Duane invited Survival Sam and I over to his house just to chat. We were in the basement where it was quieter. The old couch and chairs we sat on were part of what Diane wanted to replace, but we didn’t care about that at the moment.
“This weekend at our family gathering, we made some pretty good hauls as far as Christmas gifts go,” Duane said. “Of course, you know how it goes. We had to shell out a lot of bucks for gifts for other family members, too.”
“Get anything interesting?” I asked.
“The kids did OK, but not much for the adults, unless you count Aunt Mildred’s fruitcake,” said Duane. “Bill and his family didn’t want theirs, so when we each got back home, he dropped all of his by.”
“So much the better for you,” said Sam.
“How do you figure that?” asked Duane.
“Fruitcake is one of the best storage foods you could get,” Sam said. “Think of it as survival food.”
“No kidding?” asked Duane.
“I don’t know why people make so many jokes about fruitcake,” Sam said. “I like it and think it’s too bad it’s only offered around Christmas time. Anyone who doesn’t want theirs is more than welcome to send it my way.”
“I like it, too,” I said, “but I never thought of it as storage food for survival.”
“Besides the fact that it’s notorious for keeping a long time, it’s a terrific treat. It’s loaded with all kinds of goodies and is nutritious, too.”
“I wouldn’t have thought of it that way,” I said.
“You’re right about fruitcake containing all kinds of goodies though,” said Duane. “You never know what you’ll find in the stuff.”
“I once read a science fiction story where a young girl was captain of a spaceship that encountered a number of difficulties,” Sam said. “As it happened, she found herself financially well off when she remembered to cut open a fruitcake her aunt had sent along. The fruitcake contained diamonds.”
“No diamond’s in these fruitcakes,” said Duane. “The only jewel is Aunt Mildred, and she’s a real piece of work.”
“There must be quite a market for good fruitcakes, however,” said Sam, “because there’s a monastery in Virginia that makes and sells fruitcakes year round.”
“What a good vocation for the monks,” said duane.
“I like several other kinds of breads, too,” I said, “like squash or pumpkin bread. Banana bread’s one of my favorites. But I’ll bet they don’t keep unless you put them in the freezer.”
“Ever heard of canned bread?” Sam asked. “You can buy New England brown bread, which is made with molasses and is pretty good. It’s possible to make canned bread at home, too.”
“This sounds like a topic for our wives,” said duane. “Are we becoming the men’s culinary society or something?”
“There aren’t many more important topics than food,” said Sam, “especially for survival. No reason we men shouldn’t be talking about it.”
“I have to admit, he’s got a point there,” I said.
“When you start your camping adventures, you’ll need to know about survival food, including bread, Duane,” said Sam. “Some people can really make out quite well while roughing it. I can show you a DVD showing that it’s possible to whip up a batch of simple, wholesome bread in the wilderness.”
“Hey, we haven’t even gone on our first camping trip yet,” Said duane, “and here you are trying to get me into the advanced wilderness stuff.”
“It’s always a good idea to be thinking ahead and be prepared with good information,” said Sam.