of us. I don’t add anything but the called-for water. They are well seasoned and not too heavy on the salt.
You will be happy to know that the packets of instant oatmeal and grits (with flavorings added) also do fine. I tried the oatmeal with peaches and it was good. It takes two packets to make up a normal breakfast serving though. The Red-eyed, Country Ham Grits are rather salty, but they tasted OK. Both were better after they warmed to room temperature. Unfortunately the quick grits remained gritty without being boiled.
I also tried some quick barley with dismal results – they didn’t puff up. However, I spread them out to dry and seasoned them. They could be eaten like peanuts. I also liked orange lentils. They didn’t turn to mush and were quite tasty dried with a little salt. So we can add a strainer to our kits! These are two good additions because of their nutritional value and they seem like snacks.
Instant rice also softens and swells slightly. It would be fine with gravy or squeeze margarine which does fine without refrigeration for a short period (week or so at least.) Stove Top dressing also hydrated quickly and could be mixed with canned chicken and gravy.
Ramon noodles hydrated well in a short while. I didn’t add the seasoning packet because I just pinched off a bit to try. My grandson often eats the chicken flavored ones as an after-school snack so I just short-changed him a bit. One major disaster is the 3-minute noodles. I let them sit overnight like the rest. Ugg! They were mushy and pretty awful. So, they would have done well with a much shorter hydration period. I imagine you could dump a can of Hunts spaghetti sauce over them and wait about 20 minutes and they would make a good family meal.
That leads to yet another item needed for the Go-Kit. We need a pot or bowl large enough to mix things together for an entrée. I would want a metal spoon and fork to mix with. Plastic utensils and paper products will do fine for individual use, but something sturdier is needed for the actual “cooking” process. I think anti-bacterial wipes would clean them well enough and a quick rinse with water would remove the ick taste.
I am going to attempt to make instant pudding with dry non-fat milk and water tomorrow. It should work because they make the school pack kind that just sits on the shelf. You would just have to eat it right away. I’ve also seen jello in those packs. I wonder how they get it to gel. I once took a pack of jello with me to a Girl Scout week-end camp. Everyone laughed because I didn’t think about the lack of refrigeration. But I fooled them. I stuck it in the leaders’ ice chest for a little while and flaunted my cherry jello dessert. I didn’t let on it was pretty runny. It probably would have set-up if I had left it in longer. Anyway I am going to mix some up and just leave it out on the counter to see what it will do tonight.
I hope you will share some of your experiments with us prudent preparers.