Antarctica Countdown 11 Days and Counting: From Soup to Nuts

When we first designing my webpage, we were throwing around various URL’s to use; the first we used was “TA climbs Denali.” We then went onto “Adventures that Move.” Eventually, we settled on the now ubiquitous “taloeffler.com.” The one that we joked about using was TA’sNuts.com. Now with three trays of spiced nuts cooling, I’m ready to start my gourmet nut business. As I mentioned yesterday, I have to provide all my own snacks and lunch food for the Vinson climb so I’m trying to come up with a menu of foods that are tasty, calorie laden, can be eaten easily in gloves, and can be eaten while frozen.

Nuts are often chosen as an expedition food. This is because they keep for long periods of time, are mostly fat, tasty, and easy to eat. Fat is an efficient expedition food because it packs over twice the calories per gram than carbs or protein (9 calories per gram compared to 4). They are also compact, hard to crush, and can be garnished with a wide variety of flavours. I made a classic “brown spiced” pecans…cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and sugar. I then did a savoury version with cumin and chili powder. The last batch was a sweet/savoury mix with cinnamon, cumin, steak spice, mesquite, and sugar. Each different, each yummy…

I’ve been hearing lots of reports of bad weather and expedition delays down in Antarctica. After over a week of waiting, Felicity Aston is finally on her way to Antarctica today. I think the first RMI team hopes to be able to fly over tomorrow. It’s easy enough to get wrapped up in lots of what ifs. As Oma says, “What comes, comes.” There is nothing to do but visualize good weather and hope for the same. And in the meantime, time to go bag up the nuts and then hit the trail.

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