Rice pudding with Mini Trangia and improvised water bath

In Nordic countries rice pudding is a very important part of Christmas tradition. Hiking and camping in the middle of nowhere is also quite popular. For some reasons, one rarely sees anyone hiking during the Christmas.

One reason to that probably is a common will to spend Christmas with the family. Another possible reason is that it is so damn difficult to get rice pudding in the wilderness.

Not any more!

When I first decided to try to prepare rice pudding with my Mini Trangia, I took is as a crazy experiment, destined to fail. First of all, even with the regular good quality cooking gear at home, it is quite difficult not to burn and ruin your rice pudding, and additionally, the requirement for slow long simmering in low temperature did not sound like a Trangia job.

Well, what do I have to lose? 10 cents worth of rice, euro worth of fuel, and some wasted time. So, go for it!

Due to the fact that the rice pudding is one of the easiest things to ruin by over heating, I decided to make some kind of a water bath. For that purpose, I happen to have a surplus mess kit from the Czech army. The larger pot of the kit is just big enough to hold the Trangia pot within it (any pot slightly larger than the Trangia pot works as well). To prevent the Trangia pot from over heating or floating on the water, I placed three flat stones on the bottom of the water bath to be.

Then to the cooking itself.

First I heated some liter of water (600 ml for the pudding, and the rest of it for the water bath). Then I mixed 100 ml of rice, 100 ml of water, and about 30 ml of oil (rice pudding is usually made with full milk, therefore the oil). Next part was to boil the ingredients for about 2 minutes to rehydrate the rice. Rehydrating the rice requires constant attention and stirring. When the water is mostly absorbed into the rice, it is time to place the pot into the water bath, add the milk, place the lid on top of the pot, and add water to the water bath.

After stirring the pudding and adding water to the bath every now and then, the stove eventually ran out of fuel. At this point I placed the stove onto the ice on the ground to let it cool down before refilling. (It is not a good idea to fill up a hot stove with flammable alcohol).

After about 45 minutes of cooking, the pudding began to look like pudding, and it was time to add salt (if you don’t want your milk based cookings to curdle, do not cook after adding the salt).

The end result was perfect! Just like the pudding my grandmom used to make!

I must admit that preparing rice pudding with the Mini Trangia is not a hard core survivalist thing. It takes an hour to make, and the fuel consumption is ridiculous (about 250 ml for one large portion of pudding), but, God damn it, it is possible!

So, from now on, if, during the Christmas time, you happen to be in the deepest, darkest arctic, and you get homesick (or if you have to find offerings to the local gnome), by following these instructions, the homesickness can be eased, and the gnome calmed.

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