Fat, Fermentation & Forecasts

Only two weeks to go. I feel shocking though. There’s some kind of cold bubbling along in my body that’s sapping my energy and giving me night sweats. The inflammation makes everything sore and is bothering my hip too, so whilst I’ve had my steroid injection I’m not feeling the benefit. It’s discouraging. It makes me worry about deterioration in my fitness, since I don’t feel exercise is the right thing with current the symptoms. The mantra that ‘I’ve felt worse before and it worked out’ is all I have to go on.

My check up at the hospital has put me in line for another MRI because of some loss of sensation and cramps in my foot. I’ll be having that when I get back from my expedition.

On a more inspiring note, the food prep. is going nicely. Our butcher, Kevin, put aside a couple of kilos of fat and beef for my pemmican, so that’s underway. I’ve made jerky with the beef (just sliced it thinly and left it in the oven on a very low heat for 24 hours). Now I need to render the fat.

Pemmican and Sauerkraut
3 kg of Fat, beef and Sauerkraut bubbling away. My diet for a month!

The sauerkraut was burping gas nicely, so hadn’t died off, and I decided to have a taste. It is absolutely wonderful. When I took the lid off the smell was fresh and the liquid over the weight blocks was clear, apart from a very small milky film over the blocks, which is a harmless and normal growth. What was a complete surprise is how minty the flavour is. The caraway seeds, which were a bit of a gamble, seem to have produced this great taste. I’ve bottled it and put it in the fridge so as to slow down the fermentation.

First Sauerkraut batch in the pot!

Andy has started a new batch off with juniper berries, which has now produced some bubbles. If the house is warm enough it should be ready by the time I leave, supplementing my supply.

My plan is to carry the sauerkraut in water bladders, put into tough plastic bags as secondary waterproofing. I’ve bought two 1.5 ltr bladders that have open tops with waterproof closures. The idea is that they’ll be tough enough to carry liquid, easy enough to open up, and easy to release the fermentation gasses from through the valve. I’ve cut the hoses right down so they don’t get in the way.

The next job is to repair the seams and pocket of my goretex jacket and make some clothing selections based on the long range weather forecasts.

Pemmican Constituents
Low fat diets have little relevance when travelling 320 miles on foot. 3kg of fat and beef!

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